What’s The Difference Between a DUI and DWAI?
The Difference Between A DUI and DWAI
In the State of Colorado, there are two charges you may face if you are caught drunk driving. The first is Driving Under the Influence (DUI), and the other is Driving While Intoxicated (DWAI). So, what’s the difference?
When you get pulled over under the suspicion of drunk driving, you may blow into a breathalyzer that tests the percent of alcohol that’s inside of your bloodstream. The blood alcohol content (BAC) level result is the main criteria that differentiates a DUI from a DWAI.
What Your BAC Levels Dictates
For drivers over the age of 21, if you are pulled over and your BAC is between .05% and .08%, then you will be charged with a DWAI. However, if the breathalyzer shows that your BAC is .08% or higher, then you will be charged with a DUI. If you are under the drinking age, then anything above a .02% will mean a charge of either a DWAI or DUI.
Compared to the rest of the country, Colorado has very unique drunk driving laws. The legal BAC limit in Colorado is .05%, which means that you can technically drink and drive as long as you’re under .05%. However, Colorado is also a no tolerance state, which means that even if you get pulled over and blow a BAC level that is lower than .05% it is up to the officer whether or not they give you a DWAI.
How Much Trouble Are You In?
Let’s say you get CONVICTED of a DUI or DWAI, then what are the penalties?
On a first offense, a DUI can land you up to a year in jail while a DWAI can put you in jail for up to 180 days. You will be fined up to $1000 for a DUI and up to $500 for a DWAI. Further, a DUI charge will get your license suspended for 9 months but a DWAI will not receive a suspension at all.
What do you do?
The reality is that if you are convicted of either a DUI or a DWAI, then your life can get messy at the very least. Once charged with a DUI, you have seven days to discuss your case with an attorney and request a hearing to keep your license. At The Clark Law Firm, we can help you reduce or get rid of the charges using test results to prove your case and sort through these complex legal issues.
For more information about your DUI or DWAI, Contact the Boulder DUI Attorney Phil Clark today for a FREE Initial Consultation (303) 444-4251.