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The Difference Between A DUI And DWAI

As the holiday season approaches, the dangers of drinking and driving are showing more and more. Due to the snow that has fallen recently in the Loveland and Fort Collins, CO, areas the slickness of the roads has increased. It is one thing to drink and drive when the roads are clear, it’s another game altogether to drive on roads that are slick with ice and snow. Protect yourself and the drivers around you by staying sober this holiday season and all year round. If you do find yourself getting pulled over, you should know the difference between a DUI and a DWAI. If you find yourself in a difficult situation, contact Ores Law. Ores law specializes in criminal law and will help you navigate a DUI or a DWAI.

What Is A DUI?

You are probably familiar with DUIs; after all you’ve been warned about them all through your driving life and in health classes at all ages. DUI stands for Driving Under the Influence and you can receive one if your blood alcohol content is over .08 percent. As you probably know, nationwide the legal limit for driving is under .08 percent. You can get to .08 percent, depending on your body mass and your gender at around one drink, but it varies for everyone. Obviously, there are exceptions if you have a larger drink with more alcohol or you haven’t eaten anything that day. Recently, in Colorado, the laws for DUIs have changed. Depending on how many DUI offenses of which you have been convicted, you can spend up to 10 days in jail if you’ve already had a drunk driving offense. You can also have a jail sentence of up to 60 days if you are at three offenses. In the past, you were allowed to wear an ankle bracelet while serving your time to monitor your behavior, but now there are only two options when you are facing a DUI conviction. Either you can serve the time specified or apply for a work release program. A work release program allows you to continue your employment and is a replacement for your sentence. If you are facing a DUI conviction, you are liable to pay up to $1,000 in fines and penalties, up to a year in jail, and a suspended license, all for a first offense.

What Is A DWAI?

DWAI stands for Driving While Ability Impaired. DWAI is virtually a less intense DUI because your blood alcohol content has to be under .08 percent, but higher than .05 percent. So basically, if your blood alcohol content is between .05 percent and .08 percent, you can get a DWAI. As mentioned above, it depends on your body mass, gender, and the strength of your drink on how many drinks it takes to get around .05 percent. If you refuse to take a chemical test, your license can be suspended and you can receive a fine. If you refuse a breathalyzer when you are pulled over, you will be taken to jail and automatically booked. A DWAI is a criminal misdemeanor charge; however, it is still very serious. On your first DWAI offense, you can spend up to two days in jail, pay up to $500 in fines, and even lose your license with the DWAI charges staying on your criminal record.

If you’re faced with drunk driving charges, call a criminal lawyer as soon as possible.