Padula & Associates, LLC Washington Criminal Defense Attorneys, Bellevue - SeattleDUI and Criminal Defense Attorneys

Call Now 425-883-3366

DUI versus DWI

Posted Thursday, January 4, 2018 by Lizanne Padula.

alt text

DUI stands for “Driving Under the Influence” and DWI stands for “Driving While Intoxicated.” Often these terms are used interchangeably in everyday language, but under criminal law they are not the same thing.

Generally speaking, DUI refers to people who operate a vehicle while intoxicated over the legal limit, while DWI is reserved for drivers who are alleged to be impaired, but may not have reached the legal limit of intoxication of any specific drug or alcohol. It is important to understand that there is no mention of “Driving While Intoxicated” in the Washington State criminal code or on the Department of Licensing website.

Under Washington State’s law against DUI a person may be found guilty of DUI without necessarily being found to have a blood alcohol concentration or THC concentration above the legal limits of the code. In Washington State:

“(1) A person is guilty of driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, marijuana, or any drug if the person drives a vehicle within this state:

(c) While the person is under the influence of or affected by intoxicating liquor, marijuana, or any drug; or

(d) While the person is under the combined influence of or affected by intoxicating liquor, marijuana, and any drug. (RCW 46.61.502).

Subsection (c) and (d) create the possibility of being convicted of a DUI even if the state does not have evidence showing a blood alcohol content above the legal limit of 0.08 or a THC concentration above the legal limit of 5.00. Also, it is possible to be convicted of DUI for driving under the influence of, or affected by, any illicit drug, legally prescribed drug, or any over-the-counter drug, or a combination of alcohol and/or drugs, that impairs your ability to drive.

While it may be more difficult for a prosecutor to secure a conviction for DUI without proof of intoxication above the legal limit, it is not impossible. If you’ve been arrested for DUI, it is critical that you hire an experienced DUI defense attorney. The consequences for DUI conviction are steep―you need to mount a strong defense from the start.

Hire a Fierce Advocate to Help You Defend Against DUI Charges

Between the minimum penalties and the long-term consequences of having a DUI on your record, you need to hire a fierce advocate to defend you against the state’s accusations. There are a number of ways to successfully defend against DUI charges, including the possibility of getting the charges dropped completely or reduced to lesser charges.

Most of the DUI cases we handle at Padula & Associates, LLC are reduced to lesser charges or dismissed entirely. Hiring our experienced DUI defense attorneys can help you get the best possible outcome in your case.

Call us 24/7 at 425-883-3366 or fill out this simple web form to schedule a free consultation with an experienced DUI defense attorney.

For over 20 years, Padula & Associates, LLC has been serving the people of King County, Snohomish County, and throughout Washington State with aggressive criminal defense services.