Over the years, various types of laws have been passed to make drinking and drug abuse less appealing. For example, a large number of states have DUI and DWI laws that affect thousands of people every year. But what is the difference between these two types of laws? When debating DUI vs. DWI, you may be surprised to find that the differences between these offenses are much smaller than you may believe. However, it is still essential to properly understand each of these offenses and how they may affect your recovery.
A DUI Refers to Many Types of Drugs
DUI stands for “driving under the influence” and covers a broad range of substances. For example, some states use it to punish those driving while under the influence of drugs like opium, marijuana, cocaine, or methamphetamine. Some states place their alcohol abuse punishments under these headings, as well, to create a comprehensive set of rules.
For example, Texas’ DUI law has set stringent laws against alcohol use and considers general impairment to be a BAC above .08.
Penalties typically vary from up to 180 days in jail to a fine up to $2,000 – if you have no prior DUI offenses – all the way up to ten years in prison, the potential for a $10,000 fine, or both. These penalties are just for a low level of BAC and could be even higher for more intensive BAC levels. And punishments for other types of drug abuse may also vary, depending on the type used. You may even need to get court-ordered detox and rehab help.
DWI Is Related Just to Alcohol
States that have DWI laws restrict them to alcohol abuse, as the acronym stands for “driving while intoxicated.” Typically, states set up DUI vs. DWI rules to better clarify punishments between the two behaviors.
Splitting up the rules in this way helps to make it easier to provide punishments that are more appropriate to specific offenses. For example, if you were drinking when you were pulled over, you’d get tried for a DWI and receive appropriate punishments. However, if you were drinking and abusing or smoking marijuana, you would get a DUI and experience a broader range of penalties.
DUI vs. DWI: Which is More Serious?
Both DUI and DWI offenses are problematic for those who receive them. The law treats them about the same, depending on the state in which you live. For example, some states only have a DUI offense and treat it as an all-encompassing crime. However, others have separate DUI and DWI punishments, which vary depending on a multitude of factors, such as:
- The number of substances you took
- The nature of the drugs in your system
- Past offenses you may have committed
- Other crimes that may have occurred during the DUI or DWI
- Your behavior at the time of the arrest
So in the DUI vs. DWI debate, it is essential to know that each of these offenses is serious. And they may indicate that you have a problem with alcohol or drugs. A single offense isn’t going to be the end of the world, as they often scare some people into sobriety. But if you experience multiple instances of these crimes, you probably have an addiction that needs to be appropriately managed.
Getting the Detox Help That You Need
If you have been dealing with the question of DUI vs. DWI and need help recovering, please don’t hesitate to contact us at Serenity House Detox & Recovery Houston. We are a detox center that provides high-quality medical care that gets drugs out of your system and creates a foundation for your recovery. So please call 866.516.8356 and verify your insurance to learn more about how we can help you heal.