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DWI stands for while impaired while DUI stands for driving under the influence. What you all want to know is, what the heck is the difference? Here in North Carolina, we do not make a distinction between the two. Some states treat a DWI as driving after consuming over the legal limit of alcohol (or being appreciably impaired) while DUI deals with driving after using drugs. North Carolina used to differentiate between the two, but after passing the North Carolina Safe Roads Act of 1983, the states DWI and DUI laws were condensed into a single charge of DWI.

Drunk driving most often refers to operating a motor vehicle on a public vehicular area with a blood alcohol concentration level of .08 or above for drivers 21 years and older, .04 for commercial vehicle drivers and those with prior convictions of DWI, or any alcohol concentration for drivers under the age of 21.

Therefore, if you hear DWI or DUI, in North Carolina they refer to the same crime. The penalties for DWI are severe and can impact your daily life. Many different considerations go into the consequences of receiving a DWI, namely, BAC at the time of arrest, driving record, and age. If you receive a DWI you could be facing the following penalties as a result:

  • Drivers license revocation
  • Drivers license suspension
  • Fines and court costs
  • Exposure to active jail time
  • Community service
  • Alcohol or substance abuse education/classes
  • Increased insurance premiums

The amount of negative impact a DWI can have on your life is immense. This is why it is best to call an attorney at Hopler, Wilms, and Hanna, PLLC to evaluate your options and determine if we can help minimize the impact on your daily life.

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