DUI stands for Driving Under the Influence, while DWI is short for Driving While Intoxicated or Impaired. Both of them are illegal in every state. It is not surprising when you take into account that driving after consuming drugs or alcohol is the primary cause of vehicular accidents.
Police are strict about these offenses, and they carry severe consequences, such as spending time in jail, community service, the suspension of the driver’s license, and high fines. You should think twice before making a decision to drive your car when under the influence. Keep in mind that you could injure someone or damage property. Your negligence could also result in death. If a police officer pulls you over, and you are under the influence of drugs, you could face illegal drugs possession charges. It depends on the type of substance you consumed. Drugs include illegal, prescription, over-the-counter drugs, or any other foreign substance that can impair your judgment. Keep in mind that sometimes mixing drugs in small doses can be more dangerous than taking one in excess. For example, if you combine small amounts of alcohol and marijuana, it can affect your judgment more than taking a significant amount of one of these substances.
Effects of drugs and alcohol on your driving ability
They can have an influence on people in different ways. Each of them can impair a person’s ability to operate a vehicle safely. One of the common effects is a reduced reaction time. When on the road, every second count, and can make a difference between braking to avoid a pedestrian, and causing a severe incident. Impaired eyesight is also quite common, and can make a person unaware of the surroundings. Some drivers even experience hallucinations, which might lead to an individual losing sight of the task of driving. Finally, irrational behavior can result in mood swings, and being overwhelmed with emotions, which would make this person dangerous to others on the road.
DUI VS DWI
These two offenses differ depending on the state. When it comes to Maryland, consequences also vary, and one is more severe than the other. This state has strict drunk driving laws, so if you decide to combine alcohol and driving, you are putting your future, freedom, and finances at risk.
When it comes to DUI, when you get convicted for the first time, you can face up to a $1,000 fine, and one year in jail. Your driver’s license can be suspended for 45 days in the best case. The second time this happens you will have to pay up to $2,000 in fines and spend up to 2 years in jail. You will face the suspension of your driver’s license for a minimum of 1 year. The third time you will encounter $3,000 in fines, up to 3 years of imprisonment, and the suspension of your license for at least 18 months.
When it comes to DWI, consequences are a bit different. For your first conviction, you will have to pay $500 in fines, spend up to 2 months in jail, and face license suspension 60 days. For the second and the third time, you will face up to $500 in fines, and one year in jail. The minimum for a suspension of the driver’s license is the same as with the first conviction, 60 days.
If your BAC or blood alcohol content is above the legal limit of .08%, a police officer will charge you with DUI. On the other side, if it is between .04% and .08%, you will probably face DWI charges, if there was bodily injury or a property damage. Individuals accused of DWI have better chances of getting a favorable plea bargain.