For your safety and that of other road users, you should refrain from driving while intoxicated (DWI). If a police officer pulls you over and they establish that you are driving while intoxicated, you will likely have a DWI charge on your hands. Here’s what you need to know about DWI charges and DWI defense cases.
DWI vs. DWAI
You likely think that DWI and DWAI are the same, but this isn’t the case. DWI refers to driving while intoxicated and is a more serious charge since a first-time charge is a criminal offense that carries stiffer penalties. On the other hand, DWAI refers to driving while ability impaired, and a first-time charge is merely a traffic offense. To get a DWI charge, you will have to be intoxicated while driving, which means your blood alcohol content (BAC) level is 0.08% or higher.
In contrast, a DWAI implies you were driving while impaired and not intoxicated, and you likely have a BAC level of 0.05% to 0.07%. According to most state laws, one or more DWI tests are mandated to establish intoxication, such as preliminary or portable breath test, horizontal gaze nystagmus test, one leg stand, walk and turn test, and blood test.
Penalties for DWI
If you are a first-time DWI offender, the penalties could be up to one year in jail or six-month license revocation. There is also up to a $1,000 fine or a mandatory installation/maintenance of an ignition interlock device for a year.
Penalties for Repeat Offenders
If you are a repeat DWI offender with 10 years of a previous conviction, you will receive much harsher penalties. This could include being charged with felony DWI, which carries up to seven years imprisonment if convicted. Additionally, your driver’s license could be revoked for years, or you could be asked to pay thousands of dollars in fines.
Future Consequences of DWI
If you are convicted of a DWI, you will carry this criminal record for the rest of your life. Having a DWI on your criminal record would negatively affect your chances of applying for job opportunities like the military or even participating in volunteer work.
Are Attorneys Necessary For DWI Defense Cases?
Given the harsh consequences that a DWI conviction could carry, it’s critical that you hire an excellent attorney to defend you against the charge. In cases like these, the attorney’s experience in DWI defense cases can be vital in proving your innocence or getting you a less harsh sentence if you are found guilty. We are an exceptional law firm that helps drivers deal with DWI charges and criminal or traffic offenses. Call us today to learn more about DWI defense cases.