Most drivers have heard the term DUI, which is driving under the influence. However, DWI (driving while intoxicated or impaired) is sometimes used. Is there a significant difference between the two? Read on to find out.
DUI vs. DWI
The debate continues and it varies by location. For the state of Louisiana, the terms are used interchangeably because of its zero-tolerance policy. Anyone under 21 found with alcohol in their system will get a DUI or DWI, even if the BAC is less than .08%. These charges also cover other controlled and non-controlled substances, including over-the-counter drugs taken in excess. A criminal law attorney in Gonzales, LA will help a client understand the state’s laws and protect their rights.
What Constitutes a DUI or DWI?
In Louisiana, there’s no grey area where DUI charges are concerned. If a person’s driving is affected by a substance, they’re driving under the influence. As mentioned above, the law isn’t limited to alcohol; it covers other substances as well. For instance, cannabis is illegal in the state; it can affect a driver’s judgment and reaction time. Anyone caught driving under its influence will be charged with DWI.
Any BAC over the state’s legal limit (.08%) will result in a DUI charge. If a person consents to, takes, and fails a breath analysis test, they’ll be charged. In some instances, it may be possible to refuse the test, but anyone unaware of their rights may face significant legal challenges. The state’s DUI and DWI laws are complex, and hiring an attorney is the best way to work through those difficulties.
Steps to Take After a DWI or DUI
When facing these serious charges, it’s important to know what to do. First, an offender should hire a criminal law attorney in Gonzales, LA. Attorneys know clients’ rights and they serve as courtroom advocates. It’s crucial to find a lawyer who’s confident, prepared and informed, as they’ll represent the client after that. Anyone in the Gonzales area and in need of DUI help can find it here. Set up a consultation online or call the office for more details.