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DUI and DWI facts to know

You were driving while slightly tipsy, and you thought you could get home safe. Unfortunately, an officer saw you swerve in your lane, and now you're waiting in the officer's car as he calls in your arrest and plans his return to the station.

You know you could be facing a DUI or DWI, but does that really stand for the same thing? What do you need to know? Here are some helpful facts.

Is a DUI different than a DWI?

DUI and DWI charges are typically the same, even though they have different names in various states. In most cases, both a DUI and DWI describe criminal charges. These charges are for unlawfully operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If there are both DUIs and DWIs in an area, it's typically the DUI that is the lesser of the two charges.

What counts as a vehicle for a DUI or DWI?

Generally speaking, if you can ride the item, it will be classified as a vehicle. Yes, that means you're able to be arrested for riding your bike while under the influence in the same way that you could be charged for driving your car while under the influence. Some other items that are also classified as vehicles include boats, watercraft, farm equipment, construction equipment, horses, horse-drawn vehicles, aircraft and motorcycles. Depending on the specifics of your case, you may face different penalties depending on the type of vehicle you were using at the time of the offense. Your attorney can help you understand what the type of vehicle you were using means for your case.

Source: BAC Track, "Understanding DUI and DWI," accessed Aug. 01, 2017

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