DUI vs. DWI: What is the Difference?

Driving under the influence (DUI) and Driving while impaired (DWI) is used commonly and interchangeably in Minnesota. For legal purposes, there is not any particular difference in meaning between the two. The original statute in Minnesota was referred to as “Driving While Intoxicated” but was updated to “Driving Under the Influence”. It was eventually changed to “Driving While Impaired”.

Not like a DWI, a DUI might or might not necessitate a certain level of alcohol to be met. A prosecutor must establish that while driving, you were impaired by the consumption of alcohol.

It does not matter if the term DUI or DWI is used as a Minnesota criminal case. These two terms represent the same violation. This violation can include:

  1. Being in control of a motor vehicle during a period in which you are either under the influence of alcohol, a dangerous substance or a narcotic drug
  2. Holding an alcohol concentration that is more than .08 as exhibited by the results of a breath, blood or urine test within two hours of being stopped by the legal authorities
  3. Being under the influence of a controlled substance

In Minnesota, you are deemed intoxicated if your blood alcohol level is .08 or above. In addition, you can be placed under arrest for having a blood alcohol level that is lower if the police demonstrate that you committed driving mistakes caused by the use of alcohol or drugs.

Drivers are encouraged to hire legal representation. Minnesota’s DWI laws can seem complex and inexperienced individuals may find themselves overwhelmed and unable to effectively represent themselves in court.

The value of having an experienced DWI attorney cannot be overstated. At Brockton D. Hunter, we have a strong understanding of the Minnesota DWI legal process and have represented hundreds of DWI clients in court. Contact us today at (612) 979-1112 for a free consultation.