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DUI vs. DWI: What's the Difference?

Last updated 7 years ago

Driving is a privilege and serious responsibility, and choosing to drive after drinking can threaten not only your ability to legally drive but also your life and the lives of others on the road. According to the DMV, “half of all traffic deaths in the state of Colorado are still tinged with alcohol.” DUIs and DWAIs are the two traffic offenses based on measurements of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) in Colorado, and both are strict liability crimes.

The more serious offense of the two, a DUI, which stands for “driving under the influence,” may result in costly consequences to your wallet and freedoms, including jail time. The Colorado BAC limit for a DUI was lowered to .08% in 2004.

Having a BAC measured between .05% and .07% while driving in Colorado can lead to a DWAI, or charge of “driving while ability impaired.” Explains The Orr Law Firm, a leading DUI defense firm in Denver, “DWAI, like DUI, is a misdemeanor crime and because it is also an alcohol offense, DWAI is a lifelong offense and cannot be expunged nor the record sealed.”

State laws regarding DUI, DWAI, and drunk driving may vary—the exact charge and consequences may depend on your blood alcohol level, a prior record, or other circumstances. However, regardless of where and with which offense you have been charged, your arrest is very serious. You may have endangered the lives of innocent people or possibly created considerable property damage. Most drunk driving charges carry stiff punishments, including fines, jail time, and revocation of driving privileges.

What you do in the first seven days after your arrest is critical in protecting your privilege to drive. If you have been charged with a DUI or DWAI in Denver, then you need a DUI lawyer. Contact The Orr Law Firm LLC today to learn more about possible courses of action. The Orr Law Firm, L.L.C. is Colorado’s premier DUI defense law firm and focuses exclusively on DUI and criminal traffic defense. Call us today at (720) 279-9588.


The materials available at this website are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Use and access to this website or any of the links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship. The opinions expressed at or through this site are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the firm or any individual attorney.


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