DUI vs. DWI vs. DWAI in Colorado: What’s The Difference?

Denver lawyerThese driving offenses are easy to misunderstand due to the parallels between the charges and the similarity of the acronyms.

In one of the following situations, impaired drivers in Colorado may be subject to charges: one involving your driving status and the DMV and another involving courtroom DUI fines.

Here’s what you must know about the difference between DUI, DWI, and DWAI:

DWAI: Driving While Ability Impaired

DWAI is the least severe of all three offenses. This charge is typically reserved for individuals who are only slightly affected by drugs and/or alcohol.

DWAI is a “lesser included offense”, which means that even if you are charged with DUI, you can also be prosecuted for or take a plea deal for the lesser included offense of DWAI.

DWI: Driving While Intoxicated

A DWI offense is most commonly reserved for impaired driving under the influence of alcohol. A BAC of .08% or higher warrants a DWI charge in Colorado

DUI: Driving Under the Influence

DUI charges, often confused with DWI, encompass a broad range of circumstances of driver impairment. This includes alcohol, other drugs, and Schedule I controlled substances like heroin, cocaine, marijuana, and some prescription medications.

Police officers are highly trained to look for any signs of impairment at roadside stops. When determining intoxication, the senses of sight, sound, and smell will play a significant role.

Remember that any physical or mental impairments that can be seen or measured will be recorded in the officer’s report.

If you are arrested for a DUI in Denver, call a Denver DUI lawyer as soon as possible.

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