If you ask someone to differentiate a DUI from a DWI charge, most of them could only give one answer, and that answer would be the meaning behind those acronyms. DUI stands for driving under the influence, while DWI means driving while intoxicated.

If you try to understand the meaning of both legal terms, it may seem like they have the same definition. ‘re living in Florida, Driving while you are under the influence of alcohol is like driving while being intoxicated with alcohol. I mean, it sounds the same, right? But if you dig and do some research, you will come to understand that there is a thin thread difference between the two of them.

If you want to know more about DUI and DWI offenses, you can try searching them up online. There are different consequences and a thin thread difference in the definition of DUI or DWI, depending on your location.

If you’re living in Florida, is a great source of information about the regulations and restrictions in Florida. From the information that you got from your research, you might get an idea of the difference between a DUI and a DWI charge.

Some may say that they are similar, but one of them is worse than the other. If you want to know which one of them is worse, continue reading the article.

Driving Under the Influence


Before we go to the question as to which of the two is worse, let us first give each of their definition and meaning. DUI or driving under the influence is widely known as an offense given to you by an arresting officer if he/she proves that you are driving under the influence of any liquid or substance.

It is impossible for the police officer to know that you are on drugs or under the influence of alcohol. The only way they could have known is through a surprise check-up or if they noticed your driving and they pulled you over. After being pulled over because of your suspicious driving, they will observe your behavior and run some tests proving that you are too inadequate to drive.

They will either let you walk in a straight line or undergo other tests. Suppose you passed all of the tests and they are still suspicious. In that case, the officers will then assess you in other ways. One method is to use a breathalyzer to determine your BAC or blood alcohol concentration/blood alcohol content.

But take note that every country requires a different amount of BAC percentage depending on your location. For example, in some places, the federal limit of your blood alcohol content must be 0.08 percent to be eligible for driving. Some countries are more uptight when it comes to the blood alcohol content that they need a 0.02 percent BAC for you to drive. But if you are an underage driver or you’re driving a commercial vehicle, your alcohol content must be zero percent. Otherwise, expect to be charged with a DUI offense.

So in shorter terms, you will not get caught for a DUI offense if you didn’t show any suspicious driving behavior or if you showed that you are still capable of driving. Now let us go to the meaning of DWI or driving while intoxicated.

Driving While Intoxicated


A DWI doesn’t need any breathalyzer test or even a blood alcohol content percentage because driving while intoxicated means that an officer has proof of you drinking alcohol or taking over-the-counter drugs while you were driving. This means that if you were pulled over by a police officer for a DWI charge, it means that a police officer saw you drinking while driving or caught you in the act of taking drugs while you are in the driver’s seat.

There are also instances when you are pulled over for no reason, but the police officer saw an open bottle of alcohol near you. The police officer will then let you do some tests, and if the results are positive that you were drunk, you will be charged with a DWI instead of a DUI because the bottle of alcohol was seen as proof that you were intoxicated.

In some places, even if your car was parked and a police officer saw you drinking in the driver’s seat with the keys still on the car, they will still arrest you for a DWI charge. The reason behind this is that if the keys are still attached to the vehicle and you are seated on the driver’s seat, this means that you are still in control of the car.

Which is worse, a DUI or a DWI?


Based on the definitions above, we can safely say that a DWI is worse than a DUI offense. If you were charged with a DUI offense, you have a greater chance of proving your innocence because there was no exact proof that you were drinking or taking drugs.

They only have the test results, which are sometimes inaccurate because of other factors that could impact the tests, or the BAC result was not correctly executed. You could say these defenses and win because they have no proof of you being under the influence of any alcohol or other substances.

But this doesn’t work in a DWI offense because the officer has proof of the substance or alcohol that you took while driving. They can use these against you in court, and you will have a slim chance of winning, depending on how good your DWI attorney is.

This is only applicable in some countries or states with the same definitions of the said legal terms stated above. DUI and DWI have different meanings in places like Texas and Oklahoma. Some countries state that driving under the influence and driving while intoxicated are two similar things.

If you want to know more about these offenses, you can try to do your research. The definitions stated above are often being used when asked to describe a DUI and a DWI, so if you want to know which is worse between the two, I would say it is the DWI offense.