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Virginia DUI vs. DWI



You may have heard the terms DUI (driving under the influence) and DWI (driving while intoxicated) used when someone is referring to drunk driving. In Virginia, unlike in other states, these are not two separate crimes; rather, the acronyms can be used interchangeably to describe intoxicated driving.

Some states differentiate between various alcohol-related driving crimes by using multiple acronyms. For example, some states may use DWI when a person has violated the per se law while DUI can be used if the driver is only slightly impaired by intoxicating substances. Michigan uses a number of acronyms, such as OWI (operating while intoxicated), OWVI (operating while visibly impaired), and OIUD (operating under the influence of drugs).

You can also be charged with DUI if you consumed substances that affected your ability to drive. Virginia has specific limits regarding the amount of an intoxicating substance that can be in your system while operating a vehicle. Even using prescription medication could result in a DUI if it impairs your driving abilities.

No matter what you call drunk driving, it is a serious offense in Virginia. By understanding what is at stake if you plead guilty or are convicted, you will be better able to make decisions regarding your case. A qualified DUI lawyer can thoroughly explain your charges and help you weigh your options, whether that means negotiating a plea bargain or fighting your case at trial.

A DUI conviction carries severe penalties, which include incarceration, a suspended driver’s license, fines, and alcohol education courses. If you are charged with aggravated DUI—that is, you have a prior DUI record, your blood alcohol content (BAC) was excessively high, or you were transporting a minor at the time of your arrest—your punishment could be increased. This means more minimum jail time and even higher fines.

At The Law Office of Michael C. Tillotson, we have limited our practice area to only DUI defense, which allows us to receive the training and experience necessary to help Virginia residents who have been accused of this crime. Offering reasonable rates and a number of payment plans, we can handle your case in an effort to secure the best possible outcome.

For a free consultation, please enter your case information or contact our office today.

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