My name is Brock Showalter, and own Showalter Law Group, PA. I have represented people in literally thousands of DWI cases. One thing that I have noticed is that people really don’t know how to avoid getting a DWI and what not to do until AFTER an arrest. I find ways to win DWIs whenever possible, but most of the time the damage done by a persons’ own statement makes it impossible to beat the DWI. I wrote these articles to help people understand their rights whenever they are accused of a DWI. When people follow this advice and get charged in a DWI case, the chances of beating it are much higher IF they know exactly:
What I will write about in these articles is universal to DWI laws in most states. Please be advised that you should always check with your own personal attorney regarding any legal information; as this book is for informational purposes only and it not to be construed as legal advice. The act of reading this these articles does not in any way create an attorney-client relationship.
In these articles, we are going to go over all aspects of a DWI case from the initial stop, ways in which to beat the DWI before an arrest, and finally what happens if you are arrested and charged with DWI. We will first look the differences between a DWI and DUI.
Many people use the terms DWI and DUI interchangeably, but they are actually two completely different charges. If you are 21 years old or older, you would be charged with DWI only, not DUI!
Throughout this series of articles, we will use a series of characters to give examples of what to do and what not to do in different scenarios involving DWIs. In our first one here, Blake is an 18-year-old college freshman. One night he goes out with a group of friends to one of the local bars, and his friends all make him the designated driver. Before going off for his freshman year, his parents went over DWI risks with him at length and explained to him how easy it is to have a blood-alcohol level over the legal limit. Blake paid attention to this, and he only had 2 beers during the course of the four hours that they were out.
On the way home, Blake crosses the center line a little bit while changing lanes. Since it is 1 am, the police are looking for reasons to pull kids over and they stop him for this minor traffic violation. They ask him if he has been drinking, and he admits that he has had 2 beers. Later at the station, they test Blake’s blood alcohol level and it is a .04.
Later in this article series, we will talk about how Blake should have handled this stop and whether or not he should submit to the test. For purposes of this article, he takes the test and blows a .04. In most states, the legal limit for DWI is .08. Blake, however, is arrested anyway on the charge of DUI.
DUI stands for driving under the influence of alcohol. It applies only to minors who don’t meet the legal standard for Driving While Intoxicated but show signs of consuming some alcohol. It is not as serious of a charge, but any drivers under the age of 21 should be aware that in most states you can be charged with a DUI for consuming any alcohol. While this charge is not nearly as serious as a DWI charge, it can have drastic consequences for young drivers. It can still (1) result in a driver’s license suspension. (2) Impact car insurance rates (3) Create a Criminal Record. If you are charged with DUI, you need to see an attorney immediately!
In this case, Blake still can face a lot of these consequences even though he was very careful to keep his drinking at the party to a minimum. Anyone under the age of 21 should remember this; the standards are different until you are 21. Now we will look at how a DWI charge is different from Blake’s scenario.
DWI stands for Driving While Intoxicated. It is basically “an all or nothing” charge. That means that even if you are barely legally drunk or falling down; you still get the same charge. In most states, if you have a blood alcohol level of 0.08 or more; you are legally intoxicated. If you do not give a blood alcohol sample, police can arrest you for legal intoxication based upon your demeanor, field sobriety tests, how you drive, etc. We will go into much more detail later in this series about how to handle all of these situations.
Many people make the mistake of thinking that if they don’t “feel” drunk that they are fine to drive. This could not be more wrong! Anyone who drinks regularly will feel nothing at the minimum level of legal intoxication!
In this article, we have discussed the differences between the charges of DUI v. DWI. In the next article, we will discuss how to avoid getting pulled over for a DWI.
If you have any questions at all regarding DWI cases, contact us any time at (479) 521-1110, and I will personally contact you to discuss your claim! We look forward to hearing from you!