Before we delve into DUI and DWI records, it’s important to know first the difference between the two. DUI stands for “driving under the influence” while DWI means “driving while intoxicated.” Depending on the state law, the two can be used interchangeably to describe drunk driving.
Some states use the DUI term while others prefer DWI. But there are states that use both terms but in two different ways: DWI means driving while intoxicated with alcohol while DUI refers to impaired driving under the influence of either alcohol or drugs.
In both charges, the arresting officer has found the driver too drunk or too impaired to operate the vehicle. Various ways are used to determine if a person is intoxicated or under the influence: observation, sobriety test, and blood alcohol level test.
Often, a police officer observes vehicles on the road for any signs of DUI or DWI. Drivers under the influence are known to speed, disobey traffic lights and signs, swerve, or even drive too slow. The officer will then ask the driver to pull over to check if everything’s fine.
The driver may be instructed to step out of the vehicle so the police officer can perform a sobriety test. In this test, the driver is asked to speak different words or do different things, and the officer will observe if he or she is able to talk straight and obey commands. The officer will also check his or her pupils for enlargement. If the driver fails the sobriety test, he or she could be arrested for DUI or DWI.
In a blood alcohol level test, the driver may be asked to breathe into a machine or provide a sample of urine. Sample blood may also be drawn. If the result of the test shows .08 percent or higher, the person can be charged with DUI or DWI.
Drivers convicted of DUI or DWI will have DUI/DWI records under their name. They will undergo two processes: administrative license suspension and criminal proceedings. In the former, their driver’s license is suspended. To get it back, they need to make a request in a DMV administrative hearing.
In the criminal process, fines, penalties, probation and sentencing are determined during a DMV hearing. They’ll be required to attend all the court hearings, which may include arraignment, pre-trial conference, suppression hearing, trial, and sentencing.
There are repercussions to being charged with DUI or DWI. One is a significant increase in the insurance cost of vehicles. A person who has this type of driving offense will be considered a high-risk driver and will thus be charged with higher insurance costs.
Getting arrested for DUI or DWI is a serious matter. It’s considered a criminal offense in all the states. Because of this, persons with a DUI or DWI charge will have criminal records under their name and this may show up when someone conducts a background check on them.
You can access DUI and DWI records in case you want to look into someone. If you’re an employer, business owner, landlord, or head of an educational institution, you may want to do a quick background check on a person before accepting his or her application for employment or tenancy. DUI and DWI records can say a lot about a person’s character, and work ethic and attitude.
Learn more about how you can access public DUI and DWI records.
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