Difference Between Driving Under the Influence (DUI) and Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI)

Police and Prosecutors have a few different ways of charging a person they believe has driven a car while impaired by alcohol or drugs. When they suspect a person has driven a car under the influence of alcohol they have two different offenses they can charge. Driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while ability impaired (DWAI). What the government is required to prove in order to convict a person of either is different as are the potential penalties.

Contact a Colorado criminal defense lawyer representing clients in Broomfield, CO today to schedule your initial consultation.

DUI is more serious. DUI requires a prosecutor to prove that the person was operating a motor vehicle when they had consumed alcohol, drugs, or both so that they were affected to a degree that they were substantially incapable of operating a motor vehicle. There is also the charge of DUI per se which requires the prosecutor to show the person was driving with a blood alcohol content above .08mg/dL (0.08%) within 2 hours of having driven a car then the law says they are guilty of driving under the influence. However, even when this is the case the details of a case can lead to defenses including whether the person might have consumed alcohol after driving, whether they actually had control of a vehicle, or whether the evidence of blood alcohol is even admissible in court. Denver DUI lawyers Jason Savela and Ryan Dawson understand the importance of these details and have successfully raised these defense countless times for clients all over the state.

DWAI is easier for a prosecutor to prove. A prosecutor must only convince a jury that the person was impaired to the slightest degree. In other words, the prosecutor must prove that the person had consumed alcohol, drugs, or both so that the person was affected to the slightest degree so that the person was less able than the person ordinarily would have been to operate a motor vehicle. If a person is found to have a BAC of between .051ng/dL and 0.079ng/dL or blood THC content of above 5ng/dL then the jury is permitted to infer the person was under the influence of alcohol but doesn’t have to assume they were under the influence.  In making this determination the jury is able to look at all the surrounding circumstances, including things like how the person was driving. Factors such as driving behavior make these charges winnable at trial in many cases because criminal defense attorneys are able to use evidence of everything the person did normally.

If you would like to schedule an initial consultation, contact a Colorado criminal defense attorney, we represent clients in Broomfield, Colorado, and surrounding area. The Savela Law Firm, P.C. Give us a call at (720) 821-1001 or complete our inquiry form.

Denver DUI and DWAI attorneys Jason Savela and Ryan Dawson have experience using their deep understanding of the DUI law and trial techniques win dismissals, reduced charges, and not guilty verdicts for countless clients facing these charges. If you have been charged with driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while ability impaired (DWAI), an experienced Denver DUI attorney is essential. Get in touch with experienced Denver DUI defense attorney Jason Savela by calling (720) 821-1001.