UPDATED: May 7, 2020
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|DUI||Driving Under the Influence|
|DWI||Driving While Intoxicated or Impaired|
|OWI||Operating While Intoxicated or Impaired|
|OUI||Operating Under the Influence|
|DWAI||Driving While Ability Impaired|
|DUII||Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants|
|OVI||Operating a Vehicle Impaired|
|OMVI||Operating a Motor Vehicle While Intoxicated|
Most people use the term DUI and DWI interchangeably, but is that correct? DUI stands for Driving Under the Influence, while DWI stands for Driving While Impaired. So, what’s the difference between a DUI and a DWI?
We are going to explain how these two offenses differ and how they are the same. One thing for sure is driving under the influence of any substance is dangerous and can cause a major spike in your car insurance rate. We will look at car insurance rates and the effects of a DUI or DWI on your auto insurance premium.
Ready to start looking for cheaper car insurance quotes, even with a DUI? You can enter your ZIP code here to find the best rates regardless of driving record.
The Difference Between DUI and DWI
These terms are very similar but slightly different which can be confusing. Some states even use DWI as Driving While Intoxicated, which is the same as DUI.
We are going to be looking at the difference of Driving Under the Influence and Driving While Impaired. Let’s first take a look at Driving Under the Influence.
DUI versus DWI By State
DUI stands for Driving Under the Influence. Usually, this means driving under the influence of alcohol. So what’s a DWI charge and how bad is a DWI?
DWI stands for Driving While Impaired. This term can have a broader meaning. While alcohol can definitely impair your driving, this term is usually used when a driver is impaired by drugs, prescribed or recreational.
States can have differing levels of DUI/DWI charges. For instance, let’s take a look at New York.
New York has two categories of impaired driving which are:
- Driving While Ability Impaired
- Driving While Intoxicated
DWAI is then broken down into three sub-categories. These include alcohol, drug, or combination impairment.
Now that we have talked about a DUI vs DWI in NY, let’s look at a few more states for comparison.
DUI vs DWI in Texas
What is the difference between a DUI and a DWI in Texas? A DUI is a charge under the Texas Penal Code, while the DWI is charged under the Texas Criminal Code. So what’s worse, a DUI or a DWI? In this case, the DWI is a more serious charge because it’s a criminal charge and not a moving violation. Just how bad is a DWI then? Well, it depends on the circumstances and how many prior offenses are on your record.
DWI vs DUI in California
The state of California uses the term DUI, or driving under the influence, almost exclusively. While the term DWI may be used by residents, legally the charge is a DUI, and that is what goes on your record.
DUI vs DWI in Maryland
Maryland law uses both terms, and each is a different offense. Driving While Impaired by Alcohol (DWI) has lesser fines and penalties than Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol (DUI). For both, penalties increase with repeat offenses. The difference between the two, according to the People’s Law Library of Maryland, is your blood alcohol level (BAC). 0.07 to 0.08 percent is a DWI, while 0.08 percent or higher is a DUI.
DUI vs DWI in Florida
Like California, the only legally used term in Florida is DUI, or Driving Under the Influence. DWI is still used in non-legal conversation, but DUI is the only actual chargeable offense.
DWI vs DUI in Oklahoma
Oklahoma is another state where DUI and DWI are two separate offenses. DUI is a more serious offense and is charged when the driver’s BAC is 0.08 or higher. A DWI is a lesser charge for a BAC of 0.06 or 0.07.
Which is worse DUI or DWI in NC?
Historically, DWI was considered a higher charge but NC has consolidated both terms under a single umbrella and only a charges a DWI.
These are just a few examples, and as you can see states really do vary. Check out your state’s laws in the statutes or through your local DMV.
Regardless of state laws and terminology, a major consequence of any DUI/DWI charge is the high cost of DUI car insurance rates. Let’s take a look at how your car insurance rates can be affected.While the wording can vary from state to state, the meaning is essentially the same. Driving under the influence of being impaired by any substance, alcohol or drugs, can lead to an arrest and severe consequences. Enter your zip code below to view companies that have cheap auto insurance rates. Secured with SHA-256 Encryption
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Auto Insurance Rates and DUI/DWI
Auto insurance companies use many factors when determining your auto insurance premium. Auto insurance companies look at how much of a risk a driver will be when they are insuring them.
Each factor can help an insurance company determine the insurance premium of a driver. Let’s look at some factors that most auto insurance companies look at when getting your rate.
Auto Insurance Rates by Driver’s Age
The age of a driver can tell the auto insurance company how much experience a driver may have. A younger driver will have a significantly higher auto insurance rate than a driver with decades of experience.
Let’s look at the rates below based on age.
|Married 60-year-old female||$3,445.00|
|Married 60-year-old male||$3,680.53|
|Married 35-year-old female||$3,802.77|
|Married 35-year-old male||$3,856.84|
|Single 25-year-old female||$3,959.67|
|Single 25-year-old male||$4,503.13|
|Single 17-year-old female||$11,621.01|
|Single 17-year-old male||$13,718.69|
The rates are from Liberty Mutual Insurance Company. A 17-year-old driver can pay as much as $9,000 more than a driver that is 25-years-old.
Auto Insurance Rates by Garaging Address and ZIP code
Have you ever wondered why your friend or family member can have a similar car and driving record yet pay a lot less from their insurance?
Well, if you have, it could be due to the higher cost of insurance rates in some ZIP codes.
Auto insurance companies look at where vehicles are garaged for several different reasons. One reason is traffic and parking. If you live in an area with more parking garages or street parking with heavier traffic, you could pay more for insurance than someone living in a quiet area with cars parked in driveways or home garages.
Another reason auto insurance companies look at ZIP code and address is due to the crime rate and potential claim filings. If you live in a higher crime area, your auto insurance company is taking a risk that you could potentially be a victim of vandalism or theft and may need to file a claim.
Auto Insurance Rates by Credit History
Credit History is often looked at for big purchases. When you are buying a home, car, or trying to get a lower interest rate is when most people think their credit matters.
Did you know it can affect your auto insurance premium? The answer is yes.
Check out the rates below from some of the biggest auto insurance companies.
We took a look at good, fair, and poor credit history rates. Allstate and Liberty Mutual has the largest increase for poor credit history.
Auto Insurance Rates by Driving Record
Your driving record is probably one of the most obvious factors that auto insurance companies will look at when getting you a rate for auto insurance. This is also where your DUI/DWI conviction will affect your insurance rate.
|Group||Clean Record||With 1 Accident||With 1 DUI||With 1 Speeding Violation|
A DUI charge on your record can almost double your insurance rate. No matter what your state calls it, whether DUI or DWI, your rates will drastically go up with any charge of impaired driving.
Why does your auto insurance rate drastically go up? Again, this type of charge shows you are a risky driver and auto insurance companies will charge a higher premium at the risk you may have an accident and need to file a claim for yourself or someone else.
How long will a DUI or DWI affect my auto insurance rate?
Once you get a DUI or DWI charge, you may wonder how long it will stay on your insurance record. Auto insurance companies have look-back periods. This simply means it is the period of time an auto insurance company can look at your prior record when determining your insurance rate.
Each state has its own law regarding a look-back period. Most states fall in the range of 5-10 years.
Will my insurance company be alerted of a DUI/DWI?
Most auto insurance companies run motor vehicle reports at renewal. So, if you get a ticket or any other charge, your auto insurance company will not find out right away.
With a DUI/DWI charge, it is best to be upfront and honest with your auto insurance carrier. In some cases, your state may require you to have an SR-22 filing.
This filing can only be done by your auto insurance carrier and would require you immediately telling your insurance carrier about your charge.
SR-22 Filing for Auto Insurance
Certain auto-related convictions, like a DUI/DWI or multiple speeding violations, will require the need for your auto insurance company to file an SR-22 certificate.
An SR-22 form is not a type of insurance policy. This is simply a filing that your auto insurance company files with the state or department of motor vehicles to verify that the driver has the state’s minimum required insurance liability limits.
Depending on your state, you may need to continue to file an SR-22 certificate for 1-5 years.
State Laws and DUI/DWI Convictions
What happens when you get a DWI? Is a DWI considered a crime? Each state has laws regarding DUI and DWI charges. Below is a table shows jail time, fines, license suspension, and ignition interlock system requirements by state.First Offense DUI/DWI Laws by State
|State||Minimum Jail||Fines & Fees||Minimum License Suspension||Ignition Interlock Device Required|
|Alabama||None||$600 to $2,100||90 Days||No|
|Alaska||Min. 72 hours||$1,500||Min. 90 days||Yes|
|Arizona||Min. 24 hours||$250 base fine||90 to 360 days||Yes|
|Arkansas||24 hours to 1 year||$150 to $1,000||6 months||Yes|
|California||4 days to 6 months||$1,400 to $2,600||30 days to 10 months||Yes, in some counties|
|Colorado||Up to 1 year (DUI), or up to 180 days (DWAI)||Up to $1,000 (DUI), or up to $500 (DWAI)||9 months (DUI), none for DWAI||No|
|Connecticut||2 days up to 6 months||$500 to $1,000||1 year||No|
|Delaware||Max. 6 months||$500 to $1,1500||1 to 2 years||No|
|D.C.||Max 90 days||$300 to $1,100||6 months||No|
|Florida||6 to 9 months||$500 to $2,000||180 days to 1 year||Yes|
|Georgia||24 hours to 1 year||$300 to $1,000||Up to 1 year||No|
|Hawaii||None||$150 to $1,000||90 days||No|
|Idaho||Up to 6 months||Up to $1,000||90 to 180 days||No|
|Illinois||Up to 1 year||Up to $2,500||Min. 1 year||Yes|
|Indiana||60 days to 1 year||$500 to $5,000||Up to 2 years||No|
|Iowa||48 hours up to 1 year||$625 to $1,200||180 days||Yes, if BAC above .10|
|Kansas||48 hour min.||$750 to $1,000||30 days||Yes|
|Kentucky||None||$600 to $2,100||90 days||No|
|Louisiana||2 days to 6 months||$1,000||90 days||Possible|
|Maine||30 days||$500||90 days||No|
|Maryland||Up to 1 year (DUI); up to 2 months (DWI)||Up to $1,000 (DUI); up to $500 (DWI)||Min 6 months (DUI & DWI)||No|
|Massachusetts||Up to 30 months||$500 to $5,000||1 year||No|
|Michigan||Up to 93 days||From $100 to $500||Up to 6 months||Possible|
|Minnesota||Up to 90 days||$1,000||Up to 90 days||Yes|
|Mississippi||Up to 48 hours||$250 to $1,000||90 days||No|
|Missouri||Up to 6 months||Up to $500||30 days||Possible|
|Montana||2 days to 6 months||$300 to $1,000||6 months||Possible|
|Nebraska||7 to 60 days||Up to $500||Up to 60 days||No|
|Nevada||2 days to 6 months||$400 to $1,000||90 days||Possible|
|New Hampshire||None||$500 to $1,200||6 months||No|
|New Jersey||Up to 30 days||$250 to $500||3 months to 1 year||Possible|
|New Mexico||Up to 90 days||Up to $500||Up to 1 year||Yes|
|New York||None||$500 to $1,000||6 months||Yes|
|North Carolina||24 hours (for level 5 offender) (however, if 3 aggravated factors are present -- Level 1A -- minimum of 12 months)||$200 (for level 5 offendor)||60 days to 1 year||No|
|North Dakota||None||$500 to $750||91 to 180 days||No|
|Ohio||3 days to 6 months||$250 to $1,000||6 months to 3 years||No|
|Oklahoma||5 days to 1 year||Up to $1,000||30 days||No|
|Oregon||2 days or 80 hours community services||$1,000 to $6,250||1 year||Yes|
|Pennsylvania||None||$300||No||Yes, if refusal to take chemical test|
|Rhode Island||Up to 1 year||$100 to $500||2 to 18 months||No|
|South Carolina||48 hours to 90 days||$400 to $1,000||6 months||No|
|South Dakota||Up to 1 year||$1,000||30 days to 1 year||No|
|Tennessee||48 hours up to 11 months||$350 to $1,500||1 year||Yes|
|Texas||3 to 180 days||Up to $2,000||90 to 365 days||No|
|Utah||48 hours min.||$700 min.||120 days||No|
|Vermont||Up to 2 years||Up to $750||90 days||No|
|Virginia||Min. 5 days||Min. $250||1 year||Yes (if BAC .15 or above)|
|Washington||24 hours to 1 year||$865.50 to $5,000||90 days to 1 year||Yes|
|West Virginia||Up to 6 months||$100 to $1,000||15 to 45 days||Possible|
|Wisconsin||None||$150 to $300||6 to 9 months||No|
|Wyoming||Up to 6 months||Up to $750||90 days||Yes - if BAC .15 or above|
The above penalties are for first-time violations. In some states you can lose your license for a year and in Indiana you could lose it for two years.
Ignition interlock systems are another way many states are trying to eliminate repeat offenders.
“The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found in a report released in January 2017 that traffic fatalities declined by 7 percent in states that mandate ignition interlocks for first-time alcohol-impaired offenders.”
Ignition interlocks are used to help guarantee a driver is not under the influence of alcohol when driving. The driver must breathe into a breathalyzer device hooked into the car’s ignition system. This verifies the driver is sober and can drive the vehicle.
Alcohol-Related Auto Fatalities
While we have mentioned costly insurance and the possibility of losing your license, we are now going to give you statistics on the most sobering reality of driving while under the influence of any drugs or alcohol.
“Based on data from the U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 10,511 people died in alcohol-impaired crashes in 2018.”
In 2018 alone, alcohol-related fatalities were 29 percent of all fatalities on the road. Driving under the influence of recreational drugs, prescribed drugs, or alcohol takes lives every year.
The FBI estimates that over a million arrests were made in 2018 for driving under the influence in the United States.
Data from the Insurance Information Institute shows fatalities from 1985-2018.
|Year||Total Crash Fatalities||Alcohol-Related Fatalities||Percentage of Alcohol-Related Fatalities|
While there has been a steady decline in alcohol-related deaths, fatalities from alcohol still account for over 10,000 deaths a year on the road. Enter your zip code below to view companies that have cheap auto insurance rates. Secured with SHA-256 Encryption
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DUI and DWI FAQ
Do you still have questions about your auto insurance? Check out some commonly asked questions below.
What happens if I lie about my driving history?
You may be tempted to not give all the truth regarding your driving history or other mandatory information needed to obtain a proper quote. This is called insurance fraud. Insurance fraud may sound like a harsh term for leaving out information on an application, but insurance fraud is taken very seriously.
Insurance fraud can range from staging an accident to obtain financial gain to leaving out vital information on an application or form.
If you are thinking about withholding information regarding your driving history, be aware that auto insurance companies do run motor vehicle reports and will find out what is on your driving record.
Can an auto insurance company deny you coverage?
While an auto insurance company can not deny you based on demographic information, for example, race or gender, they can deny coverage based on driving record or missing payments.
Is auto insurance mandatory in all states?
In all states, with the exception of New Hampshire and Virginia, you must have auto insurance on your vehicle. While you do not have to purchase auto insurance in those two states, they do have minimum required limits if you do decide to purchase. All 50 states have required minimum limits when you purchase auto insurance.
|Alabama||BI & PD liability||25/50/25|
|Alaska||BI & PD liability||50/100/25|
|Arizona||BI & PD liability||25/50/15|
|Arkansas||BI & PD liability, PIP||25/50/25|
|California||BI & PD liability||15/30/5|
|Colorado||BI & PD liability||25/50/15|
|Connecticut||BI & PD liability, UM, UIM||25/50/25|
|Delaware||BI & PD liability, PIP||25/50/10|
|D.C.||BI & PD liability, UM||25/50/10|
|Florida||PD liability, PIP||10/20/10|
|Georgia||BI & PD liability||25/50/25|
|Hawaii||BI & PD liability, PIP||20/40/10|
|Idaho||BI & PD liability||25/50/15|
|Illinois||BI & PD liability, UM, UIM||25/50/20|
|Indiana||BI & PD liability||25/50/25|
|Iowa||BI & PD liability||20/40/15|
|Kansas||BI & PD liability, PIP||25/50/25|
|Kentucky||BI & PD liability, PIP, UM, UIM||25/50/25|
|Louisiana||BI & PD liability||15/30/25|
|Maine||BI & PD liability, UM, UIM, Medpay||50/100/25|
|Maryland||BI & PD Liability, PIP, UM, UIM||30/60/15|
|Massachusetts||BI & PD liability, PIP||20/40/5|
|Michigan||BI & PD liability, PIP||20/40/10|
|Minnesota||BI & PD liability, PIP, UM, UIM||30/60/10|
|Mississippi||BI & PD liability||25/50/25|
|Missouri||BI & PD liability, UM||25/50/25|
|Montana||BI & PD liability||25/50/20|
|Nebraska||BI & PD liability, UM, UIM||25/50/25|
|Nevada||BI & PD liability||25/50/20|
|New Hampshire||FR only||25/50/25|
|New Jersey||BI & PD liability, PIP, UM, UIM||15/30/5|
|New Mexico||BI & PD liability||25/50/10|
|New York||BI & PD liability, PIP, UM, UIM||25/50/10|
|North Carolina||BI & PD liability, UM, UIM||30/60/25|
|North Dakota||BI & PD liability, PIP, UM, UIM||25/50/25|
|Ohio||BI & PD liability||25/50/25|
|Oklahoma||BI & PD liability||25/50/25|
|Oregon||BI & PD liability, PIP, UM, UIM||25/50/20|
|Pennsylvania||BI & PD liability, PIP||15/30/5|
|Rhode Island||BI & PD liability||25/50/25|
|South Carolina||BI & PD liability, UM||25/50/25|
|South Dakota||BI & PD liability, UM, UIM||25/50/25|
|Tennessee||BI & PD liability||25/50/15|
|Texas||BI & PD liability, PIP||30/60/25|
|Utah||BI & PD liability, PIP||25/65/15|
|Vermont||BI & PD liability, UM, UIM||25/50/10|
|Virginia||BI & PD liability, UM, UIM||25/50/20|
|Washington||BI & PD liability||25/50/10|
|West Virginia||BI & PD liability, UM, UIM||25/50/25|
|Wisconsin||BI & PD liability, UM, Medpay||25/50/10|
|Wyoming||BI & PD liability||25/50/20|
Each state has a minimum amount of liability insurance required.
Wanting to see if you can get lower auto insurance rates in spite of a DUI or DWI? Go ahead and enter your ZIP code here to start saving money today.