What is the Difference Between a DUI and DWI?
In Maryland, a Silver Spring, MD DUI lawyer can help you with both DUI and DWI charges. Some states use the terms DUI and DWI interchangeably. In Maryland though, they are similar but different charges with a DWI being the lesser of the two.
The acronym DUI stands for driving under the influence. This refers to scenarios in which a person decides to get behind the wheel of a car and drive, while still having alcohol in his or her system. The acronym DWI may be less familiar to people, and stands for driving while intoxicated or impaired. This can also refer to someone who was driving with alcohol in his or her system, or was impaired due to some other drug or substance. Both charges can be serious and come along with hefty fines or even jail-time.
If you or someone you love has been unfortunately hurt by someone who was driving while intoxicated or driving under the influence in Silver Spring, or if someone you love has tragically died because of this, a MD DUI lawyer may be able to help you.
Here in this article, we have answered a series of questions that many people may have about DWI, and what to do if they are hit by a driver who was impaired.
What does it mean exactly to be driving while impaired?
If someone was arrested for a DWI, this means the officer who pulled the person over deemed him or her unable to continue driving in a safe manner. Even if this person was not in fact drunk, it could be that he or she was under the influence of some other drug or substance. Or, the driver could have had a blood alcohol content (BAC) below the legal limit of 0.08 percent, but the officer felt he or she was still incapable of driving.
When someone becomes the victim of a driver with a DWI or DUI charge, the victim may be able to get compensation for their injuries with the help of a Silver Spring, MD DUI lawyer.
What should I do if I was involved in a car accident and the driver was driving while intoxicated?
Taking the chance of driving while under the influence of any amount of alcohol or any sort of drug is risky, no matter how much you have had. An officer who feels you are unable to operate a vehicle safely can arrest you and charge you with a DWI instead of a DUI if your BAC was under the legal limit. Never chance it, particularly because you could also be risking your life and the lives of others on the road. If you were hit by a person who was driving while intoxicated, you should call the police immediately. An officer can take over the situation, while you get treatment for your injuries.
To try to ensure that your or your loved one’s rights are protected, it may be in your best interest to discuss your situation with a Silver Spring DUI lawyer in MD or in the state where the DUI/DWI accident occurred.
Should I consider filing a lawsuit against the driver?
Those who have been struck by a driver under the influence often turn to an attorney for legal advice. Depending on how the crash happened, the victim may be entitled to receiving a certain amount of financial retribution. The costs for medical care, vehicle repairs and loss of pay from missing work can add up quickly. Especially if you had to be hospitalized, the expenses can be enough to put most people in substantial debt. A Silver Spring, MD DUI lawyer can perform an evaluation of your situation, to determine if filing a lawsuit is the right decision for you. Things you should bring along for your meeting with an attorney include:
- Copy of the official incident report taken by officer
- Witness contacts of anyone who saw the crash happen
- Receipts for any medical costs paid out of pocket
- Estimates for vehicle repairs/damages
- Statements from your work regarding loss of wages
- Information from the other driver (or drivers) including insurance company name
For a Silver Spring DUI lawyer who can help you with DUI and DWI charges, contact the highly rated team at Cohen & Cohen, P.C. for a free consultation and case evaluation.