The Difference Between DUI vs DWI [Which One is Worse]

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Do you want to understand the difference between DUI vs DWI? Both of them are criminal offences according to Canadian law. During handling numerous criminal cases, we have seen people who often ask about DUI and DWI and their differences. To help people understand the absolute idea about both of them, we have made this comparison article.

No driver except a careless one thinks of driving in a semiconscious condition, physically or mentally. There is no chance to justify even if it was an emergency call and the driver was not the person himself while driving a vehicle. 155 people were killed in Canada in 2019 due to impaired driving, and 540 were injured. That is what DUI does.

Risking someone else’s life with an individual’s action was never acceptable in the eye of the law. Drinking or intoxicating himself with alcohol while driving can hardly be delectation to anyone but a mindless. Only the victims know what adverse situation may result in because of DWI.

So, there might be a difference between DUI and DWI. But, in the end, what matters is- how bad it can be for the victim and the convicted driver.

DUI vs. DWI: Differences in Definition

It often creates confusion in terms of meaning when people get to introduce themselves with the definition of these 2. Let’s fix that first.

What is a DUI?

DUI stands for driving under the influence. When a person drives a vehicle after consuming alcohol or drugs, it is considered a DUI.

One way to detect a person involved in DUI is alcohol concentration in blood. More than a fixed percent in amount is enough to summon up. Another way is- disparity in the gesture of the driver.

A person may refuse to let the officer check concentration of alcohol in their system. But, in that case, they may get their driving licence suspended.

What Does DWI Mean?

DWI denotes driving while intoxicated. The act indicates the driver is consuming alcohol while driving a vehicle.

DWI can be more intricate to the convicted person as this act starts with a person who has complete control over them. Gradually, a drunker or an addict emerges and can cause fatal damages.

Lets’ proceed with the discrepancy.

DWI vs. DUI. Which is Worse?

While the law condemns both acts, different individuals under DUI and DWI charges will face different encounters.

Legal Outturns of DUI

The first job of the driver under a DUI charge is to contact a lawyer immediately. It would be a big surprise for the driver to find himself imposed under a severe decree. It is against the law to drive a vehicle within 2 hours of consuming alcohol or any drugs, according to the criminal code.

That makes the possibility that the defaulter may face multiple culminated charges, including the provincial penalties. Usually, a driver has to pay money or suspension in driving or both. If the case is severe, it can lead to a longer jail period.

The situation worsens if the court the act of DUI as a felony. There are also other 2 types of it which are misdemeanour and infraction. Now, what are these 3?


It is the most serious level of crime. When drunken driving causes injury or killing, it’s a felony.


A misdemeanour can keep you in jail for a while. That will also add money as fine. Speeding, reckless driving, etc., are misdemeanour acts.


When the offence is an infraction, the guilty have to pay a fine, and there’ll be no criminal record.

DWI and DUI are almost identical in definition and cause damages. So, consequences of DWI would follow almost with the same shoe while the law will treat them according to the books and the judge’s reasoning. But, when it’s about a case, a slight difference influence the charge or the sentence. Thus, we can’t call them identical.

Elements of a DWI?

There are 3 detections for DWI.

Driver Evidence

Once a witness testifies drug or alcohol consumption, the suspect is in real trouble.  Well, that begins with police noticing something odd.

Field Evidence

A driver is supposed to show that they are sober, and the test is some movements that will be visible evidence of their state of sense.

Blood-alcohol Evidence

The final and concrete evidence transpires by detecting the presence of alcohol in the blood. Also, breathalyzer and urine tests might be applied. That will be enough to be convicted.

Check penalties for drug smuggling and possession

FAQ: Difference Between DUI vs DWI

People often get confused regarding DUI and DWI. We have seen many queries related to both of them. They also want to know the basic differences between them. In this article, we have tried to put some light on the differences between DUI vs DWI. Now, below you will see all the most frequently asked questions and answers. It will help you to get direct answers to those questions. Let’s check it out now.

Which is worse? DWI or DUI?

To the victim, none is comparable. Even both are part of a bad record for a driver. Regarding the charges and penalties, the severity of charges may differ in different regions. Somewhere, it’s the same.

Is a DUI a Misdemeanor?

In some cases, DUI is just a misdemeanour. But, the court may prosecute it as a felony as well.

What are the 3 Types of DUI?

The 3 types of DUI are- a misdemeanour, a felony, and an infraction.

Is a DUI a Criminal Offence?

There might be an exception, but fundamentally, DUI is a criminal offence, and one may go through a tiring and endurance if the case goes critical.

What are the Three Types of Evidence to detect DWI?

Driver evidence, field evidence and blood-alcohol evidence are the elements of a DWI.

Does a DUI Show Up on a Background Check?

Yes. DUI conviction appears as a “red flag” upon background checking.

Final words

The objective of the law is to eliminate crimes more than suing the guilty. And the citizens aim to know and follow them. Be it s DUI or DWI, or the penalties because of any of them, what better we can accept from it? It’s wise to prevent before there’s a need for a cure.

Punishment is not the way to sole way stop to a crime. But, the severity of its outcome may make a person think twice. We believe no one wants any harm to anyone. And avoiding the issue causing future critical and standstill is a lot. Thus, the first step is to read and know. Hopefully, you’ve enjoyed the article and are now clear about the distinction between DUI vs DWI.