Ask me if I handle DUIs and I hear the song lyrics, “You say tomato, I say tomahto…”    So is it DUI or DWI?  Both, sort of.   DWI is short for Driving While Intoxicated which is the term used in New York State.   DUI stands for Driving Under the Influence which is how the same offense is known in many other states.  Of course, it is illegal to “drive under the influence”.  NY just uses a slightly different name.  A rose by any other name still has thorns.

New York’s statute is Vehicle & Traffic Law § 1192 (2) & (3), “Operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.”  I suspect we use DWI because OMVWUIAD just wouldn’t work.

All 50 sates agree .08% BAC (blood alcohol content) is the beginning point  DWI or DUI (for noncommercial drivers).  The higher BAC levels considered to be worthy of harsher punishments vary.  See the differences at the Governors’ Highway Safety Association:

So, yes….I do handle DUIs.  I just call it DWI because we are in NY.  As Stan Lee says of Marvel Comics fame says, “Excelsior!”


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