Is there a difference between a DUI and a DWI in California? 13 Answers as of May 16, 2011

Is there a difference between a DUI and a DWI? Is it a matter of severity? Or does it just depend on what state you live in?

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
No, there is no difference.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/16/2011
The Law Offices of Christopher J. McCann
The Law Offices of Christopher J. McCann | Christopher J. McCann
California does not use the term "DWI", just "DUI". Other states do use that term.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/9/2010
Law Office of Joe Dane
Law Office of Joe Dane | Joe Dane
No. They are synonymous. DUI = Driving Under the Influence and DWI = Driving while intoxicated.

The common term in California is DUI and in other states they refer to a similar violation as a DWI.

What matters is the specific crime you are charged with. Vehicle Code section 23152 covers DUI charges. If you're facing something else besides 23152 or 23153 (or the subsections of those offenses), then the specific section will determine what you are facing.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/5/2010
Nelson & Lawless
Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
NO. Just different generic ways of saying it.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/5/2010
Law Office of Thomas F. Mueller
Law Office of Thomas F. Mueller | Thomas Mueller
DUI and DWI are essentially the same offense in California. It may differ elsewhere.

Our office is very experienced in handling these matters. For more information or to be represented, please call
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/5/2010
    Hale Law Group
    Hale Law Group | Joshua D. Hale
    It depends on the state, in California, there is not a DWI under the law, only DUI.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/5/2010
    The English Law Firm
    The English Law Firm | Robert English
    In California it is a DUI. Some states call it a DWI, but there is no material difference. In California it is based on the statute Vehicle Code 23152 et. seq.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/5/2010
    Alanna D. Coopersmith, Attorney at Law
    Alanna D. Coopersmith, Attorney at Law | Alanna D. Coopersmith
    Some states use the terminology DUI, some states use the terminology DWI. California uses DUI.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/5/2010
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C.
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C. | Dennis Roberts
    Different states call drunk driving by various names. In California they are called DUI (driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs). In other states they are called DWI (driving while intoxicated). California does NOT have a DWI statute, only the DUI.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/4/2010
    The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen
    The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen | Robert L. Driessen
    There is no such thing as a DWI in California. A DWI is a term that is used in other states. In California you can be charged with either a 23152(a) or a 23152(b). The (a) count is driving with drugs or alcohol. The (b) count is driving with a .08 BAC or higher. They have the same penalties. The only time driving under the influence of drugs rather than alcohol makes a difference is with the DMV and you are a multiple offender.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/4/2010
    Law Offices of Phil Hache
    Law Offices of Phil Hache | Phil Hache
    Depends on what state you live in. In California, it is a DUI (Driving under the influence). Some states use DWI (Driving While Intoxicated).
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/4/2010
Click to View More Answers:
12 3 Free Legal QuestionsConnect with a local attorney