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The Differences between DUI, DUI-D and DWAI

Facing charges related to driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol can be a daunting experience. Understanding the various types of DUI charges, their penalties, and the importance of seeking legal assistance is essential. In this article, we’ll provide an overview of the most common DUI charges and highlight the significance of consulting with an experienced DUI attorney like Thomas & Ahnell, LLC. This law firm specializes in alcohol and drug-related driving offenses in Colorado.

Common DUI Charges

  1. DUI (Driving Under the Influence): DUI is one of the most common charges related to impaired driving. It can be further categorized into two types:

   – DUI Per Se: This charge is applicable when a driver is caught with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or higher. It signifies that the driver’s BAC alone is evidence of impairment.

   – Common-Law DUI: Common-law DUI is applied when a driver is found to be substantially incapable of operating a vehicle safely due to alcohol consumption. It doesn’t solely rely on BAC but considers the driver’s ability to drive safely.

   Suppose a driver refuses a blood or breath test or their BAC registers .15 or greater. In that case, they may be classified as a persistent drunk driver, leading to more severe penalties.

  1. DUI-D (Driving Under the Influence of Drugs): DUI-D charges apply when a driver is substantially incapable of safely operating a vehicle due to the influence of drugs, whether they are illegal or prescription medications. This charge is similar to DUI charges but does not have a DUI-D per se category.
  1. DWAI (Driving While Ability Impaired): DWAI is a less severe DUI-related charge. The key difference is the standard of proof required, which is lower than that of DUI charges. To face DWAI charges, it only needs to be demonstrated that a driver’s ability to drive safely was impaired by drugs or alcohol, even if their BAC is below .08.

Seeking Legal Assistance

Regardless of the specific DUI-related charges you face, it is essential to consult with a dedicated drunk driving attorney. An experienced attorney can provide valuable guidance and support throughout the legal process. They can assess the details of your case, explore potential defenses, and work to minimize the consequences you may face.

Thomas & Ahnell, LLC, is a law firm strongly focusing on alcohol and drug-related driving offenses in Colorado. Their expertise in DUI cases, including DUI, DUI-D, and DWAI charges, makes them a reliable partner when dealing with impaired driving legal matters.


Understanding the different types of DUI charges and their associated penalties is crucial if you face such allegations. However, the complexity of DUI laws and the potential consequences make it imperative to seek legal assistance from professionals who specialize in DUI cases.

At Thomas & Ahnell, LLC, their commitment to assisting individuals with alcohol and drug-related driving offenses in Colorado is unwavering. Suppose you are confronting DUI charges or have questions about impaired driving laws. In that case, their experienced attorneys are ready to provide the support and advocacy you need to protect your rights and navigate the legal process effectively. Your future and well-being are their top priorities.

Do you have further questions or concerns? Call us or contact the attorneys at Thomas & Ahnell, LLC, and we will be happy to help.

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