DUI vs DWI in Montana

DUI is the common abbreviation for Driving Under the Influence (of drugs or alcohol). Used almost as frequently is the term DWI – shorthand for Driving While Intoxicated. Basically, the two terms describe the same event: operating a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol or drugs. The Montana statute that prohibits drunk driving is MCA § 61-8-401 and is entitled “Driving under influence of alcohol or drugs — definitions.” For the reason, a person charged with driving while drunk in Montana has committed a DUI.

In some other states, the offense is known as DWI. But, for the purposes of offense calculation, the distinction is basically irrelevant. Whatever the offense is called, if you have been convicted of operating a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs or alcohol somewhere else, it could apply to increase your offense level here in Montana. If you have previous convictions and are wondering whether it would change your charges in Montana, you should consult a DUI attorney.

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