What is the difference between DWI and DUI in North Carolina?

To begin, DWI stands for Driving While Impaired; DUI stands for Driving Under the Influence. While the correct legal term for impaired driving in North Carolina is Driving While Impaired (DWI), there is no practical difference between it and Driving Under the Influence (DUI), or one of the many other terms used to describe impaired driving, including the following.

  • Driving While Impaired (DWI)
  • Driving While Intoxicated
  • Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
  • Operating a Motor Vehicle Impaired (OMVI)
  • Operating a Vehicle Impaired (OVI)
  • Operating While Impaired (OWI)
  • Operating While Intoxicated
  • Operating Under the Influence (OUI)
  • Drunk Driving
  • Drugged Driving
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Speak To A Charlotte DWI Lawyer Today

Regardless of what you called it, being convicted of DWI in Charlotte, North Carolina indicates that you drove a motor vehicle while you were impaired by some impairing substance. It is not necessary for the impairing substance to be alcohol as some of the terms above would indicate (i.e. Driving While Intoxicated, Operating While Intoxicated, or Drunk Driving). In fact, it is possible to be convicted of DWI when you are impaired by a substance other than alcohol, including, but not limited to, marijuana, cocaine, and prescription medications. Thus, the term Driving While Impaired, or DWI for short, was created to include any and all substances that a person may consume that might impair their ability to drive.

If you've been convicted of DWI in North Carolina, contact the attorneys of Browning & Long, PLLC at 980-224-4482 to set up a free consultation.

DWI Case Results


Howard W. Long, II
Charlotte Criminal Defense and DWI Lawyer

Our Approach To DWI Cases

Simply being charged with DWI in North Carolina often results in your driver’s license being revoked for a minimum of 30 days. However, we can typically get your driving privileges reinstated almost immediately. We do this by either, first, challenging this civil license revocation, or second, getting you a limited driving privilege.
Defend My Case
Whether you realize it or not, a considerable amount of evidence exists regarding your DWI charge, much of which is vital to an effective defense of your case. We will review your court file, subpoena necessary documents, videos, and notes, and file the appropriate pretrial motions in a timely manner.
Defend My Case
As former prosecutors, we are aware of all the potential defenses that may be available to you. We do not automatically assume you intend to plead guilty and face the harsh consequences associated with a DWI conviction. We pledge we will examine every possible defense and take your case to trial if it is in your best interest.
Defend My Case
While it’s our goal to win every DWI case we have, it’s simply not possible for any attorney to win every time. If you are ultimately convicted of DWI, we will help you take every step possible to reduce the potential penalties, such as avoiding jail time, keeping you driving, reducing monetary costs, and more.
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