Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) Facts

What is a DWI?

DWI stands for Driving While Intoxicated. This is very similar to a Driving Under the Influence (DUI) charge, with the DMV website using them as synonyms.

The definition varies from state to state. In some states, the terms DUI and DWI are interchangeable; in other states, a DUI is for someone driving under the influence of alcohol, and a DWI is for someone under the influence of something other than alcohol, like a drug or prescription medication.

In other states, a DWI can mean Driving While Intoxicated or Impaired. Impaired means anything that could cause an altered state of mind in a driver. 

Plainly put, no matter the state or situation, if you are charged with a DWI, law enforcement considers you a danger to others and yourself.

Quick DWI Facts and FAQs

  • The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) found that in 2021, 13.5 million people 16 and above admitted they drove under the influence of alcohol. 11.7 million admitted they drove under the influence of illegal drugs.
  • In the United States in 2021, 13,384 people were killed due to drunk driving. 
  • Almost 31% of all traffic fatalities in the United States in 2021 were caused by someone driving under the influence.


Is a DWI a Felony?

A DWI can become a felony instead of a misdemeanor if this is not the driver’s first DWI, if there were children in the vehicle, if anyone was injured or killed, and if the driver had an expired or a suspended license at the time.

Can You Get a DWI for Being Sleepy?

This depends on the state and the law enforcement officer, but yes it is possible. Sleepy driving can put the driver and others in serious danger—officers can arrest a person for it and charge them with Driving While Impaired.

SEE DUI For More Information

Addiction Recovery

A DWI incident affects many people. The person convicted of a DWI, anyone in the car with them, loved ones and family members, and then anyone who was harmed by the driver and their loved ones all suffer the consequences. 

Repeated DWI incidents with one driver often occur because the person driving while intoxicated suffers from an addiction to alcohol, drugs, or prescription medication. 

There is hope, however, thanks to addiction recovery centers like Buena Vista Recovery.

Why You Should Choose Buena Vista

Suffering from addiction can be extremely difficult, especially if you try to go it alone. At Buena Vista Recovery, our friendly, compassionate, and experienced staff will walk you through the process, providing safety and support in your journey as you detox and attend therapy appointments. 

If you or a loved one struggles with addiction and wants help, contact Buena Vista Recovery today and see how we can help you break the cycle of addiction and start a new, free life.

Begin Treatment Now