Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com.

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Dec 22, 2021

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The Lowdown

  • DWI means driving while intoxicated
  • DUI means driving under the influence
  • Both a DWI and a DUI will negatively affect your insurance rates

A Driving While Intoxicated or Impaired (DWI) charge is serious with tough punishments and consequences.

If you are pulled over and issued a DWI citation, that means the officer found you to be driving while intoxicated or impaired. DWI driving is dangerous not only for you, but also for other drivers on the road.

In addition to fines, jail time, and having your driver’s license suspended or revoked, you could face a dramatic increase in your auto insurance rates. 

If your driving record was marred by a DWI, auto insurance quotes from insurance companies that offer competitive rates can be found online.

Enter your ZIP code to get free quotes for drivers with a DWI from insurance companies in your city today.

What is the difference between a DWI and a DUI?

The specific meaning of a DWI varies from state to state, but a DUI is “driving under the influence,” whether a driver has been influenced by drugs or alcohol.

Now, unlike the DWI meaning for medical purposes or the DWI meaning in modern slang, DWI can stand for “driving while intoxicated,” which essentially makes it synonymous with a DUI. On the other hand, DWI may stand for “driving while impaired.”

If your state has this type of distinction, you could be charged with a DWI for:

  • Falling asleep at the wheel
  • Driving while physically incapacitated
  • Being in a condition that promotes unsafe driving without the aid of drugs or alcohol

Pennsylvania is the only U.S. state that does not distinguish between DWI and DUI. It only uses DUI.

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How are drivers charged with a DWI?

If a police officer observes your car swerving on the road or showing signs of driving while intoxicated or impaired, they will pull you over. Typically, the officer will talk to you to ascertain if you’ve been drinking, and then ask you to use a breathalyzer.

A breathalyzer measures your blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Most states have a BAC limit of 0.08% — the legal limit of intoxication. Utah is the exception, which has a BAC limit of 0.05% indicating legal intoxication.

If a driver has never had a DWI charge, they may only receive a misdemeanor charge; however, if a driver has had multiple DWI charges, they could be charged with a felony.

To an auto insurance company, DWI charges are not a thrilling thing to see on a driver’s record.

How does a DWI affect auto insurance rates?

Auto insurance companies view drivers who have a DWI charge as high-risk drivers and will typically raise the auto insurance rates for those drivers. You could potentially face an increase in your rates of $500 or more.

Auto insurance rates aren’t the only thing you would have to worry about if you receive a DWI. According to the New York DMV, if you are charged with DWI in that state, you could face up to a year in jail and fines between $1,000 to $2,500.

If you have received a DWI and need to save money on your insurance rates, there are steps that you can take to keep your auto insurance rates down. Take a look at these discounts that are offered by some major insurance companies.

The next time your review your policy, use this list to help you save as much money as possible:

Auto Insurance Discounts from Top Companies

Auto Insurance DiscountsAllstate (%)American Family (%)Farmers (%)GEICO (%)Liberty Mutual (%)Nationwide (%)Progressive (%)State Farm (%)Travelers (%)USAA (%)
Adaptive Cruise ControlN/AN/AN/AN/A5xxN/AN/AN/A
Adaptive HeadlightsN/AN/AxN/A5xxN/AN/AN/A
Anti-lock Brakesxxx555x5xx
Anti-Theftxxx252025x15xx
Claim Freexxx26x10x152312
Continuous CoveragexxxxN/AN/AxN/A15N/A
Daytime Running Lightsxxx155xN/Axx
Defensive Driverxxxx105105103
Distant StudentxxxxN/A10xx7x
Driver's Edxxxx10N/A101583
Driving Device/AppxxN/Ax30402050305
Early SigningxxxxN/A8xN/A1012
Electronic Stability ControlxxxN/A5xxN/AN/AN/A
Emergency DeploymentN/AN/AN/A25N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Family LegacyN/AxN/AxN/AN/AxN/AN/A10
Family PlanN/AxxN/AN/A25N/AN/AN/AN/A
Farm VehiclexN/AxxN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Federal EmployeeN/AN/Ax810N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Forward Collision WarningN/AN/AN/AN/A5xxN/AN/AN/A
Full PaymentN/Axxx$5N/AxN/A7.5N/A
Further EducationN/AN/AN/Ax1015N/AN/AxN/A
Garaging/StoringN/AN/AxN/AN/AN/AN/AN/Ax90
Good CreditxxN/AN/AN/AxxxN/AN/A
Good Studentxxx1522.510x2583
Green VehiclexN/A5N/A10N/AN/AN/A10N/A
HomeownerN/AN/Axxx5x35N/A
Lane Departure WarningN/AN/AN/AN/AxxxN/AN/AN/A
Life InsurancexN/AN/AN/AN/AxN/AN/AN/AN/A
Low Mileagexxxxxxx30xx
LoyaltyN/AxN/AxN/A5xN/AN/Ax
MarriedN/AN/AN/AN/AxxxxN/Ax
Membership/GroupN/AN/AN/Ax107N/AN/AxN/A
MilitaryxN/Ax154N/AN/AxN/Ax
Military GaragingN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A15
Multiple DriversN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Multiple Policies1029x102010121713x
Multiple Vehiclesxxx25102010208x
New AddressN/AN/AN/AN/A5N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
New Customer/New PlanN/AN/AN/AN/AxN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
New GraduateN/AN/AN/AN/A5N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Newer VehiclexN/AxxN/Axx401012
Newly LicensedN/AN/AN/AN/A5N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
NewlywedsN/AN/AN/AN/A5N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Occasional OperatorN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/Ax
OccupationxN/Axx1015N/AN/AxN/A
On-Time PaymentsxN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A15N/A
Online ShopperN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A7N/AN/AN/A
Paperless DocumentsxxxN/AN/A5$50N/AN/AN/A
Paperless/Auto BillingxxxN/Ax$30x$233
Passive Restraintxxx40x20x40xx
Recent RetireesN/AN/AN/AN/A4N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Safe DriverN/AN/Ax15N/A3531152312
Seat Belt UseN/AN/AN/A15N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Senior DriverxN/AxN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/Ax
Stable ResidenceN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AxxN/AN/AN/A
Students & AlumniN/AxN/Ax107N/AN/AN/AN/A
Switching ProviderN/AxxN/A10N/AxN/AN/AN/A
Utility VehiclexN/AxxN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Vehicle Recoveryxxx153525x5xx
VIN EtchingN/AN/AxN/A5xxN/Axx
VolunteerN/AxN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Young DriverN/AN/AN/AN/AxN/AxN/AN/A$75
Get Your Rates Quote Now

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While the best strategy is to have a designated driver or to call for a taxi or ride-share when having a night on the town, you can always use discounts like the ones listed above to keep your rates reasonable.

DWI: What You Need to Know

When it comes to DWI vs. DUI, it’s important to know the difference, but both can have highly negative effects upon your insurance rates and even land you in jail.

If you’ve been invited to a house party or are simply out for after-work drinks, calling a cab instead of driving while intoxicated could not only keep your driving record clean but could also potentially save a life.

No matter what DWI means in your state, driving a vehicle in a less-than-clear state of mind is dangerous and illegal.

If you have a DWI, buy auto insurance from a company that offers low rates and multiple discount opportunities so you can get the best deal possible.

If you’re struggling to find insurance after being charged with DWI, enter your ZIP code to get free quotes today.

The Lowdown

  • DWI means driving while intoxicated
  • DUI means driving under the influence
  • Both a DWI and a DUI can negatively affect your insurance rates

Hopefully, you will never receive a DWI citation from a police officer, because that would mean that you had been driving either while intoxicated or impaired which is incredibly dangerous not just for yourself but for other drivers on the road as well.

Not only that but if you were caught driving while intoxicated or impaired, you could face a dramatic increase in your auto insurance rates. Of course, if you are facing such a predicament, even if you have a DWI, affordable auto insurance is attainable.

If your rates increased after your driving record was marred by a DWI, auto insurance quotes for insurance companies that offer competitive rates can be found online.

Enter your ZIP code to get free quotes for drivers with a DWI from insurance companies in your city today.

Compare Insurance Providers Rates to Save Up to 75%

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What is the difference between a DWI and a DUI?

The specific meaning of a DWI often varies from state to state, but a DUI always stands for “driving under the influence,” whether a driver has been influenced by drugs or alcohol.

Now, unlike the DWI meaning for medical purposes or the DWI meaning in modern slang, DWI can stand for “driving while intoxicated,” which essentially makes it synonymous with a DUI. On the other hand, DWI may stand for “driving while impaired.”

If your state has this type of distinction, you could be charged with a DWI for:

  • Falling asleep at the wheel
  • Driving while physically incapacitated
  • Being in a condition that promotes unsafe driving without the aid of drugs or alcohol

Bear in mind that if you live in Pennsylvania, the only acronym that is used by the state is DUI.

How are drivers charged with a DWI?

If a police officer thinks you are swerving on the road or are showing signs of driving while intoxicated or impaired, they will pull you over. Typically, the officer will talk to you to ascertain if you’ve been drinking and then ask you to use a breathalyzer.

A breathalyzer measures your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and most states have a BAC limit of 0.08%. This excludes Utah which has a BAC limit of 0.05%.

If a driver has never had any DWI charges before they may only receive a misdemeanor charge; however, if a driver repeatedly is served with DWI charges they could be charged with a felony.

Now, to an auto insurance company, DWI charges are not a thrilling thing to see on a driver’s record.

How does a DWI affect auto insurance rates?

Auto insurance companies view drivers who have a DWI charge as high-risk drivers and will typically raise the auto insurance rates for those drivers accordingly. You could potentially face an increase in your rates of $500 or more.

But when it comes to a DWI, auto insurance rates aren’t the only thing you would have to worry about if you receive a DWI. According to the New York DMV, if you were to receive a DWI in that state, you could face up to a year in jail and have to pay anywhere between $1,000 to $2,500.

If you have received a DWI and don’t have unlimited resources, there are steps that you can take to keep your auto insurance rates down. Take a look at these discounts that are offered by some major insurance companies.

The next time your review your policy, you can use this list to verify that you are saving as much money as possible:

Auto Insurance Discounts from Top Companies

Auto Insurance DiscountsAllstate (%)American Family (%)Farmers (%)GEICO (%)Liberty Mutual (%)Nationwide (%)Progressive (%)State Farm (%)Travelers (%)USAA (%)
Adaptive Cruise ControlN/AN/AN/AN/A5xxN/AN/AN/A
Adaptive HeadlightsN/AN/AxN/A5xxN/AN/AN/A
Anti-lock Brakesxxx555x5xx
Anti-Theftxxx252025x15xx
Claim Freexxx26x10x152312
Continuous CoveragexxxxN/AN/AxN/A15N/A
Daytime Running Lightsxxx155xN/Axx
Defensive Driverxxxx105105103
Distant StudentxxxxN/A10xx7x
Driver's Edxxxx10N/A101583
Driving Device/AppxxN/Ax30402050305
Early SigningxxxxN/A8xN/A1012
Electronic Stability ControlxxxN/A5xxN/AN/AN/A
Emergency DeploymentN/AN/AN/A25N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Family LegacyN/AxN/AxN/AN/AxN/AN/A10
Family PlanN/AxxN/AN/A25N/AN/AN/AN/A
Farm VehiclexN/AxxN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Federal EmployeeN/AN/Ax810N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Forward Collision WarningN/AN/AN/AN/A5xxN/AN/AN/A
Full PaymentN/Axxx$5N/AxN/A7.5N/A
Further EducationN/AN/AN/Ax1015N/AN/AxN/A
Garaging/StoringN/AN/AxN/AN/AN/AN/AN/Ax90
Good CreditxxN/AN/AN/AxxxN/AN/A
Good Studentxxx1522.510x2583
Green VehiclexN/A5N/A10N/AN/AN/A10N/A
HomeownerN/AN/Axxx5x35N/A
Lane Departure WarningN/AN/AN/AN/AxxxN/AN/AN/A
Life InsurancexN/AN/AN/AN/AxN/AN/AN/AN/A
Low Mileagexxxxxxx30xx
LoyaltyN/AxN/AxN/A5xN/AN/Ax
MarriedN/AN/AN/AN/AxxxxN/Ax
Membership/GroupN/AN/AN/Ax107N/AN/AxN/A
MilitaryxN/Ax154N/AN/AxN/Ax
Military GaragingN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A15
Multiple DriversN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Multiple Policies1029x102010121713x
Multiple Vehiclesxxx25102010208x
New AddressN/AN/AN/AN/A5N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
New Customer/New PlanN/AN/AN/AN/AxN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
New GraduateN/AN/AN/AN/A5N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Newer VehiclexN/AxxN/Axx401012
Newly LicensedN/AN/AN/AN/A5N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
NewlywedsN/AN/AN/AN/A5N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Occasional OperatorN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/Ax
OccupationxN/Axx1015N/AN/AxN/A
On-Time PaymentsxN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A15N/A
Online ShopperN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A7N/AN/AN/A
Paperless DocumentsxxxN/AN/A5$50N/AN/AN/A
Paperless/Auto BillingxxxN/Ax$30x$233
Passive Restraintxxx40x20x40xx
Recent RetireesN/AN/AN/AN/A4N/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Safe DriverN/AN/Ax15N/A3531152312
Seat Belt UseN/AN/AN/A15N/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Senior DriverxN/AxN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/Ax
Stable ResidenceN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AxxN/AN/AN/A
Students & AlumniN/AxN/Ax107N/AN/AN/AN/A
Switching ProviderN/AxxN/A10N/AxN/AN/AN/A
Utility VehiclexN/AxxN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Vehicle Recoveryxxx153525x5xx
VIN EtchingN/AN/AxN/A5xxN/Axx
VolunteerN/AxN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Young DriverN/AN/AN/AN/AxN/AxN/AN/A$75

Compare RatesStart Now →

While the best strategy is to have a designated driver or to call for a taxi or ride-share when having a night on the town, you can always use discounts like the ones listed above to keep your rates reasonable.

Compare Insurance Providers Rates to Save Up to 75%

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

DWI: What You need to Know

When it comes to DWI vs DUI, it’s important to know the difference, but both can have highly negative effects upon your insurance rates and even land you in jail.

If you’ve been invited to a house party or are simply out for after work drinks, calling a cab instead of driving while intoxicated could not only keep your driving record clean but could also potentially save a life.

No matter what DWI means in your state, driving a vehicle in a less than clear state of mind is incredibly dangerous.

Of course, if you have a DWI, buy auto insurance from a company that offers low rates and multiple discount opportunities so you can get the best deal possible.

If you’re struggling to find insurance after being charged with DWI, enter your ZIP code to get free quotes today.