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What’s the Difference Between a DWI and a DUI?

A person arrested on charges of a DUI or DWI will face severe legal reciprocations. While the two terms look similar, their meanings are slightly different:

DWI: Driving while intoxicated.

DUI: Driving under the influence.

Some states also use two terms to differentiate between alcohol-impaired or drug-impaired driving. In these areas, a DUI refers specifically to a person under the influence of drugs.

North Carolina residents no longer have to worry about recognizing the difference between the two; the North Carolina Safe Roads Act of 1983 removed the previous drug- and alcohol-specific driving laws and grouped them all into the single offense of driving while impaired, or DWI.

Under North Carolina legislation, any blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over 0.08 percent is considered unfit to drive. For drivers under age 21, any alcohol concentration is deemed illegal.

Driving while impaired isn’t the only alcohol-related offense; transporting alcohol can cause a violation, too. According to the North Carolina General Assembly, state law also prohibits:

Having an open container in the vehicle if the driver is or has been consuming alcohol.
Having an open or closed container in the passenger area of a commercial motor vehicle.
Helping someone younger than 21 years old obtain alcohol. This includes buying or giving them alcohol or lending an ID so they can buy alcohol.

The penalties for a DWI or other alcohol-related offenses can include fines, community service, higher car insurance rates, license suspension/revocation, or even jail time.

How to Avoid a DUI/DWI
By making smart choices, it’s easy to avoid receiving a DWI. By being a smart driver, you’ll help ensure that you, your passengers, and other drivers on the road safely arrive at your destinations.

If you know you’ll be drinking at an upcoming event or destination, be sure to plan a safe ride home in advance. This could be via a “designated driver” (a friend who is responsible for remaining sober to drive the group home), a taxi, or another transit choice. If you have the option, you can also choose to stay in the same location overnight and avoid driving at all!

If you do plan to drink and drive, make sure you know your body’s limits and stick to them. To better understand how your body processes alcohol, you can use a BAC level chart or BAC calculator. While these resources are helpful tools to understand the effects of alcohol on your body, they are only estimates and should not be considered accurate. Only you can know how your body reacts to alcohol consumption, and how many drinks you can consume safely. However, in any situation, it is best to allow a non-drinking driver to take the wheel.

If you have further questions regarding a DUI or DWI, the Kelly & West team is happy to assist you.

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Personal injury is a fancy way of saying you got hurt — and it’s something someone else caused or could have prevented. Accidents happen every single day, but if you get hurt in one, you may feel concerned or worried about paying for your medical bills or time you missed from work. That’s why people may choose to file a personal injury claim, a way of seeking monetary benefits for an injury caused by another person or company. 

personal injury termsIn 2017 alone, Nationwide insurance company paid $18.7 billion in claims to its members. Here are the top personal injury claims that affect most people:

Car Accidents

Yearly, there is estimated to be more than 6 million vehicle-related accidents in the United States. While this number is only increasing, drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists are in danger. Distractions such as smartphones, navigation systems or car-related functions might be the reason. Regardless, if you have been injured in an accident that was not your fault, you may be eligible for compensation. Make it a priority always to always visit a doctor after an accident, even if you feel fine. There are many cases where victims did not suffer physical injuries but sustained many internal injuries.

Slip and Fall

Slip and fall claims are a common personal injury claim. A slip and fall can occur anywhere, at work, home, in a restaurant. Elderly people are more likely to sustain a severe injury after a fall. Damage to the hip, head, back, and neck are very common. It may be difficult to prove a slip and fall claim. Contacting a lawyer after a slip and fall incident is crucial.

Product Liability

There is an average of 20,000 product liability claims that are filed in the United States each year alone. Many cases of product liability claims are defective toys, dangerous pet products, unsafe medical devices. Product liability typically has one of the highest average compensation values.

Workplace-Related Injuries

Have you fallen on the job? Work-related injuries are very common and can happen to anyone. Work-related injuries are often unreported due to fear of termination, but that means someone else may get hurt later in the same way. If you have been injured at work, report it immediately and contact a lawyer.

Medical Negligence

Medical negligence is another very commontype of personal injury claim. Medical negligence occurs when a healthcare provider doesn’t meet an adequate level of standard care required for a patient. This malpractice causes injury or harm as a result. There are many ways to prove medical negligence has occurred. Some examples are, failing to tell a patient of known risks, failure to diagnose, doctors negligence caused the injury and improper treatment was administered. Medical negligence is among one of the hardest and complex claims to prove and win; it requires many witnesses that must be willing to testify. However, that shouldn’t scare you off if you feel something wasn’t right with your medical care.

If you have questions about a personal injury, contact us for a free consultation.