Understanding DWI, DUI, and OWI

Driving while intoxicated is also known as DWI. The letters DUI stand for the offense of driving under the influence. Both of these terms all related to operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or narcotics.

Depending on the state in which you reside, one of the two acronyms will be used if arrested for operating a vehicle while drunk. In the state of Maryland for example, if you are pulled over for operating an automobile while intoxicated, you will be charged with a DUI.  In the state of New Jersey, you will be arrested for DWI if you are driving your vehicle with alcohol in your system. If you are arrested for a DWI in NJ Stephen Lukach will assist you and provide a free consultation.

There are some states however that have a different meaning for the acronyms.  Some states will charge a driver with DWI if there is alcohol in their system and then would charge a driver with DWI if there is a foreign substance in the body such as marijuana.  It does not matter which acronym is being used if you are arrested for either of these offenses, it simply means you are operating a motor vehicle while being impaired by drugs or alcohol.

OWI in Wisconsin


To make matters even more complex, you can also throw in another acronym which is used to describe the same criminal activity. In Wisconsin, you’ll be accused of the crime of OWI for drunk driving. OWI stands for operating while intoxicated and refers to both drugs and alcohol. The operating aspect of this acronym can be a bit confusing, as someone can still be charged with an OWI even if they’re not operating the vehicle. If you are charged with an OWI in Wisconsin contact Nathan Dineen for your free case evaluation.

To have one more acronym thrown into the mix, let us introduce you to OUI. The term operating under the influence is also known as OUI. You can be charged for this offense in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, or Maine.

What do all these terms mean?

Now that we have all of the letters out of the way it is imperative that you understand that you can be charged with driving under the influence, regardless if the substance is alcohol or drugs. To test if you’re under the influence of alcohol, a breathalyzer test will be used to determine your blood alcohol concentration, which is also known as the BAC.  If you are pulled over for suspicion of being on narcotics, you can expect to have to submit a blood test.