DUI, DWI or DUII
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To the extent that a person’s ability to drive a motor vehicle is impaired after consuming alcoholic beverages, he or she will likely face a drunk driving offense. In fact, when a person operates any motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs, it is considered illegal in every state. Those caught drinking and driving are considered “Drunk Drivers,” however, the legal term for the offense of drunk driving is known by different acronyms in different states.
The Most Common Terms are DUI and DWI
In actuality, DWI refers to driving while under the influence of just alcohol, while DUI refers to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Furthermore, there are many other abbreviations for driving under the influence and they’re used in states across the country. For example, some of the offenses fall under the terms of DUI, DWI, OWI, OUI, OVI, DMAW, OMVI and DUII. The different offenses can leave an offender somewhat confused as to what they are being charged with, as well as how the abbreviations are defined. Just as most states mandate their own legal levels of blood alcohol concentration, so too do states use different terminology or acronyms for driving and drinking.
What States Use the DUI Abbreviation?
For the most part a DUI is the common term for driving while drunk and the explanation is easily defined. DUI stands for Driving Under the Influence. In most states in the US the term DUI is commonly used when defining drunk driving. The states that use the term DUI are Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Okalahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wyoming.
What States Use the DWI, OUI, OVI and DWAI Acronym?
DWI, which stands for Driving While Intoxicated, is the term used to define drunk driving in states including Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina and Texas. OUI stands for Operating Under the Influence and is a term used to describe the crime of drunk driving. There are only two states that use the term of OUI to define drunk driving and they are Maine and Rhode Island. OWI stands for Operating While Intoxicated, and while the laws closely resemble other states, only Indiana, Iowa and Wisconsin use the OWI abbreviation. The only state that uses OVI, which stands for Operating a Vehicle While Impaired, is Ohio. The abbreviation of DWAI stands for Driving While Ability Impaired is used for a lesser form of a drunk driving. The states of Colorado and New York use the DWAI term. The penalties are less in a DWAI offense and usually means driving license restrictions. Only one state uses the term DUII, which stands for Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants and that is the state of Oregon. Occasionally, two other acronyms appear in drunk driving cases and they are called DUBAL or UBAL. These signify that a person was driving with an unlawful blood alcohol level. This applies only to cases where the person that has been arrested was given a blood, breath or urine sample.
The Consequences of Drunk Driving
Regardless of the terminology or the acronym used, the consequences of a drunk driving can be very severe. From fines to community service, all the way to jail time or loss of a driver’s license, driving under the influence is very risky business. Even if you don’t hurt someone else, you can mess up your own life by having a criminal conviction, higher rates for car insurance, exorbitant fines, the need for an ignition interlock device, having to attend alcohol education programs and the stigma of having a DUI. Whatever you call it, it simply isn’t worth the risk.