DUI vs DWI – DUI vs OWI – DWI vs DUI –
OUI vs OWI – OVI vs DUI. OWI Lawyer

By: Atlanta DUI lawyer William C. Head, Copyright 2015.

Drunk driving or drugged driving arrests are primarily STATE offenses, versus being charged in federal court. The only drunken driving or DUI drugs cases being filed in federal courts occur on federal property, such as on a military base or in a national park or forest.

So, each individual state, over the last 100 years or so, has developed its criminal laws proscribing DUI DWI OWI — impaired driving, and in doing so, the corresponding abbreviations or acronyms for the criminal offense of “drunk driving” or “driving under the influence” of drugs have been formed from the wording of each state’s statutes. Having so many different shortcut abbreviations is confusing for many people, especially if a person grew up in one state (like New York) where DWI was the accepted state acronym for intoxicated driving, and then he or she moves to Florida, where the acronym used in the most common term of DUI.

This summary elaborates on the different abbreviations, and matches them up to the appropriate states, for your convenience. This explanation may help you locate a DUI attorney by letting you know how to phrase a search query, such as “Atlanta DUI lawyer” or “Georgia DUI lawyer” if searching in GA, or “Michigan OWI Lawyer” or “Birmingham OWI attorney”, if searching in MI. Plus, this article is progressive, in that what you learn at the first part will connect up with subsequent explanations in the sections that follow.

Drunk Driving Laws – Statutory Wording of What is a DUI or What is a DWI

Understanding the various acronyms for DUI vs DWI in your state might be better understood if you can read and compare HOW each state words its DWI vs DUI statute. As stated earlier, some states have both a DUI statutory provision and a separate DWI statutory provision with different standards and elements of proof of drunken driving or drugged driving required for the Prosecutor to prevail. Below, fourteen state DUI laws are posted, to give you an idea of how different the laws can be from state to state. Several of these statutes (like NY and TX) are DWI law states. Others, like Alabama and Georgia, are DUI law states.

Comparison of Fourteen States’ Standards of Proof for DUI-DWI

SOUTH CAROLINA
It is unlawful for a person to drive a motor vehicle within this State while:
(1) under the influence of alcohol to the extent that the person’s faculties to drive are materially and appreciably impaired; (2) under the influence of any other drug or a combination of other drugs or substances which cause impairment to the extent that the person’s faculties to drive are materially and appreciably impaired; or (3) under the combined influence of alcohol and any other drug or drugs or substances which cause impairment to the extent that the person’s faculties to drive are materially and appreciably impaired. {From: State v. Knuckles, 583 S.E.2d 51 (S.C., 2003)}.

GEORGIA
(a) A person shall not drive or be in actual physical control of any moving vehicle while: (1) Under the influence of alcohol to the extent that it is less safe for the person to drive;(2) Under the influence of any drug to the extent that it is less safe for the person to drive; (3) Under the intentional influence of any glue, aerosol, or other toxic vapor to the extent that it is less safe for the person to drive; (4) Under the combined influence of any two or more of the substances specified in paragraphs (1) through (3) of this subsection to the extent that it is less safe for the person to drive;

(b) The fact that any person charged with violating this Code section is or has been legally entitled to use a drug shall not constitute a defense against any charge of violating this Code section; provided, however, that such person shall not be in violation of this Code section unless such person is rendered incapable of driving safely as a result of using a drug other than alcohol which such person is legally entitled to use.

CALIFORNIA
It is unlawful for any person who is under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or drug, or under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug, to drive a vehicle.
A person is [under the influence of an alcoholic beverage] [under the influence of a drug] [under the combined influence of an alcoholic beverage and a drug] when as a result of [drinking such alcoholic beverage] [and] [using a drug] [his] [her] physical or mental abilities are impaired to such a degree that [he] [she] no longer has the ability to drive a vehicle with the caution characteristic of a sober person of ordinary prudence under the same or similar circumstances.

[If it is established that a person is driving a vehicle [under the influence of an alcoholic beverage] [under the influence of a drug] [under the combined influence of an alcoholic beverage and a drug], it is no defense that there was some other cause which also tended to impair [his] [her] ability to drive with the required caution.]

DELAWARE
(a) No person shall drive a vehicle: (1) When the person is under the influence of alcohol; (2) When the person is under the influence of any drug; (3) When the person is under the influence of a combination of alcohol and any drug;

(b) In a prosecution for a violation of subsection (a) of this section:
(1) The fact that any person charged with violating this section is, or has been, legally entitled to use alcohol or a drug shall not constitute a defense.

(5) “While under the influence” shall mean that the person is, because of alcohol or drugs or a combination of both, less able than the person would ordinarily have been, either mentally or physically, to exercise clear judgment, sufficient physical control, or due care in the driving of a vehicle.

(7) “Drug” shall include any substance or preparation defined as such by Title 11 or Title 16 or which has been placed in the schedules of controlled substances pursuant to Chapter 47 of Title 16. “Drug” shall also include any substance or preparation having the property of releasing vapors or fumes which may be used for the purpose of producing a condition of intoxication, inebriation, exhilaration, stupefaction or lethargy or for the purpose of dulling the brain or nervous system.

MARYLAND
(a)(1) A person may not drive or attempt to drive any vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. (2) A person may not drive or attempt to drive any vehicle while the person is under the influence of alcohol per se.

(b) A person may not drive or attempt to drive any vehicle while impaired by alcohol.

(c)(1) A person may not drive or attempt to drive any vehicle while he is so far impaired by any drug, any combination of drugs, or a combination of one or more drugs and alcohol that he cannot drive a vehicle safely. (2) It is not a defense to any charge of violating this subsection that the person charged is or was entitled under the laws of this State to use the drug, combination of drugs, or combination of one or more drugs and alcohol, unless the person was unaware that the drug or combination would make the person incapable of safely driving a vehicle.

TEXAS
Definitions. (2) “Intoxicated” means: (A) not having the normal use of mental or physical faculties by reason of the introduction of alcohol, a controlled substance, a drug, a dangerous drug, a combination of two or more of those substances, or any other substance into the body;

FLORIDA
Definition – “Intoxication” means more than merely being under the influence of an alcoholic beverage. Intoxication means that the defendant must have been so affected from the drinking of an alcoholic beverage as to have lost or been deprived of the normal control of either his body or his mental faculties, or both. Intoxication is synonymous with “drunk.”

NEW YORK
1. Driving while ability impaired. No person shall operate a motor vehicle while the person’s ability to operate such motor vehicle is impaired by the consumption of alcohol.

3. Driving while intoxicated. No person shall operate a motor vehicle while in an intoxicated condition.

The accepted definition of the offense in New York is derived from case law, not statutory definition. In People v. Miller, 373 N.Y.S.2d 312 (N.Y.Town Ct. 1975), this is how “intoxicated” (as well as New York’s lesser offense of “driving while ability impaired”) are judicially defined: Thus, it determined that operating while ‘impaired’ was a lesser form of operating while ‘intoxicated’.
‘Intoxicated’, for the purpose of the Vehicle and Traffic Law, has no exact statutory definition. In 1919 the Appellate Division in People v. Weaver, 188 App.Div. 395, 401, 177 N.Y.S. 71, 74 defined it as implying ‘undue or abnormal excitation of the passions or feelings or the impairment of the capacity to think and act correctly and efficiently, and suggests the loss of normal control over one’s faculties.’ The court also approved the definition (page 401, 177 N.Y.S. p. 74) that ‘intoxicated’ means the imbibing in enough liquor ‘to render him incapable of giving that attention and care to the operation of his automobile that a man of prudence and reasonable intelligence would give’. These definitions related to Section 290 of the Highway Law, which at that time only prohibited driving while intoxicated.

Since the decision in that case, the Legislature in 1960 saw fit to subdivide this law into the two divisions above described. The Court of Appeals has told us the use of the word ‘impaired’ intended a lesser degree of criminal culpability than the word ‘intoxicated’.

It is interesting to note that the word ‘intoxicated’ is now defined by Webster’s Third New International Dictionary as ‘being under the marked influence of an intoxicant’. ‘Intoxicate’ is defined as ‘to execute or stupefy by alcoholic drinks or narcotics, especially to the point where physical and mental control is markedly diminished’. The Legislature, in amending and enacting this law as recently as 1972, is presumed to use words of current, contemporary meaning (McKinney’s Statutes, Section 114). Therefore, this court finds that it was the intention of the Legislature that a person be convicted of driving while intoxicated when it is established that he has consumed enough alcohol so that his physical and mental control are markedly diminished; or putting it another way, that his judgment and ability to operate a motor vehicle are adversely affected to a substantial degree.

The word ‘impaired’ as defined by said dictionary is ‘to make worse or lessen’. It would therefore appear that the Legislature intended that the driving of an automobile after the consumption of sufficient alcohol to lessen or impair physical and mental control to any significant degree, constituted a violation of this section. The difference is purely one of degree. If in fact, consumption of alcohol had no significant effect, there would be no criminal violation. If on the other hand, it had an effect to a degree that diminished physical and mental control to a standard less than that would be exercised by a reasonably prudent driver, the driver’s ability would be impaired in violation of subsection 1. If loss of control was sufficient to cause a markable or high degree of loss of control, it would be a violation of section 3.

WASHINGTON
A driver is under the influence of [alcohol] [or] [any drug] if, as a result of using [alcohol] [or] [any drug], the person’s ability to drive a motor vehicle is lessened in any appreciable degree.
This instruction and WPI 16.05, Under the Influence of Alcohol–Analysis of Bodily Substance–Intoxication Defense Statute, represent alternative theories for proving a person was under the influence of alcohol or drugs. For a case in which evidence is presented under each theory, then both instructions should be given to the jury with appropriate modification to indicate that the two theories are alternatives.

COMMENT
RCW 5.40.060(1). The statute provides in part that the standard for determining whether the person injured or killed was under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug is the same standard set forth in the statute on Driving While Under the Influence. Pursuant to RCW 46.61.502, a person is guilty of driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug if the person drives a motor vehicle within this state while the person is either under the influence of or affected by intoxicating liquor or any drug or under the combined influence of or affected by any intoxicating liquor and any drug. Case law interpreting the phase “under the influence” has defined it as meaning “any influence which lessens in any appreciable degree the ability of the accused to handle his automobile.” State v. Lewellyn, 78 Wn.App. 788, 895 P.2d 418 (1995) (quoting State v. Hurd, 5 Wash. 308, 105 P.2d 59 (1940), and State v. Hansen, 15 Wn.App. 95, 546 P.2d 1242 (1976)). This definition has been adapted for this instruction which is intended to be used in the case of a person injured or killed while driving a motor vehicle.
Experience with WPI 92.10, Under the Influence Of or Affected by Intoxicating Liquor or Drugs–Definition (the criminal counterpart to this instruction) has shown that the jury may have trouble understanding the word “appreciable.” Therefore, it may be desirable when giving this instruction to further instruct the jury that the word “appreciable” is defined as meaning capable of being perceived or noticed. See W. Statsky, Legal Thesaurus/Dictionary (1985).

If intoxication is alleged in an action arising out of a motor vehicle accident, the fact that a driver has consumed intoxicating liquor does not automatically justify instructing the jury on the issue of the driver being under the influence. For cases which review evidence of drinking which is not sufficient to take the issue of intoxication to the jury, see: Madill v. Los Angeles Seattle Motor Express, Inc., 64 Wn.2d 548, 392 P.2d 821 (1964) (complete absence of any evidence that driver was under the influence of or affected by intoxicating liquor at the time of the accident); White v. Peters, 52 Wn.2d 824, 329 P.2d 471 (1958) (no evidence of conduct or appearance that driver was under the influence of two drinks consumed earlier in the day prior to or at the time of accident). See the Comment to WPI 12.01, Voluntary Intoxication, for other cases discussing the sufficiency of evidence to take the issue of driver’s intoxication to the jury.

TENNESSEE
(a) It is unlawful for any person to drive or to be in physical control of any automobile or other motor driven vehicle on any of the public roads and highways of the state, or on any streets or alleys, or while on the premises of any shopping center, trailer park or any apartment house complex, or any other premises which is generally frequented by the public at large, while: (1) Under the influence of any intoxicant, marijuana, narcotic drug, or drug producing stimulating effects on the central nervous system; or (2) The alcohol concentration in such person’s blood or breath is eight- hundredths of one percent (.08%) or more.

(b) For the purpose of this section, “drug producing stimulating effects on the central nervous system” includes the salts of barbituric acid, also known as malonyl urea, or any compound, derivatives, or mixtures thereof that may be used for producing hypnotic or somnifacient effects, and includes amphetamine, desoxyephedrine or compounds or mixtures thereof, including all derivatives of phenolethylamine or any of the salts thereof, except preparations intended for use in the nose and unfit for internal use.

MISSISSIPPI
(1) It is unlawful for any person to drive or otherwise operate a vehicle within this state who (a) is under the influence of intoxicating liquor; (b) is under the influence of any other substance which has impaired such person’s ability to operate a motor vehicle; (c) has an alcohol concentration of eight one-hundredths percent (.08%) or more for persons who are above the legal age to purchase alcoholic beverages under state law, or two one-hundredths percent (.02%) or more for persons who are below the legal age to purchase alcoholic beverages under state law, in the person’s blood based upon grams of alcohol per one hundred (100) milliliters of blood or grams of alcohol per two hundred ten (210) liters of breath as shown by a chemical analysis of such person’s breath, blood or urine administered as authorized by this chapter; (d) is under the influence of any drug or controlled substance, the possession of which is unlawful under the Mississippi Controlled Substances Law; or (e) has an alcohol concentration of four one-hundredths percent (.04%) or more in the person’s blood, based upon grams of alcohol per one hundred (100) milliliters of blood or grams of alcohol per two hundred ten (210) liters of breath as shown by a chemical analysis of such person’s blood, breath or urine, administered as authorized by this chapter for persons operating a commercial motor vehicle.

VIRGINIA.
It shall be unlawful for any person to drive or operate any motor vehicle, engine or train (i) while such person has a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or more by weight by volume or 0.08 grams or more per 210 liters of breath as indicated by a chemical test administered as provided in this article, (ii) while such person is under the influence of alcohol, (iii) while such person is under the influence of any narcotic drug or any other self-administered intoxicant or drug of whatsoever nature, or any combination of such drugs, to a degree which impairs his ability to drive or operate any motor vehicle, engine or train safely, (iv) while such person is under the combined influence of alcohol and any drug or drugs to a degree which impairs his ability to drive or operate any motor vehicle, engine or train safely, or (v) while such person has a blood concentration of any of the following substances at a level that is equal to or greater than: (a) 0.02 milligrams of cocaine per liter of blood, (b) 0.1 milligrams of methamphetamine per liter of blood, (c) 0.01 milligrams of phencyclidine per liter of blood, or (d) 0.1 milligrams of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine per liter of blood. A charge alleging a violation of this section shall support a conviction under clauses (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), or (v).

For the purposes of this article, the term “motor vehicle” includes mopeds, while operated on the public highways of this Commonwealth.

ILLINOIS.
(a) A person shall not drive or be in actual physical control of any vehicle within this State while: (1) the alcohol concentration in the person’s blood or breath is 0.08 or more based on the definition of blood and breath units in Section 11-501.2; (2) under the influence of alcohol; (3) under the influence of any intoxicating compound or combination of intoxicating compounds to a degree that renders the person incapable of driving safely; (4) under the influence of any other drug or combination of drugs to a degree that renders the person incapable of safely driving; (5) under the combined influence of alcohol, other drug or drugs, or intoxicating compound or compounds to a degree that renders the person incapable of safely driving; or (6) there is any amount of a drug, substance, or compound in the person’s breath, blood, or urine resulting from the unlawful use or consumption of cannabis listed in the Cannabis Control Act, a controlled substance listed in the Illinois Controlled Substances Act, or an intoxicating compound listed in the Use of Intoxicating Compounds Act.

ALABAMA.
(a) A person shall not drive or be in actual physical control of any vehicle while: (1) There is 0.08 percent or more by weight of alcohol in his or her blood; (2) Under the influence of alcohol; (3) Under the influence of a controlled substance to a degree which renders him or her incapable of safely driving; (4) Under the combined influence of alcohol and a controlled substance to a degree which renders him or her incapable of safely driving; or (5) Under the influence of any substance which impairs the mental or physical faculties of such person to a degree which renders him or her incapable of safely driving.

(b) A person who is under the age of 21 years shall not drive or be in actual physical control of any vehicle if there is .02 percentage or more by weight of alcohol in his or her blood. The Department of Public Safety shall suspend or revoke the driver’s license of any person, including, but not limited to, a juvenile, child, or youthful offender, convicted or adjudicated of, or subjected to a finding of delinquency based on this subsection. Notwithstanding the foregoing, upon the first violation of this subsection by a person whose blood alcohol level is between .02 and .08, the person’s driver’s license or driving privilege shall be suspended for a period of 30 days in lieu of any penalties provided in subsection (e) of this section and there shall be no disclosure, other than to courts, law enforcement agencies, and the person’s employer, by any entity or person of any information, documents, or records relating to the person’s arrest, conviction, or adjudication of or finding of delinquency based on this subsection.

All persons, except as otherwise provided in this subsection for a first offense, including, but not limited to, a juvenile, child, or youthful offender, convicted or adjudicated of, or subjected to a finding of delinquency based on this subsection shall be fined pursuant to this section, notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, and the person shall also be required to attend and complete a DUI or substance abuse court referral program in accordance with subsection (i).

(c)(1) A school bus or day care driver shall not drive or be in actual physical control of any vehicle while in performance of his or her duties if there is greater than .02 percentage by weight of alcohol in his or her blood. A person convicted pursuant to this subsection shall be subject to the penalties provided by this section except that on the first conviction the Director of Public Safety shall suspend the driving privilege or driver’s license for a period of one year.

(2) A person shall not drive or be in actual physical control of a commercial motor vehicle as defined in 49 CFR Part 390.5 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations as adopted pursuant to Section 32-9A-2, if there is .04 percentage or greater by weight of alcohol in his or her blood. Notwithstanding the other provisions of this section, the commercial driver’s license or commercial driving privilege of a person convicted of violating this subdivision shall be suspended for the period provided in accordance with 49 CFR Part 383.51 or 49 CFR Part 391.15, as applicable, and the person’s regular driver’s license or privilege to drive a regular motor vehicle shall be governed by the remainder of this section if the person is guilty of a violation of another provision of this section.

(d) The fact that any person charged with violating this section is or has been legally entitled to use alcohol or a controlled substance shall not constitute a defense against any charge of violating this section.

Atlanta DUI lawyer William C. “Bubba” Head has written about this topic extensively about differences in both the burden of proof and the necessary legal proof required in various states under their drunk driving laws. Both New York and Colorado have a DWAI statute that allows for a reduced plea alternative, which generally carries less punishment and a more favorable treatment when it comes to loss of driving privileges. The foregoing materials were included in his national DUI-DWI book, “The DUI Book”, published in 2006. Learn how to get a PDF copy of this FREE book at The DUI Book.

For Mr. Head’s Georgia DUI penalties chart, go to this site: http://www.dui.tv/galaws.pdf.

Implied consent is a trap for the unwary. In almost every DUI-DWI arrest the officer gives an implied consent warning, and this advisement can determine whether you can continue to drive, prior to the criminal case ever being decided. PROMPT attention to appealing this administrative license suspension or administrative license revocation is imperative. Don’t WAIT! Call a top DWI – DUI lawyer in your court location, for assistance in complying with local laws on DUI vs DWI.

See this important posting about Georgia implied consent to see a “trap for a driver trying to handle the case without legal help”: https://plus.google.com/+WilliamCHead/posts/YybyW2bYYRR

https://plus.google.com/112563421352241951097/posts/i229XTYXeNK DUI vs DWI Summary

https://youtu.be/g-KZrRhqhLs Mr. Head discusses felony DUI versus misdemeanor DWI on YouTube

Interested in seeing what occurs to your life IF you get convicted of DUI or DWI? Go to this link: http://www.dui.tv/97consequencesofaduiconviction.pdf

DUI Law BookHave you been arrested for OWI or DUI? Contact a top-reviewed DUI attorney near you right now to preserve your legal rights. Your first consultation is FREE, and we will send you a FREE PDF copy of the 430-page “The DUI Book…A Citizen’s Handbook on Fighting a Drunk Driving Case.”

Call 844-832-6384 anytime day or night, including all major holidays. Our top drunk driving lawyers will explain DUI vs DWI, and which one applies in your State.

DUI

“DUI” is the most common acronym for “impaired driving” or for “driving under the influence” of alcohol or drugs. Common vernacular is “drunk driving,” yet drunk is associated with consuming too much alcohol, and today’s laws prohibiting driving drunk are much more comprehensive. In the total number of DUI cases across America each year (regardless of acronym used), the leading impairing substance is alcohol. Alcohol is a drug, even though most people do not think of “DRUGS” when alcohol is mentioned. They think of the small bottles of pills they get from a pharmacy after their doctor has issued a written prescription. All states in the USA have passed DUI laws that prohibit being under the influence of drugs (or DUI drugs), and the type of drug —prescribed, over the counter or illegal — does not matter.Plus, for all other acronyms mentioned below, most states have broadly proscribed ALL impairing substances being in a driver’s bloodstream while driving, including new “designer drugs” like bath salts, “spice” or “Molly” or and other concoction that will lower your mental sharpness or make your reflexes slower, due to the amount in your system at the time of driving. Another category of “substances” that is now part of virtually every state is noxious vapors or aerosols that can be inhaled or “huffed” to get high. Some states have gone even further to pass DUI laws to interdict DUI by passing “per se” DUI-drugs laws, where a driver with ANY quantity of marijuana or other contraband (totally illegal for all purposes, like PCP or crack) substances or the metabolites (burn-off byproducts of the parent drug) can be convicted of DUI-drugs.

DWI

DWI stands for either “driving while impaired” or “driving while intoxicated”. The two largest population states with DWI as their shortcut acronym for unsafe driving are Texas and New York. The full list of states and acronyms is set forth below, for your convenience. DWI is the second most common abbreviation in America for the crime of drunk driving (and/or drugged driving). Depending on the statutory wording and decisional law (reported appellate cases), this can be interpreted as an abbreviation for driving while intoxicated or driving while impaired. Like the description of DUI in the previous section, states using the abbreviation DWI proscribe impaired (or “intoxicated”) driving as caused by any other impairing aerosols, substances, drugs, plant material or newly discovered chemical compounds that (when ingested, injected or inhaled) render a driver less capable of safely operating a motor vehicle.

OUI

After the two most ubiquitous acronyms (DUI vs DWI), several other abbreviations have developed in other states, the acronym (used by three Northeastern states – ME, MA and RI) for drunken driving is “OUI.” This acronym means “operating under the influence.” Because vehicles are “operated” by a driver, the word “operating” may be broader and more precise than the word “driving” because almost American jurisdictions criminalize “operating or being in actual physical control” of a motor vehicle. This means (in most states) that a driver can have the motor OFF, and be asleep inside the vehicle, with the ignition key present, at a location adjacent to the paved surface, and possibly be asleep, yet still be charged with and convicted of OUI (or any other acronym for drunk driving, in most states).

OWI

A common acronym for drunk driving in middle America is OWI, for operating while intoxicated or operating while impaired. Similar to OUI, the operative word is “operating”. Four of the states using OWI are Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana and South Dakota. A local OWI lawyer will be an expert in your state’s proven OWI defense strategies.

OMVI or OVI

OVI (operating a vehicle while impaired) and OMVI (operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated) are acronyms used in the state of Ohio in their case law (appeals). These decisional laws appellate cases in Ohio occasionally use the most common acronym, DUI, too.

DUIL

DUIL (driving under the influence of liquor) is used in a few states in case law, when describing drunken driving from intoxicating liquors. This acronym is found in older case opinions, frankly.

DUII

In the northwest USA, Oregon uses the abbreviation of DUII (driving under the influence of an intoxicant). Like in other states, “intoxicant” is broadly defined to cover anything that renders the driver’s physical or mental faculties obtunded or depressed to the point that operating a vehicle cannot be conducted without putting others at risk

DWAI

In two states, Colorado and New York, the acronym “DWAI” (driving while ability impaired) is a LESSER INCLUDED OFFENSE to DWI in New York (or DUI, on Colorado). These “lesser offenses” offer the person a less impactful conviction than the standard drunken driving offense. Usually reserved for first time offenders with lower breath test or blood test readings, a DWAI may allow more liberal rules for keeping your driver’s license and not having to plead to the standard DUI / DWI offense, in those two states.

DWUI

Wyoming, the least populous state in America, has opted to use the abbreviation DWUI (driving while under the influence).

DUBAL

In DUI-alcohol cases other acronyms have been used as shortcuts to describing “driving with and unlawful blood alcohol level”. These abbreviations are applicable only to cases in which the detained person has given a blood, breath or urine sample that is “over the legal limit.” So, you may see either DUBAL or UBAL on a driving drunk traffic citation or DUI accusation. A prosecuting attorney, a judge or your DUI lawyer) may refer to this “per se” DUI or “per se” DWI. These drunk driving terms mean that a criminal offense of driving while having the statutorily-prohibited quantity of alcohol in your system (0.08 or more for drivers age 21 and over who are not behind the wheel of a commercial motor vehicle) regardless of whether the law enforcement personal have documented any symptoms or indications of impairment, like slurred speech, lack of ability to balance, etc..

UBAL

Same as DUBAL.

Open Container

Having an open container of alcohol inside your passenger compartment (as defined by each state’s laws), can be a separate crime (in most states). In other states, your sentence after conviction of DUI DWO OUI OWI may be enhanced (increased) by virtue of having an open container within reach, while driving. In some states, like Georgia, an open container can include any bone-dry, empty cans or bottles that are rolling around in the back or front of your passenger area.

 

Each State’s laws determine which acronym or acronyms are used in that particular states. Some states have “migrated” from one acronym to another, such as the state of Washington, which changed from DWI to DUI about a decade ago. All 50 states and the District of Columbia are set forth below.

AL DUI
AK DUI
AZ DUI
AR DWI
CA DUI
CO DUI
CO DWAI
CT DWI
DE DWI
DC DWI
FL DUI
GA DUI
HI DUI
ID DUI
IL DUI
IN DUI and OWI
IA DWI
KA DUI
KY DUI
LA DWI
ME OUI
MD DUI
MA OUI
MI OWI
MN DWI
MS DUI
MO DWI
MT DUI
NE DUI
NV DUI
NH DWI
NJ DWI
NM DWI
NY DWI
NY DWAI
NC DWI
ND DWI
OH OMVI or OVI
OK DWI
OR DUII
PA DUI
RI OUI
SC DUI
SD OWI
TN DUI
TX DWI
UT DUI
VT DWI
VA DUI
WA DUI
WV DWI
WI OWI
WY DWUI

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