DIFFERENCE BETWEEN OWI AND DUI

There is a lot of confusions between the terms DUI and OWI. Both of these acronyms are used in association with driving and motorized vehicles. They are also associated with alcohol or associated illegal substances. However, they are not the same. OWI stands for ‘operating while intoxicated’ while DUI stands for ‘Driving under influence’.   Below states the difference between OWI and DUI.

In some states, the law has a ruling to charge less for offenses of DUI while a greater charge is ruled against individuals that are found guilty of OWI. This is because the law recognizes DUI as a form of lesser intoxication which is less dangerous. The level of alcohol that a person has consumed is what defines their level of intoxication. In some other states, the scenario is the exact opposite. There is a lower penalty leveled against OWI charges while a higher punishment is leveled against DUI charges.

Legals Issues OWI vs DUI


Let’s understand the legal issues associated with each type of offense. Driving Under Influence (DUI) is a charge that is only fined when the defendant is proven to have their ability to drive impaired through the use of alcohol. The government may implement several different methods for finding this that include urine tests, blood tests, observation, and field sobriety test scores.

On the other hand, to prove that a defendant was found guilty under Operating While Intoxicated (OWI), the government has to prove only that the defendant was operating a vehicle while he was drunk or under the influence. This does not mean that the driving abilities of the defendant were impaired in any way.

The legal issues show exactly how the two acronyms associated with driving are different. Though the Driving Under Influence (DUI) is a charge that is common to many countries and all states within the United States, the Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) charge is less popular. Most governments do not recognize the charge as a legal issue and thus do not implement any charges or penalties against the individual.

Another important thing to mention here is that because OWI is not recognized in all states, it is very rare that a driver’s license is confiscated when he is found guilty of the offense of Operating While Intoxicated.

Ray Tucker

I love shooting hoops and throwing back a few cold ones with my buddies after the game.