OVI, DUI, OWI, DWI: What’s The Difference?

Drunk driving laws are determined by each individual state. The legal limit for drinking and driving in all 50 states is .08 blood alcohol content (BAC), with the exception of Utah, where it is .05.  Aside from that fact, the name of the offense and other specifics in each state differ.

Which charge did you receive?

  • OVI = Operating a Vehicle while Intoxicated
  • OMVI = Operating a Motor Vehicle while Impaired
  • DUI = Driving Under the Influence
  • DUII = Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants
  • DUII-CS = Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants: Controlled Substances
  • OWI = Operating While Intoxicated
  • DWI = Driving While Intoxicated
  • OUI = Operating Under the Influence of intoxicating liquor
  • DWAI = Driving While Ability Impaired
  • ADWI = Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated

All of these acronyms mean the same thing — that the person driving was suspected of doing so while impaired by alcohol and/or drugs.

Here is a quick chart by state of the relevant abbreviations:

 

StateImpaired Driving Charge Abbreviation
AlaskaDUI
AlabamaDUI
ArkansasDWI
ArizonaDUI
CaliforniaDUI
ColoradoDUI
ConnecticutDUI
DelewareDUI
FloridaDUI
GeorgiaDUI
HawaiiDUI
IowaOWI
IdahoDUI
IllinoisDUI
IndianaOWI
KasasDUI
KentuckyDUI
LouisianaDWI
MassachusettsOUI/DUI
MarylandDUI
MaineOUI
MichiganOWI
MinnesotaDWI
MissouriDWI
MississippiDUI
MontanaDUI
North CarolinaDWI
North DakotaDUI
NebraskaDUI
New HampshireDWI
New JerseyDWI
New MexicoDWI
NevadaDUI
New YorkDWI
OhioOVI
OklahomaDUI
OregonDUII
PennsylvaniaDUI
Rhode IslandDWI
South CarolinaDUI
South DakotaDWI
TennesseeDUI
TexasDWI
UtahDUI
VirginiaDUI
VermontDUI
WashingtonDUI

 

Check our state requirements page for more information on how to gain your license back with an ignition interlock device (IID), no matter what the charge is.