A DUI or a DWI is one of the most serious and expensive driving offenses. The term “DUI” stands for Driving Under the Influence of alcohol or drugs, while “DWI” stands for Driving While Intoxicated. In most states, these terms are interchangeable. There are a few states, however, which use both terms and consider a DWI to be a more serious offense. Other terms that are synonymous with DUI and DWI are drunk driving, OUI (Operating Under the Influence), and OMVI (Operating a Motor Vehicle Intoxicated).
DUI laws make it illegal for a person to operate a car, truck, motorcycle, or commercial vehicle if: 1) The driver's ability to safely operate the vehicle is impaired by the effects of alcohol, illegal drugs, prescribed medications, or even over-the-counter medications such as antihistamines; or 2) The driver is intoxicated at a level above established DUI standards, such as blood-alcohol concentration (BAC). The standard legal BAC level is .08. However, a person can still be found guilty of drunk driving if he or she fails the standard roadside tests, even if his or her BAC is below .08.
The consequences of being found guilty of a DUI or DWI offense can include fines, increased insurance cost, loss of driving privileges, drug or alcohol treatment, and even jail time. With such stiff penalties, it is important that anyone facing a DUI or DWI charge seek the help of a legal professional.