Acronyms for drunk/impaired driving in the U.S.

Although DUI is the most widely used acronym for the crime of drunk driving in the U.S., there are more than a dozen abbreviated names for the offense.

While DUI typically stands for d riving u nder the i nfluence, some states have worded their laws as DWI(d riving w hile i ntoxicated, d riving w hile i mpaired). In other states the offense is defined as "operating," so OUI(o perating u nder the i nfluence) or OWI (o perating w hile i ntoxicated, o perating w hile i mpaired) are used. The term UBAL is short for u nlawful b lood a lcohol l evel, and is used in many states.

The following are the most common acronyms used for drunk driving in the U.S:

  • DUI (d riving u nder the i nfluence: approximately thirty states use this acronym alone or in combination with other acronyms)
  • DUII(d riving u nder the i nfluence of i ntoxicants: OR)
  • DUIL (d riving u nder the i nfluence of l iquor: MI)
  • DWAI (d riving w hile a bility i mpaird: NY, CO)
  • DWI (d riving w hile i ntoxicated: TX, NC, LA, NY, MO, NM, KY, AK, AR, MN, NJ)
  • DWUI (d riving w hile u nder the i nfluence: WY)
  • OMVI (o perating a m otor v ehicle i ntoxicated: OH)
  • OUI/OVUI (o perating u nder the i nfluence/o perating a v ehicle u nder the i nfluence: MA, ME, RI)
  • OUIL (o perating u nder the i nfluence of l iquor: NJ, MI)
  • OWI/OVWI (o perating w hile i ntoxicated/o perating a v ehicle w hile i ntoxicated: MI, WI, IA)
  • UBAL(u nlawful b lood a lcohol l evel: many states)

Many times, the same acronym will be used when referring to both DUI-alcohol and DUI-drugs. Regardless of the acronym or the substance causing impairment, a conviction for drunken or drugged driving means extreme legal trouble, and in many states a conviction can stay on your record for a lifetime.