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 driving under the influence, some states have worded their laws as DWI (driving while intoxicated, driving while impaired). In other states the offense is defined as "operating," so OUI (operating under the influence) or OWI (operating while intoxicated, operating while impaired) are used. The term UBAL is short for unlawful blood alcohol level, and is used in many states.
The following are the most common acronyms used for drunk driving in the U.S:
- DUI (driving under the influence: approximately thirty states use this acronym alone or in combination with other acronyms)
- DUII (driving under the influence of intoxicants: OR)
- DUIL (driving under the influence of liquor: MI)
- DWAI (driving while ability impaird: NY, CO)
- DWI (driving while intoxicated: TX, NC, LA, NY, MO, NM, KY, AK, AR, MN, NJ)
- DWUI (driving while under the influence: WY)
- OMVI (operating a motor vehicle intoxicated: OH)
- OUI/OVUI (operating under the influence/operating a vehicle under the influence: MA, ME, RI)
- OUIL (operating under the influence of liquor: NJ, MI)
- OWI/OVWI (operating while intoxicated/operating a vehicle while intoxicated: MI, WI, IA)
- UBAL (unlawful blood alcohol level: 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.