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DUI vs OWI: What’s the Difference?

The terms driving under the influence (DUI) and operating while intoxicated (OWI) are often used interchangeably by those unfamiliar with drunk driving laws. In actuality, there are clear differences between DUI and OWI, which can have serious consequences in the event of a vehicular accident or crime committed under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Learn more about OWI laws and how to protect yourself from drunk driving charges here.

How Are DUIs Different From OWIs?

When it comes to OWI vs DUI, there are three main differences. One is that DUI involves driving under the influence of alcohol while OWI is driving under the influence of other intoxicating substances. The second difference between DUIs and OWIs is that DUIs are also controlled by state laws while OWIs are controlled by federal laws.

Thirdly, if you are caught with a 0.8 percent blood alcohol level or higher, it can be considered an OWI, but not always a DUI, even though both are quite similar. If you plan on driving, please take into consideration these two terms to determine the consequences.

Why Do People Get Arrested for DUIs?

DUI stands for driving under influence and involves a driver who is under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both. It can also refer to drivers who are impaired because they have been fatigued, drowsy, distracted by cell phones or other technology, or even young drivers who have not yet fully developed their faculties. In contrast, OWI refers to operating while intoxicated and generally only refers to drunk driving, though OWI laws differ from state to state.

What to Do if You Were Arrested for a DUI or OWI

Getting arrested for a DUI or OWI can be scary, but there are plenty of actions you can take to put yourself in a better position. When dealing with DUIs and OWIs, it is important to get professional help. The options for how to proceed with your case will depend on various factors including whether it is your first offense or repeat offense if anyone was injured in an accident, and if there were any passengers in your vehicle. Ultimately, working with an experienced attorney is your best choice when facing an OWI or DUI.

DUIs and OWIs can be serious. Keep this information in mind and speak with an attorney, such as Mark Caldwell Attorney at Law, in your area as you decide how to best move forward.

Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure. You can connect with her on Facebook right here and Twitter right here.

Bob Kraft

I am a Dallas, Texas lawyer who has had the privilege of helping thousands of clients since 1971 in the areas of Personal Injury law and Social Security Disability.

About This Blog

The title of this blog reflects my attitude toward those government agencies and insurance companies that routinely mistreat injured or disabled people. As a Dallas, Texas lawyer, I've spent more than 45 years trying to help those poor folk, and I have been frustrated daily by the actions of the people on the other side of their claims. (Sorry if I offended you...)

If you find this type of information interesting or helpful, please visit my law firm's main website at You will find many more articles and links. Thank you for your time.

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