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OVI, OWI, DUI: The differences in terms

You weren't in your right mind when you decided to get behind the wheel of your car while intoxicated. You knew better, but you decided to risk it to get home. Of course, you were out of luck, and you were pulled over by a nearby officer.

Now, you face a DUI, and you aren't sure what to expect. You'd heard dozens of terms for charges like yours, but what exactly does yours mean? Is it as serious as others that could be lodged against you?

You've probably heard a number of different terms for drunk driving. Some include OVI, DUI, OWI and DWI. Is there a difference? In reality, there is, but the differences aren't significant in most cases.

For example, an OVI stands for operating a vehicle while intoxicated, while OMVI means operating a motor vehicle while impaired. A DUI is simply driving under the influence, while ADWI means aggravated driving while intoxicated. Similarly, OUI stands for operating under the influence of intoxicating liquor, while DWI is driving while intoxicated.

Each of these essentially means the same thing: The driver was impaired at the time of the arrest. However, certain laws do address different levels of charges with alternate abbreviations. Some states make a DWI a more serious charge, while others don't differentiate between a DUI and DWI, for instance.

No matter what abbreviation the charges against you have, you need to do everything you can to get the charges dropped. A conviction for any of these crimes can be life-altering, leading to fines, possible incarceration and other penalties.

Source: LifeSafer, "OVI, DUI, OWI, DWI: What's the Difference?," accessed June 01, 2018

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