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What’s the Difference Between DUI, DWI, OUI and OWI?

Amy Danise

The terms DUI, DWI, OUI and OWI are often used interchangeably, but their legal use varies by state and can mean different things. For example, some states use both DUI and DWI as legal terms, with DWI being a lesser offense.

What the acronyms mean

DUI: Driving under the influence

DWI: Driving while intoxicated

OUI: Operating while under the influence

OWI: Operating while intoxicated or operating while impaired

BAC: Blood alcohol content

DUIs and insurance

In addition to the possible fines and jail time after a DUI conviction, you can expect some insurance pain. EverQuote found a 30% increase in car insurance after a DUI, based on premiums reported by our users with clean records vs. those with a DUI.

Depending on the state and number of DUIs, you may be required to get an SR-22, which proves you have auto insurance.

What does your state use?

States take a wide range of approaches in the terms they use, sometimes employing multiple terms.

State What do they use? Read the law
Alabama DUI Alabama law
  • DUI if charged by the state
  • OUI if charged by Anchorage.
Alaska law
  • DUI: Your driving and/or behavior were suspicious, or you admitted drinking. No breath test is needed.
  • DWI: You had any measurable amount of alcohol in your system within 2 hours of driving.
  • Extreme DUI: BAC of 0.15% or more.
  • Super Extreme DUI: BAC of 0.20% or greater.
Arizona law
  • DWI
  • BWI for boating while intoxicated
Arkansas law
California DUI California law
  • DUI: Driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs or a combination
  • DWAI: Driving while ability impaired. DWAI is a lesser offense.
Colorado law
Connecticut OUI Connecticut law
Delaware DUI Delaware law
Florida DUI Florida law
Georgia DUI Georgia law
Hawaii OVUII: Operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant Hawaii law
Idaho DUI Idaho law
Illinois DUI Illinois law
Indiana OWI Indiana law
Iowa OWI Iowa law
Kansas DUI Kansas law
Kentucky DUI Kentucky law
Louisiana OWI Louisiana law
Maine OUI Maine law
  • DUI: Driver has a BAC of 0.08% or higher
  • DWI, a lesser offense: Driver has a BAC of 0.07% to 0.08%
Maryland law
Massachusetts OUI Massachusetts law
Michigan OWI and OWPD (Operating With Any Presence of a Schedule 1 Drug or Cocaine) Michigan law
Minnesota DWI Minnesota law
Mississippi DUI Mississippi law
Missouri DWI Missouri law
Montana DUI and Aggravated DUI Montana law
Nebraska DUI Nebraska law
Nevada DUI Nevada law
New Hampshire DWI and Driving While Under Influence of Drugs New Hampshire law
New Jersey DWI New Jersey law
New Mexico DWI New Mexico law
New York
  • DWI: BAC of 0.08% or higher, or other evidence
  • Aggravated DWI: 0.18% BAC or higher
  • DWAI/Drug: Driving While Ability Impaired by a Single Drug other than Alcohol
  • DWAI/Combination: Driving While Ability Impaired by a Combined Influence of Drugs or Alcohol
New York Law
North Carolina DWI North Carolina law
North Dakota DUI North Dakota law
Ohio OVI Ohio law
Oklahoma DUI Oklahoma law
Oregon DUII (driving under the influence of intoxicants) Oregon law
Pennsylvania DUI Pennsylvania law
Rhode Island DUI Rhode Island law
South Carolina DUI South Carolina law
South Dakota DUI South Dakota law
Tennessee DUI Tennessee law
Texas DWI Texas law
Utah DUI Utah law
Vermont DUI Vermont law
Virginia DWI Virginia law
Washington DUI Washington law
West Virginia DUI West Virginia law
Wisconsin OWI Wisconsin law
Wyoming DUI Wyoming law
Source: EverQuote research