Acronyms for DUI by State
Every state has drunk driving laws. Most states refer to drunk driving as DUI (Driving Under the Influence); some states refer to drunk driving as DWI (Driving While Intoxicated or Driving While Impaired); still others refer to drunk driving as OUI (Operating Under the Influence), OWI (Operating While Intoxicated or Operating While Impaired), OVI (Operating a Vehicle while Intoxicated), OMVI (Operating a Motor Vehicle While Under the Influence of Alcohol), OUIL (Operating Under the Influence of Liquor), DUIL (Driving Under the Influence of Liquor), DUII (Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants), DWAI (Driving While Ability Impaired), DWUI (Driving While Under the Influence), DUBAL (Driving with an Unlawful Blood Alcohol Level), UBAL (Driving with an Unlawful Blood Alcohol Level), UBAC (Driving with an Unlawful Bodily Alcohol Content) or DAI (Driving After Imbibing). But no matter what you call it, the consequences are potentially severe: jail, fines, loss of driver's license, required ignition interlock devices, attendance at alcohol education programs, lectures given by MADD, SADD, or RADD, community service or freeway cleanup, increased car insurance rates, a criminal conviction, and more.
Prosecution for drunk driving in every state focuses on four areas: driving patterns, physical appearance, field sobriety tests, and chemical tests (or the refusal to give a breath or blood test, which may show a consciousness of guilt).Prior drunk driving convictions may impact a current DUI arrest, but the formula will vary from state to state. In some states, the date of the prior arrest will control. In other states, the date of the prior conviction will control.
Because of the threat of loss of federal highway funds, there has been a strong trend to reduce the legal limit for those 21 and older to 0.08% across the country. No one is lobbying on behalf of the impaired driver. However, given the problems associated with alcohol testing technologies, and the subjective and erratic manner in which drunk driving investigations are performed in the field, there are serious doubts as to whether many DUI arrests and prosecutions are justified.