Driving While Intoxicated, What’s with all the Letters?

DUI Acronyms

DUI AcronymsDUI, DWI, OMVI, OVI… all acronyms that basically name the same offense: operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. DUI is the most commonly used term meaning driving under the influence. “Under the influence” means operating a vehicle after consuming alcohol or drugs— a driver has consumed something that has impaired their ability to operate their vehicle properly.

It is unlawful for a person to be in actual physical control of a vehicle in the state of Arizona while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, drug, or vapor releasing substances that contain toxic substances, or a combination of any of these if it causes the person to be impaired to the slightest degree.

DWI, driving while intoxicated, better known as “drunk driving,” implies that a driver was operating a vehicle after consuming too much alcohol. DUI is a term that is more inclusive, as the driver is impaired due to being under the influence of drugs or alcohol. However, DWI is now referred to as driving while impaired, so the meaning of those letters DWI assumes impairment due to more than just booze.

OMVI, operating a motorized vehicle impaired, also refers to driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Some states, however, have now changed OMVI to OVI: Operating a Vehicle Impaired. The change came about in some states where it is a crime to operate almost any “vehicle” while impaired; such as bicycles or horse-drawn carriages.

The state of Arizona defines driving under the influence, or DUI, as driving or operating a vehicle while mentally or physically impaired by any drug, alcohol, or vapor releasing substance. If you have been arrested for DUI in Arizona and need assistance or advice, consult an experienced Arizona DUI attorney.


Rob Curgliano  — Expert CRIMINAL DEFENSE and DUI lawyer

1731 W. Baseline Road, Suite 101
Mesa, AZ 85202
Office: (480) 833-8000

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