These are all common acronyms for drunk driving.
In Wisconsin, our statute uses the language, “Operating While Intoxicated,” so generally, we use the acronym OWI.
Other states might use the statutory language “Driving While Intoxicated” (DWI), “Driving Under the Influence” (DUI), or “Operating Under the Influence,” (OUI).
There is no meaningful difference between these.
In Wisconsin, a First Offense OWI is considered non-criminal, because you cannot be jailed for the offense. It is punishable by:
- Driver’s License suspension between 6 and 9 months
- A fine
- An AODA (Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse) Assessment
- And, if the Blood Alcohol Content is .15/210L or greater, then you are subject to an Ignition Interlock Device requirement.
However, a First Offense OWI involving an injury, or the presence of children in the vehicle, is criminal and carries mandatory jail as a penalty.
Second and Third Offense OWI are always crimes. The mandatory jail penalty for a second offense OWI is 5 days. The mandatory jail penalty for a third offense OWI is 45 days.
Fourth Offense OWI and greater is a felony crime that carries a potential prison sentence. Many people are sentenced to prison for Fourth and greater offense, although many people do avoid prison.
If you have been accused of Operating While Intoxicated, contact Racine OWI lawyer Robert W. Keller for a free consultation.
These cases can be difficult to defend, but a surprising number of them have irregularities and issues that can present an opportunity to avoid the penalties.
You only have one chance to defend your case. There are not any “do-overs.”
Speak with an experienced attorney who can help you advance a good defense. Even if the facts seem rather hopeless, there are things you can do to lessen the negative impact associated with the offense.