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Dui vs. Owi

DUI and OWI are the criminal behaviors of the motorists as they drive their vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Such motorists are punishable by law and are examined through their speech, smell of alcohol or the BAC (Blood Alcohol Content). The DUI stands for ‘Driving Under the Influence), whereas OWI stands for ‘Operating While Intoxicated.’ The term DUI is used for the drunken driving all across the US, while OWI is the term which is broader in the spectrum and is only used in some states like Wisconsin, Iowa, and Indiana. In OWI you can be booked even when you are not in the driving seat, whereas DWI is primarily against those who are driving themselves after consumption of drugs or alcohol.

Key Differences

The motorist under the influence of the drug is still charged with OWI if he is not even driving ad is just sitting in the driving seat of the vehicle.
DUI is abbreviated as ‘Driving under the influence,’ whereas OWI stands for ‘Operating while intoxicated.’
OWI is the term which is used in few of the US states like Wisconsin, Iowa, and Indiana. Contrary to this, DUI is the generic term that is used across the US.
The DUI is the less severe charge as compared to the OWI.

Comparison Chart


Driving under influence.
Operating while intoxicated.

Use in the US

Across the US.
In states like Iowa and Indiana.

Dui and Owi Definitions


(obsolete) duo

What is Dui?

DUI is the acronym that refers to the criminal behavior of the motorist as this refers to the drunken driving and that too with having the drugs or alcohol more than the defined limit. The alcohol consumption is legalized in many parts of the world, even in the US people over 21 years of age can consume alcohol. The issue of drunken driving is on the rise in accidents when motorists are under the influence of drugs. So in many parts of the world, people are advised not to drive while drunk, but even then hundreds of them do so while thinking that they are alright and can drive back easily to their place. In response to this, modern countries like the US have come up with the law against the drunken driving, and the law deals those who violate. DUI is punishable by law, and can even land the violator in jail with canceling the license and the insurance. This law came in practice is the US and other countries as a report suggest that around 40 percent of the vehicle accident in the US are due to the drunk drivers. The cops have authority to stop anyone on the vehicle and can check out for the speech and alcohol odor breath, and if wanted the BAC, which the (Blood Alcohol Content) is conducted. If the BAC tells that the driver has more alcohol content than the actual limit, then he is taken to the cell and is presented before the magistrate at earliest. First-time offenders get an easy bail as compared to those who often commit such crime. Those who get cleared from the court are rehabilitated and are taught that not to do that again.

What is Owi?

OWI abbreviated as ‘Operating While Intoxicated’ is a criminal behavior of the motorist while he is on wheels under the influence of drugs. This term is broader in concept and is only limited to the US states like Wisconsin and Indiana. The purpose of this exertion by the law is similar to that of DUI, but it is more complex as it can even penalize you when you are in the driving seat and are not driving. All this is to ensure the safe driving by going up to the next level. Experts also believe the OWI charge is severe regarding the punishment or penalty as compared to the DUI charge. In OWI, other than alcohol, the narcotics or combination of the drugs and alcohol are looked out while examining the person on the motor. All this severe compulsion is there to ensure that minimum drunken driving accidents take place. It will be pertinent to mention here that hundreds of involuntary manslaughter incidents take place worldwide after the driver is under the influence of the drugs. At the same time, hundreds of people lose their limbs in such incidents.

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