Officer performing a sobriety test on a man

The Difference Between a DUI and DWI

Police Officer

How are They Defined?

"DUI" stands for driving under the influence of alcohol or some other substance. "DWI" stands for Driving While Intoxicated.

In Michigan, this charge is known as "Operating While Intoxicated," and you will be charged with this crime if you are found to have a blood alcohol content equal to 0.08 or higher. For example, a person will be charged with OWI if operating a motorized vehicle, such as a car, a truck, or a watercraft.

In Michigan, people may also be charged with Operating While Visibly Impaired or OWVI. A police officer arrests motorists on this charge if they believe that you are incapable of driving your vehicle, and the officer doesn't need to prove it. Therefore, this charge can result if you have even just one drink.

Penalties for OWI and OWVI

A conviction on an OWI or an OWVI charge can result in a 93-day jail sentence. Someone convicted on a charge of OWI could receive a 180-day jail sentence if their blood alcohol content was equal to 0.17. In some cases, people convicted of OWI or OWVI will be ordered to serve up to 360 hours of community service.

Offenders may also be ordered to pay fines. On a first OWI offense, the offender may be ordered to pay a fine of up to $500. If his or her BAC was more than 0.17, the amount goes up to $700. A first conviction on an OWVI charge can mean a fine of up to $300.

Hire an Okemos Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have been arrested on a DWI or OWI charge, hiring an experienced criminal defense attorney is the first step you should take. White Law PLLC can defend you if you have been charged with a DUI, DWI, OWI, OWVI, or underage drunk driving. Our team works diligently to find you the best possible outcome for your unique case.

Call to schedule a free consultation.