A common question I receive is: What is an OWI? I thought I got a DUI? What is the difference? Many states use different abbreviations for drunk driving.  Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), Driving Under the Influence (DUI), and Operating While Under the Influence of an Intoxicant (OWI) are all different ways of describing the same offense – You drove a vehicle on a public road while intoxicated… Different states simply change the wording depending on how they define the driving offense.

Driving Under the Influence (DUI) 

DUI is the most commonly known abbreviation for drunk driving. DUI stands for Driving Under the Influence. Sitting at a bar you may hear someone talking about receiving a DUI and you will instantly recognize what they are talking about. However, Wisconsin is not a DUI state. Illinois is a State that uses the DUI abbreviation.

Wisconsin Operating Impaired/Intoxicated (OWI)

Wisconsin is an OWI state. A Wisconsin OWI by definition is substantially similar to a DUI but the wording is changed. In Wisconsin you will also receive two tickets: one for O.W.I. and one for P.A.C. The second ticket for P.A.C. is for having a Prohibited Alcohol Concentration a.k.a. greater than .08 in your blood while driving.

Wisconsin Drunk Driving Elements:

  1. Operating a Motor Vehicle on a Public Highway;
  2. At the time of driving, the Defendant was under the influence of an intoxicant and their ability to operate was materially impaired by the consumption of alcohol.  – Wis. Stat. 346.63(1)(a),(b)

Hire a Wisconsin DUI Defense Attorney

Receiving a Wisconsin DUI will significantly impact your life. Guaranteed! But what type of impact or for how long? These are two of many questions that can only be answered by speaking with a Wisconsin DUI Defense Attorney.

No matter how you say it, driving under the influence or operating while intoxicated, getting a ticket for drunk driving in Wisconsin is not laughing matter.  In order to ease the stress of a WI DUI, contact Attorney Nathan J. Dineen of Vanden Heuvel & Dineen, S.C. to aggressively defend you.  He is a certified Field Sobriety Test Instructor and a Drug Recognition Evaluator (DRE).  He is available by phone 24/7.  Contact him at 877-384-6800 for a Free Case Review.