DUI, driving under the Influence, is illegal in the United States. Each state has its own set of guidelines to determine if a person is driving under the influence. DUI does not specifically mean a person is driving drunk. The definition of DUI also pertains to individuals who are driving, while under the influence of any drug.

The definition of DUI is also not limited to driving a vehicle, in some states the law is broader and states if someone is in control of a vehicle. This would mean if you were intoxicated and above the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) level, sitting in a car with the keys in the ignition and it was not running, you could be charged with DUI. Because you have the keys and have control of the vehicle, while intoxicated, it qualifies under the DUI standards in some states.

There are different terms used in DUI in different states, such as:

  • Driving under intense influence (DUII).
  • Driving while intoxicated (DWI).
  • Operating while intoxicated (OWI).
  • Operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated (OMVI).
  • Operating a vehicle (while) impaired (OVI).
  • Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI).

Depending on how many times you have been charged with DUI or any of the above similar charges, the penalties can be quite severe. Other factors around your arrest also influence the sentence that one receives for DUI charges. Most states consider DUI a criminal offence. Common sentencing terms include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Suspended driving privileges.
  • Jail time.
  • Fines.
  • Community service.
  • Mandated classes.
  • Restitution.

If charged with DUI or any of the other commonly named charges above, it is critical that you  obtain the services of a local attorney who is familiar with the court systems in your area. The severity of a DUI charge doesn’t allow you room to depend on a public defender, so seek the advice of an expert attorney to handle your case now.