When people face charges for drunk driving in Michigan, we always hear the terms “DUI” and “OWI.” But is there a difference in meaning between these two charges? DUI stands for “driving under the influence,” and OWI stands for “operating while intoxicated.” The law uses these terms to identify motorists who drive while using drugs or alcohol. In Michigan, the proper legal acronym is OWI; however, DUI is commonly used all across the country.
The Change of OWI Acronym in Michigan
When the police arrest drivers for drinking and driving, their ticket will indicate that they received an OWI. The state of Michigan doesn’t use the acronym “DUI” because prosecutors and police officers believe that the term is too broad. Because “DUI” specifies that a person is “driving,” people interpret it as being in physical control of a moving vehicle. This term was changed to “OWI” because you can operate a motor vehicle even if you’re not driving. The word “operating” primarily refers to the fact that a suspect can control the vehicle (even if they're not moving), which means a person can even get an OWI if they are in a parked car.
Before the change, people could get their cases dismissed because they argued that they were in a parked car, asleep, stopped in an intersection, or not moving. This defense is no longer feasible because the term "operation" is more precise.
Call Our Oakland County DUI Defense Lawyer Today!
If you’ve been charged with a DUI/OWI, you need an experienced attorney on your side. As an experienced Oakland County DUI defense lawyer, I have the extensive experience you need to build a strong defense on your behalf. With my firm on your side, you can rest assured that I’ll be working tirelessly to protect your rights and help you obtain the best possible results for your case. I have helped thousands of cases and have achieved tremendous success on my clients’ behalf. Allow me to guide you through the entire legal process.
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