Drunk driving charges are not the same. Operating While Under the Influence of Alcohol (of alcohol or other chemical substances). Under the Anchorage Municipal Code, a drunk driving offense is known as an OUI, or operating while under the influence. DWI stands for Driving While Intoxicated. These terms are used interchangeably.
An OUI conviction shows up on your record and affects your license. The charge is a misdemeanor unless you have more than one prior OUI conviction, in which case it becomes a felony.
An OUI conviction also means that you must perform some kind of driver's license rehabilitation program. This may include completing an educational course, performing community service, paying a fine, or any combination thereof. The length of these programs varies depending on the court that issues your citation. For example, some courts will allow you to complete your probation by doing community service, while others require you to attend an educational class or two before your record will be cleared.
Once your OUI conviction is cleared, you can apply for a restricted license. A restricted license allows you to drive only between the hours of 0800 and 1800. You cannot drink any amount of alcohol before going to bed at night or getting behind the wheel of a car.
A restricted license is necessary if you plan to take the written exam to renew your license.
Driving Under the Influence (DUI) and Operating Under the Influence (OUI) are both terms that relate to driving while under the influence of alcohol. While OUI is a broad word, DUI is a criminal charge. There are several differences between OUI and DUI. The main difference is that drivers who are found guilty of OUI can request a license suspension, whereas those found guilty of DUI cannot request a license suspension.
Another difference is that drivers who are found guilty of OUI but who have not had any previous convictions may be able to have their driver's license reinstated after one year if they complete some type of treatment program and meet all other requirements. On the other hand, drivers who are found guilty of DUI and who have no prior convictions will usually have their licenses revoked for at least three years. It is important to know the differences between OUI and DUI so that you do not put yourself in danger by being charged with something you did not commit.
Lastly, drivers who are found guilty of OUI but who have limited or restricted licenses can often avoid having their licenses suspended if they participate in an Ignition Interlock Device (IIWD) installation and monitoring program. Drivers who are found guilty of DUI and who have limited license privileges can often avoid having their licenses suspended if they complete some type of treatment program and meet all other requirements.
Driving while intoxicated or under the influence of alcohol is classified as an OUI in Massachusetts. The first and second crimes of OUI are misdemeanors, but the third and subsequent offenses are felonies. In addition to penalties related to your blood alcohol content (BAC), charges for an OUI may also include violations such as driving without insurance or with a revoked license. An OUI conviction can affect your ability to drive legally in other states because many jurisdictions will not allow you to do so if you have prior convictions for similar offenses.
An OUI arrest does not necessarily result in charges being filed against you. Prosecutors often review these cases to determine whether to file charges. Factors such as evidence that could indicate you were not at fault, the severity of the offense, and the number/position of vehicles involved may all play a role in this decision.
The best way to defend yourself against charges of an OUI is to hire an experienced Boston criminal defense attorney who can investigate the facts of your case and identify potential defenses. At the Law Office of John P. Burke, we have years of experience representing clients in their efforts to avoid incarceration due to drug-related or violent offenses.
If you have been charged with an OUI, contact our office immediately to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Boston criminal defense lawyer.
The word "operating while intoxicated," or "OWI," is also used in Michigan. Michigan law also defines operating a vehicle while visibly impaired, or OWVI. However, in the state of Michigan, the phrase "driving under the influence," or DUI, is also often used. These terms are used interchangeably by law enforcement officers with respect to violations of MCL 257.625; MSA 9.2325.
Under Michigan law, it is illegal for anyone who has been drinking alcohol to get behind the wheel of a car. Drinking and driving is a serious crime that can have serious consequences. If you think that someone has been drinking and driving, call 911 immediately. Do not try to stop a driver who appears to be drunk.
In addition to being arrested, drivers who refuse to take a blood-alcohol content test may have their licenses suspended. For first time offenders, this can lead to up to 93 days in jail and a fine of up to $1000. Second and subsequent offenses increase the possible penalties to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2500.
Drivers who face criminal charges related to an OWI/DUI incident should contact a criminal defense attorney immediately.