DUI, DUII, DWI – What’s the difference?

Written by Reynolds Defense Firm

On June 19, 2021

In Oregon, if you are arrested for drinking and driving, you’ll be charged with “Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants,” or DUII for short. But you might have noticed that Oregon criminal defense attorneys commonly refer to themselves as DUI lawyers. And, you might even know someone who lives in another state that was once arrested for DWI. Is there a difference?

DUI vs. DWI vs. DUII

DUI is an acronym for “Driving Under the Influence.” DWI is an acronym for “Driving While Impaired” or “Driving While Intoxicated.” DUI and DWI are often used to describe what is commonly called “drunk driving.” While this term is generally accepted, from a legal perspective, impaired driving can occur due to a variety of different substances, not just alcohol. Which is why Oregon classifies the offense as “Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants.” This distinction makes it illegal to drive under the influence of any intoxicant, whether alcohol, cannabis, or other controlled substances.

In practicality, DUI, DUII, and DWI refer to the same offense – driving under the influence. But which one is appropriate to use depends on the State. In Oregon for example, it’s either DUII or DUI for short, never DWI. And although most Oregon DUI attorney’s choose to forego the extra “I” for brevity, in court proceedings the offense is always referred to as “Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants.”

The complexities of dealing with the court system go far beyond nuanced acronyms. Every case is unique, and every court has its own set of rules and procedures. If you’ve been arrested for DUI (DUII) it’s important to speak with a specialized DUI team, like Reynolds Defense Firm. We have over 80 years of combined experience in Oregon’s DUI laws. Call us today, at 503-223-3422, or visit our website for more ways to contact us.  We’re solid, we’re here if you need us, and we are very good at what we do.

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