A lot of people in Wisconsin integrate synonyms into their spoken and written communications. They do so because using the same words over and over can be repetitive and just plain boring. Words that seem synonymous, however, can sometimes have varying meanings.
In terms of two Wisconsin drunk driving charges, two words that appear to have similar connotations can lead to two different criminal charges. These two words are OWI and DUI.
What is the Difference Between OWI vs DUI in Wisconsin?
In Wisconsin, operating while intoxicated, also known as OWI, involves the operation of a motor vehicle. A person could be charged with OWI if they are suspected of intoxication and are sitting in the driver's seat of a running but not moving car. Unlike driving under the influence, also known as DUI.
Wisconsin's OWI Statute
According to Wisconsin's OWI statute, a person operates a vehicle when he controls any part of a vehicle that is needed to make the automobile move. Charges related to OWI can apply to any motor vehicle and not just cars and trucks; a person can face OWI charges while on a boat, snowmobile, or other motorized devices.
Just like DUI charges, OWI charges bring with them a host of unpleasant potential consequences. A person could lose his license to suspension or revocation, or he could be fined and jailed. Charges of operating while intoxicated are very serious and can be defended just one can defend allegations of driving under the influence of alcohol.
Though they have some similarities, OWI and DUI charges are different in Wisconsin and can be filed based on differing alleged factual scenarios.