Many people assume that just having your keys in the vehicle while being intoxicated is enough for an OWI charge. That is not true. In order to be convicted of an OWI the state must prove that you either “operated” your motor vehicle or you were driving. There is a difference, but both can result in a drunk driving charge.
What is the difference between an OWI and a DUI?
There is no difference between an OWI and a DUI. They are both acronyms for a drunk driving charge. In Wisconsin, we refer to a drunk driving charge as an OWI, or operating while intoxicated. DUI stands for driving under the influence. You may have heard drunk driving charges referred to as DWIs, or driving while intoxicated. Throughout our website we frequently interchange OWI and DUI when referring to a drunk driving charge.