Differences between DUI, OUI, and DWI in MA
Getting charged with any alcohol-related crime in Massachusetts can be troubling. Often, most people are unsure about their charges before calling a lawyer. There are several scenarios where DUI, OUI, and DWI are mistaken. So, it is best to understand which of the three applies in Massachusetts.
DWI: Driving While Intoxicated
DUI: Driving Under Influence
OUI: Operating Under the Influence
These three charges mean essentially the same thing in Massachusetts. However, operating a car does not necessarily mean driving. This interpretation means OUI might cover more actions than many people think.
There must be evidence of you driving before you can face charges for DWI or DWI. For OUI, you can face charges for operations as simple as having your keys in the ignition while parked on the roadside.
Massachusetts uses OUI over DWI or DUI because the other two only focus on driving. It means the vehicle must be in motion before you can face charges of DWI or DUI. For OUI, it encompasses everything that looks like an operation on the car. The vehicle doesn’t need to be in motion before you face any charge relating to OUI.
Is OUI a Serious Offense in Massachusetts?
Operating under the influence (OUI) is a severe offense in Massachusetts. It is illegal to operate a vehicle with a blood-alcohol level equal to 0.8% or more in Massachusetts. Consequently, OUI is a severe offense in Massachusetts, and it can come with varieties of punishments.
The punishment of OUI depends on the circumstance of arrest and your record of OUI (if you’ve been convicted in the past). These punishments include;
- Expensive fines and fees
- Potential jail time
- A permanent criminal record
- The loss of driver’s license
- Increased car insurance rates
What Should You Do When Charged with OUI in Massachusetts?
The best thing to do when charged with OUI in Massachusetts is to call a criminal defense lawyer. It is best to contact an attorney that understands the concept of “operation” in Massachusetts’s OUI laws. A quality attorney will help you put up a solid defense to help you mitigate punishments or avoid them entirely.