Driving under the influence

A "Don't Drink and Drive" sign is placed in front of a wrecked car to discourage impaired driving.

Driving under the influence (DUI) is the crime or offense of driving or operating a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol or other drugs (including recreational drugs and those prescribed by physicians), to a level that renders the driver incapable of operating a motor vehicle safely.[1]

Terminology

Also called driving while impaired/driving while intoxicated (DWI), drunk driving, operating while intoxicated (OWI), operating [a] vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs (OVI) in Ohio, drink-driving (UK), or impaired driving (Canada).

The name of the offense varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and from legal to colloquial terminology. In the United States, the specific criminal offense is usually called driving under the influence, but in some states "driving while intoxicated" (DWI), "operating while impaired" (OWI) or "operating while ability impaired", "operating a vehicle under the influence" (OVI), etc.[2] Such laws may also apply to boating or piloting aircraft. Vehicles can include farm machinery and horse-drawn carriages. Other commonly used terms to describe these offenses include drinking and driving, drunk driving, drunken driving, impaired driving, operating under the influence, or "over the prescribed limit".

In the United Kingdom, the offense is often known as "drunk in charge of a motor vehicle" or "drunk in charge" due to the wording of the Licensing Act 1872.[3] In relation to motor vehicles, the Road Traffic Act 1988 creates a narrower offense of driving (or being in charge of) a vehicle while having breath, blood or urine alcohol levels above the prescribed limits (colloquially called "being over the limit"); and a broader offense of "driving while unfit through drink or drugs," which can apply even with levels below the limits.[4] A separate offense in the 1988 Act applies to bicycles. While the 1872 Act is mostly superseded, the offense of being "drunk while in charge ... of any carriage, horse, cattle, or steam engine" is still in force; "carriage" has sometimes been interpreted as including mobility scooters.[3]