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Glossary of Common DWI-Related Terms

Sometimes you need a lawyer just to explain the lingo used in references to your case. The following list defines some of the acronyms that are used in a drunk driving arrest.


In most cases this stands for Driving Under the Influence. This is the most common acronym for a drinking and driving charge around the nation. Usually, alcohol is the impairing substance, but it can also apply to drugs, toxic fumes from paint and paint thinner, butane, and other chemicals.

In Texas it stands for the same thing, however it has a different meaning. It is used to describe the crime committed when a person under the age of twenty-one (21) is driving a car with any alcohol on his breath. The charge is a Class C misdemeanor.


This is the next most common acronym in the State of Texas. DWI is interpreted at Driving While Intoxicated or While Impaired. The impairing substances do not have to be alcohol, they can be caused by plants, chemicals, or drugs to name a few.


This acronym stands for Operating under the Influence and is probably the next most used acronym associated with drunk driving in Houston. This term is actually a better description than the term driving as almost all states say it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle while Under the Influence of alcohol, drugs, etc.


Is not as common an acronym as some of the others terms. The letters stand for Operating while Intoxicated.


This is another less common acronym and stands for Driving While Under the Influence of Liquor.

Glossary of Terms

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