Drunk Driving Defense, DUI Arrest - FAQs

10. What offenses can I be charged with?

The traditional charge is known by a one of these terms:

  • DUI – driving under the influence
  • OWI – operating while intoxicated
  • DWI – driving while intoxicated

Along with California, 48 of the 50 states have adopted a second charge known as the per se offense. The per se offense is defined as driving with an excessive BAC (that of .08% or greater). The defendant can, and usually will, be charged with both offenses. The individual, however, will only receive penalties for one of the charges.

Should the suspect refuse to take a chemical test, only the first offense will be charged due to lack of evidence on the per se charge.

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