What is an OWI

Learn what an OWI is, its consequences, and how to prevent it. Stay informed and make responsible decisions to ensure road safety.


Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) is a serious offense that involves operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In this article, we will delve into what constitutes an OWI, the consequences of getting charged with OWI, and ways to prevent it.

What is an OWI

An OWI, also known as driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI), occurs when a person operates a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol or drugs. The legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit for driving varies by state, but it is typically around 0.08%.

Consequences of OWI

Getting charged with OWI can have serious consequences, including license suspension, fines, mandatory substance abuse education or treatment programs, and even jail time. A repeat offense can result in even harsher penalties.

Examples and Case Studies

  • Example 1: John was pulled over for swerving on the road. The officer administered a breathalyzer test which showed his BAC was above the legal limit. John was charged with OWI and had his license suspended.
  • Case Study: Sarah was involved in a car accident while under the influence of alcohol. She was charged with OWI and sentenced to attend a substance abuse program in addition to paying fines.

Preventing OWI

There are several ways to prevent getting charged with OWI, such as designating a sober driver, using public transportation or ridesharing services, and knowing your limits when it comes to alcohol consumption.


According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2019, there were 10,142 fatalities in motor vehicle traffic crashes involving alcohol-impaired drivers, accounting for 28% of all traffic fatalities.

It is evident that OWI is a significant issue that poses a threat to road safety. By understanding what constitutes an OWI, its consequences, and ways to prevent it, individuals can make responsible decisions when it comes to operating a vehicle.

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