Depending on the state practice, DWI can be interpreted as an abbreviation for driving while intoxicated or driving while impaired. Many states consider DWI to be impaired (or “intoxicated”) driving as caused by other impairing substances, drugs, plants or chemical compounds.

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An abbreviation for driving while intoxicated, which is an offense committed by an individual who operates a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs and narcotics. An abbreviation for died without issue, which commonly appears in genealogical tables. A showing of complete intoxication is not necessary for a charge of driving while intoxicated. State laws indicate levels of blood-alcohol content at which an individual is deemed to be under the influence of alcohol.


DWI driving while intoxicated

Merriam Webster

Main Entry: DWI Function: noun Etymology: driving while intoxicated


The specific criminal offense may be called, depending on the jurisdiction, driving while intoxicated (DWI), operating while intoxicated (OWI), operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated (OMVI), driving under the influence [of alcohol or other drugs] (DUI), driving under the combined influence of alcohol and/or other drugs, driving under the influence per se or drunk in charge [of a vehicle]. Many of such laws apply also to boating, piloting aircraft, riding a horse or conducting a horse-drawn vehicle, or cycling.