What is DUI/DWI?

DWI/DUI is an abbreviation for Driving While Under the Influence of intoxicants (alcohol) or of any substance or substances which may impair driving ability. Other states use other acronyms for this offense. For instance, Ohio uses OVI (Operating a Vehicle while Impaired), while Oregon uses OUII (Operating Under the Influence of Intoxicants). Yet other states use OUI (Operating Under the Influence), OWI (Operating While Intoxicated), DWAI (Driving While Ability Impaired), and OMVI (Operating a Motor Vehicle while Impaired).

According to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and the Kentucky Revised Statute, DUI also includes other substances such as illegal drugs, prescription drugs, inhalants such as glue, gasoline, spray paint etc., and/or over the counter medications. See KRS 189a.010(1)(c), (e), and KRS 189a.010(12).

Under Kentucky law, an offender can be charged in one of two ways for DUI.

  • First, the State can charge a person under the Illegal ‘per se’ provision. Illegal per se literally means ‘on the face of or by itself.’ A person is guilty of DUI per se if he or she operates a motor vehicle with a blood or breath alcohol content of 0.08 or higher. KRS 189a.010(1)(a).
  • Second, a person can be charged with what is called the ‘opinion DUI’ under KRS 189a.010(1)(b). Under this provision, all the prosecution needs to introduce at trial is the officer’s testimony that he was of the opinion, given the totality of the circumstances, the suspect’s behavior, the officer’s training, and his personal experience with intoxicated individuals, that the suspect was under the influence of alcohol or other substances that impaired the driver’s ability to operate a motor vehicle.

In order to be charged under the per se provision, the blood, alcohol, or urine test must be completed within two hours of cessation of driving. KRS 189a.010(1)(a).

If you would like additional information about DUIs and how to contest them, please visit the following links:

If you have been charged with DUI, you need competent, aggressive, and experienced counsel to help you with your case. Do not delay, call the DUI Guy today.


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