Snowmobile/ATV DWI: What is an “OWI” or operating while intoxicated?


Many people have heard of DWI, DUI, or OWI. The statute doesn’t really define the crimes in those terms. DWI is driving while impaired. The statute does refer to alcohol related driving offenses as DWIs. OWI is a Wisconsin term and from other states. In Minnesota, generally when you get arrested for a DWI there are two separate crimes. There’s having an alcohol concentration of .08 or more or .16 or more. That’s usually referred to as DWI, driving while intoxicated, and intoxication is defined as .08 or more. Then there’s driving under the influence of alcohol. With driving under the influence the state doesn’t have to prove a particular level of alcohol concentration. All they have to prove is that the driver is impaired; in other words, they don’t posses their usual skill, intellect, or physical control of themselves as they otherwise might have if they hadn’t consumed any alcohol.