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Differences and Similarities Between DWI and OUI in Maine

Beside the obvious, there are a few basic differences, and some similarities, between being charged with a DWI and an OUI in the state of Maine. Like most of the rest of the United States, a DWI means that you were driving while intoxicated, without drugs being involved, based on one of a few deciding factors. On the other hand, an OUI charge means that you were operating a motor vehicle under the influence, and it can be based on alcohol or drug impairment or a combination of both depending on the situation.

That said, there are a few other differences and similarities between the two charges other than their fundamental description. These can make a huge difference in your case, but you should rely on your attorney's advice and information in order to decide what your case is about, and how it should be handled. Each case is different, and what works for one case may not work for another, even of the same type, so two different charges are sometimes completely different circumstances.

First and foremost, the penalties can be very similar for an out of state DWI and an OUI in the state of Maine, including for first time offenses. Since the crime in each case boils down to operating a motor vehicle while affected by alcohol or drugs, the penalties are varied amongst the different states.

Finally, most laws that govern DWI are written with OUI terminology in Maine, but apply to both types of cases amongst the various states. OUI laws specifically state ‘OUI' or ‘operating under the influence'. Unlike other states, you can be convicted of an OUI if your “mental or physical faculties are affected to any degree by alcohol or drugs”. That is a pretty tough standard which isn't unique to Maine alone. While every state defines drunk driving using different terminologies, in Maine, if you are charged with an OUI you need to speak with a qualified OUI attorney. Talking with an out of state DWI attorney about an OUI in Maine is like trying to speak Greek in South Carolina. It just doesn't translate well.

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