Oklahoma's Oldest DUI Defense Firm

Attorneys Stephen G. Fabian Jr. and Brian P. Young

DUI vs. DWI: What’s the difference?

On Behalf of | Apr 21, 2022 | DUI - Drunk Driving, DUI - Prescription Drugs |

Being arrested for impaired driving in Oklahoma is not always about drinking alcohol. There are also other substances that cannot be taken before getting behind the wheel of an automobile. Additionally, those who are charged are not necessarily charged with driving under the influence, but are instead charged with driving while intoxicated using other substances as well. The charges can involve much more than merely using alcohol, and the manner in which a suspect is field tested can also differ. Here is how else they are essentially different charges based on specific criteria.


Many Oklahoma residents are currently prescribed medications that can impair the ability to drive, and subsequently many more drivers on the road are actually sedated while behind the wheel. This is not to mention those who use controlled substances that are not scheduled for any medical use such as cocaine or methamphethamine. Cannabis can also be included in this group that falls under the DUI charge category.


A DWI charge in Oklahoma is usually only filed when alcohol is the only suspected intoxicating substance. These drivers will usually also be administered the field sobriety breath analysis as well being tested using a calibrated mechanical blood alcohol concentration testing machine. Those charged with driving under the influence of drugs will be administered a blood sample analysis that can require the issuance of a search warrant.

Suspects can refuse to submit to either the BAC or blood sample tests, but they are also subject to an automatic drivers license suspension under the implied consent law. Individuals who are charged with DWI may also be subject to other charges for possession of a controlled substance, and those who are under age 21 could also be charged with possession alcohol by a minor if charged with DUI.