DUI stands for driving under the influence. It is a term for operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) over the legal limit. Some states use other names for DUI, with DWI (driving while impaired or driving while intoxicated) being the most common. Other examples include OWI (operating while intoxicated) and OUI (operating under the influence).
These different names all generally refer to the same thing: driving with a BAC over the legal limit set by the state. This limit used to vary slightly from state to state, but it is now .08% in all 50 states—though Utah’s limit will soon be .05%. Driving and exceeding that BAC limit is a criminal offense subject to serious legal consequences.
The term DUI generally refers to a DUI conviction, where you went before a judge and were convicted of the crime of driving under the influence.
What Is Blood Alcohol Content?
Blood alcohol content, usually abbreviated BAC, is the concentration of alcohol in your bloodstream. This is most often represented as a percentage. For example, in the US, a BAC of .1% means that that alcohol is taking up .1% of your bloodstream. The specific units used can vary by country, but the principal is the same.
It doesn’t take much to get your BAC up. If you weigh 140 pounds, four drinks will put you at a BAC of around .09%, which is over the legal limit of .08%. If you weigh 120 pounds, it only takes around three drinks. Your weight plays a major role in how alcohol affects you—an individual weighing 220 pounds would require about six drinks to reach the limit.
We hope you never end up in an accident with someone who is under the influence, but in the event that it does happen, be prepared with a dash cam to record the accident. Check out our Dash Cam Buyers Guide to learn more.