Driving under the influence of alcohol or other impairing drugs is a crime in all 50 states including the District of Columbia. Whether your state calls it “driving under the influence (DUI),” “driving while intoxicated (DWI),” ┬áThere is no difference. ┬áThe laws governing impaired driving are also enforceable when operating boats, bicycles or other types of machinery.

After a person is arrested on suspicion of a DUI, it’s up to the district attorney’s office to file charges against the defendant. The exact nature of criminal charges be they a felony or misdemeanor depends on a number of factors, including the defendant’s prior convictions, the severity of the offense, the level of intoxication, and whether the offense caused injury or death.