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Difference Between OVI / DUI / DWI


If you have a pending DUI charge, call our Columbus DUI defense lawyers now.

What is the difference between the acronyms OVI / DUI / DWI? Essentially, they are all different ways of saying the same thing: operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. In Ohio, OMVI was the acronym used prior to 2004. OMVI stands for Operating a Motor Vehicle while under the Influence of alcohol or drugs of abuse.

Thereafter, Ohio law changed and the requirement that a vehicle be motorized was removed.  Currently, you will be charged with an OVI. OVI stands for Operating a Vehicle while under the Influence of alcohol or drugs of abuse.
If you are convicted of OVI, additional potential issues include:

  • Maintaining your current employment
  • Licensure issues in some professions
  • Difficulty getting a good job in the future
  • Difficulty and possible denial in immigration and naturalization proceedings

Simply put, if you are convicted of an OVI, it will be on your criminal background for the rest of your life. No matter what the circumstances were in your case, you run the risk of being considered someone who was convicted of drinking and driving. Therefore, it is critical that you give your OVI charge the level of importance it deserves.

How the Columbus DUI Attorneys with LHA Can Help You

The Columbus DUI defense team takes an aggressive and comprehensive approach when representing clients charged with OVI. First and foremost, we will look to get your license back and/or get you driving privileges to use as soon as you are eligible.

With respect to your case, we will figure out what mistakes the police made during their investigation, whether the roadside field sobriety tests were conducted properly, whether your arrest was lawful, whether your breath, blood or urine test was conducted properly and any other legal issues that can be raised on your behalf.

We do this by requesting discovery from the prosecutor and by conducting our own investigation. The discovery will generally consist of police reports, additional investigative notes, lab reports and potentially video or audio.

Our investigation will consist of going to the scene, interviewing all witnesses and potentially hiring a private detective or forensic expert for further investigation.  As our client, you will receive a copy of everything received from the prosecutor and our investigation for your review.

Based on the legal weaknesses in the State of Ohio’s case and any other mitigating factors, we will negotiate the best possible plea available with the prosecutor for you to consider in resolving your case.

If your case cannot be resolved satisfactorily with a plea, it would then proceed to a motion hearing (a hearing where the judge issues a ruling on an evidentiary issue) or a trial to the judge or jury, depending on the circumstances.

At Luftman, Heck & Associates, we can help you confront the Ohio criminal justice system from your arrest through to your trial. By advocating for your rights and thinking strategically about your case defense, we will maximize your chances of obtaining a positive case result. If you’ve been charged with OVI, call us today at for a free and confidential consultation of your case.

Need an Experienced Columbus DUI Attorney? Contact Us.

If you’ve been charged with a OVI / DUI, it’s important to know what you’re up against. If you have any questions left unanswered by this page, or if you need a competent, experienced Columbus DUI attorney to fight for you in court, please contact us at or via email at

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Luftman, Heck & Associates LLP
580 E Rich St Fl 2
Columbus, OH 43215-5335


FAX: (614) 413-2886