In California, the terms “DUI” and “DWI” typically refer to the same kinds of criminal offenses. Some states use one term and some states use the other. Still other states make distinctions between these two terms. Conversationally, the terms are used interchangeably in most contexts.

“DUI” stands for “driving under the influence,” while “DWI” stands for “driving while impaired/intoxicated.” California statutes use the term “DUI” exclusively.