Easiest DUI laws by State, toughest and easiest

We all know that drinking and driving is not a good practice. First of all, it is very dangerous, and it is important to know the toughest and easiest DUI laws by state. Thousands of people die each year getting killed by alcohol intoxicated drivers, and there are even more badly wounded. Secondly, driving while intoxicated is illegal in all 50 States. This means that, even if you’re lucky to escape from driving while intoxicated incident without hurting yourself or others, it is likely to be accused of a crime. DUI Laws differ by State, so each State treats alcohol intoxicated drivers differently, some are toughest and some are easiest DUI laws by state. Sometimes it is called driving under the influence (DUI), driving while intoxicated (DWI), or under the influence (OUI). The links listed below are some general guidelines of DUI and other related crimes, as well as links to the DUI laws in each State.

Drunk Driving Laws 2015

November 2015

All states define driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at or above 0.08 percent as a crime, but the laws and penalties vary considerably from one state to another. 42 States, the District of Columbia, the Northern Mariana Islands and the Virgin Islands have administrative license suspension (ALS) on the first offense. ALS allows law enforcement to seize the driving license for a period of time if not a chemical test. Most of these states permit a limited driving privileges (such as work).

All states have some type of ignition interlock, in which judges require all or some convicted drunk drivers to install interlocks in their cars to analyze your breathing and turn off the engine if alcohol is detected. 20 States * (and the 4 counties of the State of California) have made contact the mandatory locks or strong incentive for all convicted drunk drivers, even criminals.

Federal law establishes that States adopt open container and repeat offender laws meeting specific requirements. Otherwise, a part of the State’s financing surface transportation is transferred to the State DOT or State Highway Safety Office. Alcohol exclusion laws allow insurance companies to deny payment for treatment of drunk drivers’ injuries, but they have limited doctors’ abilities to diagnose alcohol problems and recommend treatment. Some States have repealed such laws.

NOTE: Find Laws does not compile any additional data on drunk driving laws other than what is presented here. For more information, consult the appropriate State Highway Safety Office. All toughest and easiest DUI Laws by State can be found here below.

State
Inc. Penalty for High BAC
Admin. License Susp. on 1st Offense
Limited Driving Privileges During Susp.
Ignition Interlocks
Vehicle and License Plate Sanctions
Open Container Laws*
Repeat Offender Laws*
Alcohol Exclusion Laws Limiting Treatment
*Meeting Federal Requirements
Ala.
.15
90 days
Mandatory for repeat convictions
Yes
Yes
Yes
Alaska
.15
(at judges’ disc.)
90 days
After 30 days
Mandatory for all convictions
Vehicle impoundment
Yes
Ariz.
.15
90 days
After 30 days
Mandatory for all convictions
Immobilization or impoundment
Yes
Yes
Ark.
.15
6 months
Yes
Mandatory for all convictions
Vehicle confiscation
Yes
Yes
Calif.
.15
4 months
After 30 days
Discretionary
Mandatory for all convictions in Alameda, Los Angeles, Tulare and Sacramento counties (pilot project)
Impoundment, vehicle confiscation
Yes
Yes
Colo.
.17
3 months
Yes
Highly incentivized for all convictions
Yes
Yes
Conn.
.16
90 days
Yes
Mandatory for all convictions
Yes
Del.
.16
3 months
Mandatory for all convictions
(eff. 2/2015)
Vehicle sanction and license plate impoundment
Yes
Yes
D.C.
.20 and .25
2-90 days or until disposition
Yes
Discretionary
Yes
Yes
Fla.
.20
6 months for DUI
After 30 days
Mandatory for high BAC (>.15) convictions
Impoundment, vehicle forfeiture
Yes
Yes
Yes
12 months for refusal
After 90 days
Ga.
.15
1 year
Yes
Mandatory for repeat convictions
Vehicle confiscation
Yes
Yes
Yes
Guam
From .08 to .10
Discretionary
Yes
Yes
Hawaii
.15
3 months
After 30 days
Mandatory for all convictions
Yes
Yes
Yes
Idaho
.20
90 days
After 30 days
Discretionary
Yes
Yes
Yes
Ill.
.16
6 months
After 30 days
Mandatory for all convictions
Impoundment, vehicle confiscation
Yes
Yes
Ind.
.15
180 days
After 30 days
Discretionary
Vehicle confiscation
Yes
Yes
Iowa
.15
180 days
After 30 days
Discretionary
Yes
Yes
Kan.
.15
30 days
Mandatory for all convictions
Yes
Yes
Yes
Ky.
.18
30 – 120 days
Yes
Mandatory for high BAC (>.15) and repeat convictions
(eff. 6/24/15)
Impoundment
Yes
Yes
Yes
La. 1
.15 and .20
See footnote
Mandatory for all convictions
Vehicle confiscation
Yes
Maine
.15
90 days
Yes
Highly incentivized for all convictions
Vehicle confiscation
Yes
Yes
Md.
.15
45 days
Yes, under certain circum-
stances
Mandatory for high BAC (>.15) convictions
Yes
Yes
Mass.
.20 (applies to ages 17-21)
90 days
Yes
Mandatory for repeat convictions
Vehicle confiscation
Yes
Yes
Yes
Mich.2
.17
See footnote
After 45 days
Mandatory for high BAC convictions, restricted driving conditions
Vehicle confiscation
Yes
Yes
Yes
Minn.
.20
90 days
After 15 days
Mandatory for high BAC and repeat convictions
Impoundment, vehicle confiscation, special plates/
markings
Yes
Yes
Miss.
90 days
Mandatory for all convictions
Impoundment, vehicle confiscation
Yes
Yes
Mo.
.15
90 days
After 0 days w/ interlock use (restricted)
After 30 days
(restricted)
Mandatory for repeat convictions
Vehicle forfeiture or impoundment (cities w/ 100,000+ allowed to enact ordinance)
Yes
Yes
Mont.
.16
Mandatory for repeat convictions
Impoundment, vehicle confiscation
Yes
Yes
Neb.
.15
90 days
After 30 days
Mandatory for all convictions
Vehicle immobilization, continuous alcohol monitoring
Yes
Yes
Yes
Nev.
.18
90 days
After 45 days
Discretionary
Yes
Yes
N.H.
.16
6 months
Mandatory for high BAC convictions
Yes
Yes
Yes
N.J.
.10
Mandatory for high BAC (>.15) and repeat convictions
Yes
Yes
Yes
N.M.
.16 (w/ mand. jail on all offenses)
<21: 1 yr.;
>21: 6 mo.
Immediately w/ Ignition Interlock
Mandatory for all convictions
Immobilization of vehicle for driving while revoked
Yes
Yes
N.Y.
.18
Yes
Yes
Mandatory for all convictions
Yes
Yes
Yes
N.C.
.15
30 days
After 10 days
Mandatory for high BAC (>.15) and repeat convictions
Vehicle confiscation
Yes
Yes
N.D.
.18
91 days
After 30 days
Discretionary
Vehicle confiscation, license plate removal
Yes
Yes
M.P.
30 days –
<6 months
Yes
Yes
Ohio
.17
90 days
After 15 days
Discretionary
Impoundment, vehicle confiscation or immobilization, restricted plates
Yes
Yes
Okla.
.15
180 days
Yes
Mandatory for high BAC (>.15), repeat convictions, and refusals
Yes
Yes
Yes
Ore.
.15
90 days
After 30 days
Mandatory for all convictions and diversions
Yes
Yes
Pa. 3
.16
See footnote
Mandatory for repeat convictions
Yes
Yes
Yes
R.I.
.10 and .15
Judicial discretion on 2rd or subsequent conviction
Judicial discretion on 3rd or subsequent conviction
Yes
S.C.
.15
1 month (for >.15 BAC)
Yes
Mandatory for repeat convictions and for first-time offenders convicted of having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.15% or higher
Vehicle confiscation
Yes
Yes
Yes
S.D. 4
.17
See footnote
Yes
Discretionary
Yes
Tenn.
.20
Mandatory for all convictions
Vehicle confiscation
Yes
Yes
Texas
.15
90 days if .08 or greater; 180 days for refusal
Yes
Mandatory for repeat convictions
Vehicle confiscation
Yes
Yes
Yes
Utah
.16
120 days
Mandatory for all convictions
Impoundment
Yes
Yes
Yes
Vt.
90 days
Discretionary
Impoundment, vehicle confiscation
Yes
Yes
V.I.
Variable
Yes
Revoke license plate
Yes
Yes
Va.
.15 and .20
7 days
Mandatory for all convictions
Vehicle confiscation
Yes
Yes
Wash.
.15
90 days
With an ignition interlock driver’s license
Mandatory for all convictions
Mandatory tow and 12 hour impound
Yes
W.Va.
.15
6 months
After 30 days
Mandatory for high BAC (>.15) and repeat convictions
Yes
Yes
Yes
Wis.
.17, .20 and .25
6 months
Yes
Mandatory for high BAC (>.15) and repeat convictions
Yes
Yes
Yes
Wy.
.15
90 days
Yes
Mandatory for high BAC (>.15) and repeat convictions
Yes
Total States
48 + D.C., 1 Terr.
42 + D.C., 2 Terr.
36 + D.C., 1 Terr.
Mandatory For
All (20)
High BAC (4)
Repeat (8)
High BAC & Repeat (8)Disc.:
10 + D.C.
Varies
31 + 3 Terr.
26 + D.C., 3 Terr.
37

1 Louisiana requires a 45 day hard suspension of driving privileges for a second DWI conviction.
2 Michigan has administrative license suspension for for refusal to submit to chemical test.
3 Pennsylvania uses a program called Occupational Limited Licenses (OLL).
4 South Dakota has administrative license suspension for 30 days for refusal to submit to chemical test.

See also:

Easiest DUI laws by State by State

Toughest and easiest DUI Laws by State list.


  • Alabama DUI Laws
  • Alaska DUI Laws
  • Arizona DUI Laws
  • Arkansas DWI Laws
  • California DUI Laws
  • Colorado DUI Laws
  • Comparing State DUI Laws
  • Connecticut DUI Laws
  • Delaware DUI Laws
  • District of Columbia DUI Laws
  • Dram Shop Laws
  • Florida DUI Laws
  • Georgia DUI Laws
  • Hawaii DWI Laws
  • Idaho DUI Laws
  • Illinois DUI Laws
  • Indiana DUI Laws
  • Iowa DUI (OWI) Laws
  • Kansas DUI Laws
  • Kentucky DUI Laws
  • Louisiana DWI Laws
  • Maine DUI (OUI) Laws
  • Maryland DUI Laws
  • Massachusetts OUI Laws
  • Michigan OWI Laws
  • Minnesota DWI Laws
  • Mississippi DUI Laws
  • Missouri DWI Laws
  • Montana DUI Laws
  • Nebraska DUI Laws
  • Nevada DUI Laws
  • New Hampshire DUI Laws
  • New Jersey DWI Laws
  • New Mexico DWI Laws
  • New York DWI Laws
  • North Carolina DUI Laws
  • North Dakota DUI Laws
  • Ohio OVI (DUI) Laws
  • Oklahoma DUI Laws
  • Oregon DUI Laws
  • Pennsylvania DUI Laws
  • Per Se DUI Laws
  • Rhode Island DWI Laws
  • South Carolina DUI Laws
  • South Dakota DUI Laws
  • State-by-State DUI Penalties
  • Tennessee DUI Laws
  • Texas DWI Laws
  • Underage DUI: Zero Tolerance Laws
  • Utah DUI Laws
  • Vermont DUI Laws
  • Virginia DUI Laws
  • Washington DUI Laws
  • West Virginia DUI Laws
  • Wisconsin DUI (OWI) Laws
  • Wyoming DUI Laws