DUI Laws By State: Who’s the Toughest on Drunk Driving?

    There’s one thing all states agree on: Drunk driving is bad. Other than that, however, they don’t align on much. Every state has different DUI laws governing fines, jail time, penalties and what “drunk” even means.

    Which States Have the Toughest DUI Laws?

    Almost every state’s DUI laws define intoxication as a blood-alcohol content (BAC) level of 0.08. That means about three drinks for someone who’s 140 pounds, or four drinks for someone who’s 190 pounds. Gender and elapsed time also affect BAC — to get a more accurate idea of what “intoxicated” means for you, you can use a BAC calculator .

    In 2017, however, Utah adopted the strictest DUI law in the nation, lowering the BAC standard to  0.05 BAC. “The drop means someone could be considered legally too drunk to drive after as little as a single strong drink, depending on their weight and tolerance,” USA Today reports. The new law is extreme by American standards, but most European countries have a similar legal definition of intoxication. The new law takes effect Dec. 30, 2018.

    If you’re underage, driving with even a small amount of alcohol in your blood means you’ll be charged with a DUI. Most states define the “zero tolerance” underage BAC as .02, but some states consider any trace of alcohol to be cause for a DUI. The states with the toughest DUI laws for underage drinkers are Alaska, Arizona, Illinois, Maine, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oregon and Washington D.C.

    Most states also have DUI laws that impose harsher penalties for high BAC levels — usually around twice the legal limit, or .15-.16. A few states set the cutoff as high as .20. The exception is New Jersey, which considers the enhanced-penalty BAC level to be .10. That means that as little as one extra drink can push you from just under the legal intoxication limit to over the enhanced-penalty limit, which means heavy fines, losing your license for up to a year, and possible jail time.

    Which States Have the Toughest DUI Penalties?

    When you’re convicted of a DUI, you may get hit with several kinds of penalties, including fines and jail time. Which states mete out the harshest DUI penalties?

    Jail Time: The minimum jail sentence for first-time DUI offenders is usually pretty short, somewhere between one to five days. Arizona and Georgia DUI laws, however, require a 10-day minimum sentence for the first offense. Second-time offenders will spend at least 180 days in jail in West Virginia, which has the longest minimum sentence for a second DUI offense.

    Fines: If you’re convicted of a DUI, prepare to be poorer . The average first-offender DUI fine, is $347. When you add in court fees, DMV fees and other penalties, however, you can easily pay much, much more. Alaska imposes the highest minimum fine for a first offender: a hefty $1,500.

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    Arizona DUI Laws

    Arizona DUI laws are the toughest in the nation, according to WalletHub’s analysis . It ranks highest for criminal penalties and second for prevention.

    • First conviction minimum jail time: 10 days
    • Second conviction minimum jail time: 90 days
    • Minimum fine (first conviction): $750
    • Minimum fine (second conviction): $1,750
    • License suspension (first conviction): 90 days
    • Mandatory interlock device (car breathalyzer) after first conviction: Yes

    Georgia DUI Laws

    Georgia  DUI laws are pretty tough, with a minimum jail sentence of 10 days (although a judge may stay or suspend that sentence) and 40 hours of community service for a first offense.

    • First conviction minimum jail time: 10 days
    • Second conviction minimum jail time: 90 days
    • Minimum fine (first conviction): $300
    • Minimum fine (second conviction): $600
    • License suspension (first conviction): Up to one year
    • Mandatory interlock device (car breathalyzer) after first conviction: No

    California DUI Laws

    California DUI laws aren’t super strict, but the fines will hit you hard. For a first offense, you’ll pay not only a $390 fine but also special DUI assessments, adding up to around $1,800 .

    • First conviction minimum jail time: 2 days
    • Second conviction minimum jail time: 10 days
    • Minimum fine (first conviction): $390
    • Minimum fine (second conviction): $390
    • License suspension (first conviction): 4 months
    • Mandatory interlock device (car breathalyzer) after first conviction: Only in Alameda, Los Angeles, Tulare and Sacramento counties

    Texas DUI Laws

    Texas  DUI laws are actually called DWI laws — if your BAC is .08 or over, you’re considered to be driving while intoxicated. There are no minimum fines for DWI, but the maximum fines are steep: up to $2,000 for a first offense and $4,000 for a second offense.

    • First conviction minimum jail time: 3 days
    • Second conviction minimum jail time: 30 days
    • Minimum fine (first conviction): $0
    • Minimum fine (second conviction): $0
    • License suspension (first conviction): Up to one year
    • Mandatory interlock device (car breathalyzer) after first conviction: No

    Virginia DUI Laws

    Virginia  DUI laws aren’t too harsh for first offenses, but you’ll have to live with the conviction for a long time. In Virginia, all DUI-related offenses stay on your driving record for 11 years.

    • First conviction minimum jail time: None
    • Second conviction minimum jail time: Mandatory 10-20 days, depending on time since first conviction
    • Minimum fine (first conviction): $250
    • Minimum fine (second conviction): $500
    • License suspension (first conviction): One year
    • Mandatory interlock device (car breathalyzer) after first conviction: Yes

    Learn more about drunk driving statisticss and don’t ever, ever drive drunk! Not only are you endangering yourself and others, but the legal and financial penalties are very steep.

    No matter which state you live in, Compare.com can help find you a better and cheaper car insurance policy. In just minutes, you can get free quotes from multiple insurers, so you can compare policies and choose the best one for you. Try it now!

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    What state has the toughest DUI penalties?
    Arizona Toughest State On First Time DUI Offenders: Arizona. For years, Arizona has been known as the toughest state on DUI offenders. It's so tough, you'll lose your driving privileges the moment you are arrested. more
    What state has the toughest gun laws in the United States?
    California States with the Strictest Gun Laws California is the state with the strictest gun laws, and it also has the seventh-lowest rate of deaths by gun violence. more
    What state has the toughest drunk driving laws?
    Arizona Toughest State On First Time DUI Offenders: Arizona. For years, Arizona has been known as the toughest state on DUI offenders. It's so tough, you'll lose your driving privileges the moment you are arrested. more
    Which state is the unhealthiest state?
    Mississippi 1. Mississippi. Mississippi has consistently been the country's most unhealthy state for several years. While Mississippi has a low drug death rate and low prevalence of excessive drinking, it falls behind in many other categories. more
    Which state is the Sunshine state?
    Florida List of nicknames of U.S. states more
    Which U.S. state has the toughest gun laws?
    10 States with the Strongest Gun Laws:
    1. California.
    2. New Jersey.
    3. Massachusetts.
    4. Connecticut.
    5. Hawaii.
    6. New York.
    7. Maryland.
    8. Illinois.
    more
    Which state has the toughest laws?
    With 395,608 regulatory restrictions, California is the most heavily regulated state in the nation, according to the report. On average, states have 135,000 regulatory restrictions in administrative rules, with California's regulations more than doubling the national average. more
    Which US state has the toughest gun laws?
    States with the Strictest Gun Laws California is the state with the strictest gun laws, and it also has the seventh-lowest rate of deaths by gun violence. more
    Is Washington state a welfare state?
    Indeed, if Washington is a welfare state, it is residents in these mostly rural, mostly Eastern, mostly Republican counties who are the biggest beneficiaries, while taxpayers here in the blue parts of the state are left footing the bill. more
    What state is the healthiest state?
    Massachusetts is the healthiest state in the U.S., according to the most recent annual ranking from Sharecare, a digital health company, and the Boston University School of Public Health. more
    Can a state invade another state?
    No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay. more

    Source: www.compare.com

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