DUI Penalties by State – Complete Overview and FAQs

17.03.2021
Milena

Driving under the influence not only puts you and other people in danger, but it also can earn you a hefty fine. Residents in some states may even have to serve jail time or do community service. Repeating offenders risk losing the license for good, too. What DUI punishment you face for driving while impaired depends on where you live. That’s why it’s essential to know the DUI penalties by state. Below, we will go over the fines, jail time, and license suspension you’re facing for DUI in every state. Discover the worst state to get a DUI alongside the typical punishments for your 1st, 2nd, and 3rd offense.

Penalties for Drunk Driving Across the US

A DUI is a severe offense, regardless of where you make it. Still, in some states, the financial burden of driving under the influence can be much higher. In our first table, you can see the DUI punishments by state for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd offenses. Repeating offenders naturally face more severe fines than first-time offenders. In this section, we’ll focus on cash DUI penalties. Further along, however, we’ll also cover the possible jail, license restrictions, and Ignition Interlock Device (IID) DUI punishments.

State1st Offense Fine2nd Offense Fine3rd Offense Fine
Alabama$600 to $2,100$1,100 to $5,100$2,100 to $10,100
Alaska$1,500 to $25,000$3,000 to $25,000$4,000 to $25,000
Arizona$1,480 to at least $3,250$3,000 to at least $4,250$3,000 to at least $4,250
Arkansas$150 to $1,000$400 to $3,000$900 to $5,000
California$390 to $1,000$390 to $1,000Up to $1,800
Colorado$600 to $1,000$600 to $1,500$600 to $1,500
Connecticut$500 to $1,000$1,000 to $4,000$2,000 to $8,000
D.C.$1,000$2,500 to $5,000$2,500 to $10,000
Delaware$500 to $1,500$750 to $2,500Up to $5,000
Florida$500 to $2,000$1,000 to $4,000$2,000 to $5,000
Georgia$300 to $1,000$600 to $1,000$1,000 to $5,000
Hawaii$250 to $1,000$1,000 to $3,000$2,000 to $5,000
IdahoUp to $1,000 or up to $2,000 (BAC .20% or greater)Up to $2,000 or up to $5,000 (BAC .20% or greater)Up to $5,000
Illinois$500 to $2,500$1,250 to $2,500$2,500 to $25,000
IndianaUp to $500 / up to $5,000 (BAC .15% or greater)Up to $500 / up to $5,000 (BAC .15% or greater)Up to $500 / up to $5,000 (BAC .15% or greater)
Iowa$625 to $1,250$1,875 to $6,250$3,125 to $9,375
KansasUp to $1,000Up to $1,750Up to $2,500
Kentucky$200 to $500$350 to $500$500 to $1,000
Louisiana$300 to $1,000$750 to $1,000$2,000
Maine$500 to $2,000$700 to $2,000$1,100 to $5,000
MarylandUp to $1,000Up to $2,000Up to $5,000
Massachusetts$500 to $5,000$600 to $10,000$1,000 to $15,000
Michigan$100 to $500$200 to $1,000$500 to $5,000
MinnesotaUp to $1,000Up to $3,000Up to $3,000
Mississippi$250 to $1,000$600 to $1,500$2,000 to $5,000
MissouriUp to $1,000Up to $2,000Up to $10,000
Montana$600 to $1,000$1,200 to $2,000$2,500 to $5,000
Nebraska$500$500 or $1,000 (if BAC .15% or more)$1,000 or Up to $10,000 (if BAC is .15% or more)
Nevada$400 minimum$750 minimum$2,000 minimum
New Hampshire$500 to $1,200$750 to $2,000$750 to $2,000
New Jersey$250 to $400$500 to $1,000$1,000
New MexicoUp to $500$500 to $1,000$750 to $1,000
New York$500 to $1,000$1,000 to $5,000$2,000 to $10,000
North CarolinaMax $200 (level 5)Max $500 (level 4)Max $1,000 (level 3)
North Dakota$500 to $1,500 (minimum $750 if .16% or more BAC)$1,500$2,000 to $3,000
Ohio$375 to $1,075$525 to $1,625$850 to $2,750
OklahomaUp to $1,000Up to $2,500Up to $5,000
Oregon$1,000 / $2,000 if BAC is .15% or more to $6,250$1,500 / $2,000 if BAC is .15% or more to $6,250$2,000 (if the person is not sentenced to a term of imprisonment) to $125,000
Pennsylvania$300 to $5,000$300 to $10,000$500 to $10,000
Rhode Island$100 to $500$400 to over $1,000$400 to $5,000
South Carolina$400 to $1,000$2,100 to $6,500$3,800 to $10,000
South DakotaUp to $2,000Up to $2,000Up to $4,000
Tennessee$350 to $1,500$600 to $3,500$1,100 to $10,000
TexasUp to $2,000 / up to $4,000 with BAC .15% or more)Up to $4,000Up to $10,000
UtahAt least $1,310At least $1,560At least $2,850
VermontUp to $750Up to $1,500Up to $2,500
Virginia$250 to $2,500$500 to $2,500$1,000 to $2,500
Washington$350 to $5,000$500 to $5,000$1,000 to $5,000
West Virginia$100 to $500 ($200 to $1,000 if .15% BAC or greater)$1,000 to $3,000$3,000 to $5,000
Wisconsin$150 to $300$350 to $1,100$600 to $2,000

States With the Highest Fines for Drunk Driving

Alaska, Arizona, Massachusetts, and Texas have the worst DUI fines by state, or when it comes to the 1st offense, in any case. In Alaska, the minimum fine is a hefty $1,500, and for severe cases, drivers can get hit with up to $25,000 penalty. Arizona fines the first DUI with $1,480, while in Massachusetts, the penalties go between $500 and $5,000. In Texas, first-time offenders face a fine of up to $2,000 or up to $4,000 if their BAC is 0.15% or greater.

Alaska, Arizona, D.C., Iowa, Massachusetts, and New York lead the way in the strictest drunk driving penalties by state for second-time offenders. Alaska’s maximum fine of $25,000 is the highest here, but its minimum penalty of $3,000 shouldn’t be overlooked either. Arizona and D.C. have penalties ranging from $3,000 to at least $4,250 and from $2,000 to $5,000, respectively. Your 2nd DUI can result in a fine between $1,875 and $6,250 in Iowa, and between $600 and $10,000 in Massachusetts. A penalty between $1,000 and $5,000 for their 2nd offense awaits drunk drivers in New York State.

Alaska, D.C., Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, and Oregon have the worst DUI penalties by state for third-time offenders. In Alaska, a 3rd DUI gets you a fine between $4,000 and $25,000. In D.C., the penalties go up to $10,000, just like in New York. A 3rd offense penalty of between $1,000 and $15,000 applies in Massachusetts. A special shout out here goes to Oregon, where the maximum fine can be a stunning $125,000.

States With the Lowest Fines for Drunk Driving

Arkansas, Rhode Island, West Virginia, and Wisconsin have the lowest DUI punishment by state for first-time offenders. Kentucky, Wisconsin, and Wyoming lead the list of states with most lenient drunk driving laws for a 2nd DUI. Finally, the lowest punishments for DUI for a 3rd DUI goes to Indiana. Here, drivers with blood alcohol content (BAC) of under 0.15% pay up to $500. Colorado, Kentucky, and Rhode Island also have generally low penalties in this category.

Other Significant DUI Penalties by State

Besides a cash fine, most states also impose mandatory jail time, community service, license suspensions, and IIDs. Again, the exact DUI penalty you get depends on where you make the offense. Some jurisdictions have stricter penalties than others.

Drunk Driving Penalties – Jail Time

Below, you can find the DUI laws by state when it comes to jail time imposed on first-time, second-time, and third-time offenders.

State1st Offense Jail Time2nd Offense Jail Time3rd Offense Jail Time
AlabamaUp to 1 year5 days to 1 year60 days to 1 year
Alaska72 hours to 1 year20 days to 1 year60 days to 1 year
Arizona10 to at least 4590 to at least 18090 to at least 180
Arkansas24 hours to 1 year7 days to 1 year90 days to 1 year
CaliforniaUp to 6 months96 hours to 1 year120 days to 1 year
Colorado5 days to 1 year10 days to 1 year60 days to 1 year
Connecticut48 hours to up to 6 months120 days to 2 years1 to 3 years
D.C.Up to 180 days10 days to 1 year15 days to 1 year
DelawareUp to 12 months60 days to 18 months1 to 2 years of prison
FloridaUp to 6 months (9 if aggravated)Up to 9 months (12 if aggravated)Up to 12 months
Georgia10 days to 12 months90 days to 12 months120 days to 12 months
Hawaii48 hours to 5 days5 to 30 days5 years
IdahoUp to 6 months or up to 1 year (BAC .20% or greater)10 days to 1 year or 30 days to 5 years (BAC .20% or greater)30 days to 10 years
IllinoisUp to 364 days5 to 364 days10 days or at least 90 days (BAC 16% or more)
IndianaUp to 60 days / up to 1 year if BAC .15% or greaterUp to 60 days / up to 1 year if BAC .15% or greater)Up to 60 days / up to 1 year if BAC .15% or greater)
Iowa48 hours to 1 year7 days to 2 years30 days to 5 years
Kansas48 hours to 6 months5 days to 12 months90 days to 1 year
Kentucky48 hours to 30 days7 days to 6 months30 days to 12 months
Louisiana10 days to 6 months30 days to 6 months1 to 5 years
MaineUp to 1 year7 days to 1 year30 days to 5 years
MarylandUp to 1 yearUp to 2 yearsUp to 5 years
MassachusettsUp to 2 ½ years60 days to 2 ½ years180 days to 2 ½ years jail or 2 ½ to 5 years prison
MichiganUp to 93 days5 days to 1 year1 to 5 years
MinnesotaUp to 90 daysMinimum 30 days in jailMinimum 90 days in jail
MississippiUp to 48 hours5 days to 6 months1 to 5 years
MissouriUp to 6 monthsUp to 1 yearUp to 4 years
MontanaUp to 6 monthsUp to 1 yearUp to 1 year
Nebraska7 to 60 days30 to 180 days or90 days to 1 year (if BAC .15% or more)90 days to 1 year or180 days to 3 years (if BAC .15% or more)
Nevada180-day maximum180-day maximum1 to 6 years
New HampshireNone17 days to 1 year180 days to one year
New JerseyUp to 30 days48 hours to 90 days180 days
New MexicoUp to 90 days96 hours to 364 days30 to 364 days
New YorkUp to1 year1 to 4 years1 to 7 years
North Carolina24 hours to 60 days (level 5)48 hours to 120 days (level 4)72 hours to 6 months (level 3)
North DakotaUp to 30 days10 to 30 days120 to 360 days
Ohio3 days to 6 months10 days to 6 months30 days to 1 year
Oklahoma10 days to 1 year1 to 5 years1 to 10 years
Oregon48 hours to 1 year48 hours to 1 year90 days to 5 years
Pennsylvania6 months of probation5 days to 5 years10 days to 5 years
Rhode IslandUp to 1 year10 days to 12 months1 to 5 years
South Carolina48 hours to 1 year5 days to 3 years60 days to 5 years
South DakotaUp to 1 yearUp to 1 yearUp to 2 years in prison
Tennessee48 hours to 11 months / 7-day minimum if BAC .20% or more45 days to 11 months120 days to 11 months
Texas72 hours to six months / 12-month maximum if BAC .15% or more)30 days to 12 months2 to 10 years
UtahMaximum 180 daysMaximum 180 daysMaximum 5 years
VermontMax 2 yearsMax 2 yearsMax 5 years
VirginiaUp to 12 months10 days to 12 months90 days to 5 years
Washington1 to 364 days30 to 364 days90 to 364 days
West VirginiaUp to 6 months (minimum 48 hours if .15% BAC or greater)6 months to 1 year2 to 5 years
WisconsinNone5 days to 6 months45 days to 1 year

 The most common DUI punishment by state for a 1st offense is either up to one year or up to six months. States like Alabama, Arkansas, and Colorado have these typical penalties. Vermont is the only state where your first DUI can get you up to two years in jail. Wisconsin and New Hampshire don’t have any jail time penalties for drunk driving. In Mississippi, first-time offenders get up to 48 hours in prison.

The situation shifts when we focus on driving while intoxicated penalties for second-time offenders. Here, Hawaii and Nevada have the most lenient DUI laws by state. For the former, the maximum jail time stands at 30 days, while in the latter, it’s 180 days. As for strict states, we have New York (up to four years), Pennsylvania (up to five years), and South Carolina (up to three years).

In Idaho, Oklahoma, and Texas, third-time offenders can get up to 10 years in jail. These are also the strictest penalties for drunk driving in the US. Most of the other states have maximum jail time of up to one or five years. Arizona is an exception with its lowest drunk driving penalties in the category. Here, the jail time on the table is 90 days or at least 180 days, depending on the circumstances.

DUI Penalties by State – License Suspension and IID

Besides cash fines for drunk driving and jail time, many states also impose license suspensions and IIDs. The table below will give you the toughest DUI laws by state in this regard.

State1st Offense License Suspension2nd Offense License Suspension3rd Offense License Suspension1st Offense IID2nd Offense IID3rd Offense IID
Alabama90 days1-year revocation3-year revocation6 months / 2 years if BAC .15% or more, passenger under age 14, injury accident, or BAC test refusal2 years / 4 years if BAC .15% or more or BAC test refusal3 years / 6 years if BAC .15 or more or BAC test refusal
Alaska90 days1 year3 years6 months12 months18 months
Arizona90 days1 year1 year1 year (possible 6-month reduction)1 year1 year
Arkansas6 months24 months30 monthsEqual to suspension periodEqual to suspension periodEqual to suspension period
California6 months2 years3 yearsUp to 6 months or 12-month restricted license1 year2 years
Colorado9 months1 yearIndefinite period of revocation (possible to remove after 2 years)8 months2 to 5 years2 to 5 years
Connecticut45 days45 daysPermanent1 year3 yearsN/A
D.C.6 months1 year2 years6 months1 year2 years
Delaware12 to 24 months18 to 30 months24 to 36 months4 to 23 months16 to 28 months21 to 33 months
Florida180 days to 1 year180 days to 1 year180 days to 1 year6 months if aggravated2 years2 years
Georgia12 months3 yearsPermanent (possible to remove after 3 years)Unlikely1 year1 year
Hawaii1 year18 months2 years1 year18 months2 years
Idaho90 to 210 days or 1 year (BAC .20% or greater)at least 1 year or 1 to 5 years (BAC .20% or greater)1 to 5 years1 yearat least 1 yearat least 1 year
Illinois1 year5 years10 yearsunlikely1 year1 year
Indiana180 daysAt least 1 yearAt least 1 yearUp to 60 days or up to 1 year (BAC .15% or greater)Up to 60 days or up to 1 year (BAC .15% or greater)Up to 60 days or up to 1 year (BAC .15% or greater)
Iowa180 days or 1 year1 year or 2 years6 yearsEqual to the TRL1 year (reduced by the TRL period)1 year (reduced by the TRL period)
Kansas30 days or 1 year (BAC .15 g/ml or greater)1 year1 year180 days or 1 year (BAC .15 g/ml or greater)1 year or 2 years (BAC .15 g/ml or greater)2 years or 3 years (BAC .15 g/ml or greater)
Kentucky30 to 120 days12 to 18 months24 to 36 months6 months12 months30 months
Louisiana12 months or 2 years (BAC 0.20% or greater)24 months or 4 years (BAC 0.20% or greater)36 monthsPossible during probationAt least 6 months and during probationDuring probation and treatment
Maine150 days3 years6 yearsDuring the probation2 year3 years
MarylandUp to 6 monthsUp to 9 monthsUp to 12 months6 months3 years3 years
Massachusetts1 year2 years8 years2 years2 years3 years
Michigan180 days1 year5 year1 year1 year1 year
Minnesota90 days1 year3 yearsPossible during probationPossible during probationPossible during probation plus 2 years after probation
Mississippi90 days to 1 year2 years5 yearsUnlikelyAt least 6 monthsAt least 6 months
Missouri30 days plus 60 days license restriction5 years10 yearsPossible during restricted license periodAt least 6 monthsAt least 6 months
Montana6 months1 year1 yearPeriod of probationPeriod of probationPeriod of probation
Nebraska6 months or1 year (if BAC .15% or more)18 months or 18 months to 15 years (if BAC .15% or more)15 yearsEligible45 days before eligible45 days before eligible
NevadaAt least 185 days1 year3 years185 days if BAC is less than .18%, 1 to 3 years if BAC is .18% or more185 days if BAC is less than .18%, 1 to 3 years if BAC is .18% or more1 to 3 years
New Hampshire9 months to 2 years3 yearsLifetime revocation12 months to 2 years12 months to 2 years12 months to 2 years
New Jersey3 months / 7 to 12 months if BAC .10% or more or under influence of drugs2 years10 years6 months to 1 year1 to 3 years1 to 3 years
New Mexico1 year2 years3 years1 year2 years3 years
New York6 months1 yearPermanent (possible to remove after 5 years)6 months to 1 yearDuring the revocation period and possibly longerDuring the revocation period and possibly longer
North Carolina1 year4 yearsPermanent1 year3 years7 years
North Dakota91 to 180365 days to 2 years2 to 3 yearsPossiblePossiblePossible
Ohio1 to 3 years1 to 7 years2 to 12 years15 days45 days180 days
Oklahoma180 days1 year3 years18 months if refused test or BAC of .15% or more4 years5 years
Oregon1 year3 yearsPermanent (possible to restore license after 10 years)1 year2 years2 to 5 years
PennsylvaniaNone to 12 months12 to 18 months12 to 18 monthsUnlikely1 year1 year
Rhode Island30 to18 months1 to 2 years2 to 3 years3 months to 1 year6 months to 2 year1 to 4 years
South Carolina6 months2 years3 yearsPeriod of probationPeriod of probationPeriod of probation
South Dakota30 days up to 1 yearAt least 1 yearAt least 1 yearUnlikelyUnlikelyUnlikely
Tennessee1 year2 years6 yearsPossiblePossiblePossible
Texas90 days to 12 months180 days to 2 years180 days to 2 yearsOnly as a condition1 year1 year
Utah120 daysRevoked for 2 yearsRevoked for 2 years1 year mandatory with BAC of .16% or more2 years2 years
Vermont90 days18 monthsLifetime6 months18 months3 years
Virginia1 year3 yearsIndefinitelyAt least 6 months, as a conditionAt least 6 monthsAt least 6 months
Washingtonat least 90 days2 years3 yearsAt least 1 yearAt least 5 yearsAt least 10 years
West Virginia6 months10-year revocationLifetime revocation120 to 270 days120 to 270 days120 to 270 days
Wisconsin6 to 9 months12 to 18 months2 to 3 yearsAt least 1 yearAt least 1 yearAt least 1 year

The typical drinking and driving penalties for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd DUIs are one year, three years, and five years. The jurisdictions with the harshest DUI punishments by state impose permanent license restrictions. Such states are Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia. In some of them, it’s possible to get your license back after a specific number of years has passed.

As for the IID punishment for DUI, it’s an option in some states and unlikely in others. The IDD, typically, is required as long as the license restriction applies. The most common duration of this type of penalty for drunk driving, however, lasts between one and three years.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does DUI carry from state to state?

Not necessarily, but very likely. DUI arrests don’t go on your record, but DUI convictions do. So, if you’re facing a judge in another state, they will treat you as a previous offender. It doesn’t matter whether the prior offense happened within their jurisdiction.

Also, in case your license is suspended, the DMV will add your details in the National Driver Register database. Before issuing a permit, state authorities always check this list. So regardless of the different DUI penalties by state, they won’t issue you a new driver’s license if your old one has been revoked in another state.

There are some exceptions where your DUIs affect your possibilities in one state only. However, a past offense is likely to have consequences everywhere you go.

What is the typical punishment for a DUI?

The answer depends on several factors. First, is this your first DUI or not? Second, where did you make the offense? Finally, what are the circumstances and consequences of your actions? 

Typically, your first DUI will result in a cash penalty, alcohol treatment, and license restriction and/or suspension. Less than 10% of first-time offenders serve jail time.

Does DUI affect credit score?

Not directly. While not among the factors that impact your credit score, DUI convictions usually result in penalties, fees, and higher insurance premiums. All these can lead to amassing debt, maxing your credit card, or taking out a loan. Each of these will negatively impact your credit history.

How much does your car insurance go up after a DUI?

Depending on your state, your car insurance can increase between 80% and 370% after a DUI conviction. Insurance providers have the right to cancel your current coverage and then boost the prices for a new deal. 

If you are a repeating offender, you can expect a significant increase in your car insurance premium. It usually takes about 10 years before your auto insurance price goes down.

Does a DUI affect buying a car?

To buy a car, in most US states, you need proof of identification, place of residence, and car insurance. While a DUI can revoke your driver’s license, you can use your passport as a valid identification document. So, you can technically purchase a car with a DUI on your record. 

While the drunk driving penalties by state don’t include restrictions on buying cars, there is the issue of mandatory car insurance. Providers will check your records and offer expensive rates when they see the DUI. Meaning, buying a vehicle with a DUI offense on your record is more of a money issue than anything else. Also, you can’t drive the car if your license is suspended.

The Bottom Line

Every US state has its driving while intoxicated laws and penalties. In the states with strictest DUI laws, multiple offenses can result in you losing your license and hefty fines. If you ever find yourself in such a situation, therefore, it’s essential to know the DUI penalties by state. That way, you’ll know what to expect and prepare for the possible consequences accordingly.

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