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Comparing State DUI Laws

Drunk driving penalties are a lot like real estate values -- it all comes down to location, location, location. Before you even think of getting behind the wheel after having just one drink, you should know the DUI laws of your state. Even if you do not feel the effects of alcohol, your blood alcohol content (BAC) may exceed your state's legal limit because everyone's body and alcohol tolerance is different. Although as seen in the chart below, some similarities are shared across the board, it is important to note that state DUI laws vary across the country.

For example, while the blood alcohol content (BAC) levels are all .08, the punishments vary widely. Arizona, Tennessee, and Georgia are among the states with mandatory jail time for first offenders. On the other hand, California, Connecticut, and Indiana don't have such a requirement. Then there is Wisconsin, where a first-offense drunken driving isn't even a crime. It's a civil infraction that results in a ticket.

This chart compares the DUI /DWI laws of all 50 states and the District of Columbia:

State "Per Se" BAC Level "Zero Tolerance" BAC Level Enhanced Penalty BAC Level "Implied Consent" Law

Alabama

.08

.02

--

Yes

Alaska

.08

.00

.15

Yes

Arizona

.08

.00

.15

Yes

Arkansas

.08

.02

.15

Yes

California

.08

.02

.16

Yes

Colorado

.08

.02

.17

Yes

Connecticut

.08

.02

.16

Yes

Delaware

.08

.02

.15

Yes

District of Columbia

.08

.00

.15

Yes

Florida

.08

.02

.15

Yes

Georgia

.08

.02

.15

Yes

Hawaii

.08

.02

.15

Yes

Idaho

.08

.02

.20

Yes

Illinois

.08

.00

.16

Yes

Indiana

.08

.02

.15

Yes

Iowa

.08

.02

.15

Yes

Kansas

.08

.02

.15

Yes

Kentucky

.08

.02

.18

Yes

Louisiana

.08

.02

.15

Yes

Maine

.08

.00

.15

Yes

Maryland

.08

.02

--

Yes

Massachusetts

.08

.02

.20

Yes

Michigan

.08

.02

.17

Yes

Minnesota

.08

.00

.16

Yes

Mississippi

.08

.02

--

Yes

Missouri

.08

.02

.15

Yes

Montana

.08

.02

--

Yes

Nebraska

.08

.02

.15

Yes

Nevada

.08

.02

.18

Yes

New Hampshire

.08

.02

.18

Yes

New Jersey

.08

.01

.10

Yes

New Mexico

.08

.02

.16

Yes

New York

.08

.02

.18

Yes

North Carolina

.08

.00

.15

Yes

North Dakota

.08

.02

.18

Yes

Ohio

.08

.02

.17

Yes

Oklahoma

.08

.02

.17

Yes

Oregon

.08

.00

--

Yes

Pennsylvania

.08

.02

.16

Yes

Rhode Island

.08

.02

.15

Yes

South Carolina

.08

.02

.16

Yes

South Dakota

.08

.02

.17

Yes

Tennessee

.08

.02

.20

Yes

Texas

.08

.02

.15

Yes

Utah

.08

.02

.16

Yes

Vermont

.08

.02

--

Yes

Virginia

.08

.02

.15

Yes

Washington

.08

.02

.15

Yes

West Virginia

.08

.02

.15

Yes

Wisconsin

.08

.02

.15

Yes

Wyoming

.08

.02

.15

Yes

Consult an Experienced DUI Attorney

If you or a loved one get arrested for DUI, you may need an experienced DUI lawyer. A skilled attorney who specializes in defending DUI cases will evaluate all the evidence, the procedures used by police, and the results of any field sobriety and chemical tests, to ensure that your legal rights are protected. In a DUI case, as in any situation where the law comes up, it's important to speak to a lawyer in your area who will be familiar with the laws that will affect you. Most offer free consultations, so your first step should be to contact an experienced DUI attorney. If you have questions about your DUI, or would like to know more about DUI law, please look up an attorney in your area with DUI experience who may be able to help.

Next Steps
Contact a qualified DUI attorney to make sure
your rights are protected.
(e.g., Chicago, IL or 60611)

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