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State-by-State DUI Penalties

Not all DUI or DWI laws are created equal. Indeed, each state determines the severity of the crime and possible punishments. In most states it is a serious criminal offense, but in other statesa first-time offense is merely a civil infraction. In some states the judge will have discretion on how to enforce punishment, while in others the law calls for mandatory sentences. This chart identifies certain DUI-related criminal and administrative penalties used in each state:

State

Administrative License Suspension/Revocation (1st/2nd/3rd Offense)

Mandatory Alcohol Education and Treatment/Assessment

Vehicle Confiscation Possible?

Ignition Interlock Device Possible?

AL

90d/ 1y/ 3ys

Both

No

No

AK

90d/ 1y/ 3ys

Both

2nd offense

Yes

AZ

90d/ 90d/ 90 d

Both

3rd offense

2nd offense

AR

120d/ 24m/ 30m

Both

4th offense

Yes

CA

4m/ 2y/ 3y

Both (Education if under 21)

3rd offense

Yes

CO

3m/ 1y/ 1y

Both

No

Yes

CT

1y/ 3y/ permanent

Both

No

2nd offense

DE

3m/ 1y/ 18m

Either (not both)

No

Yes

DC

90d/ 1y/ 2ys

No

No

Yes

FL

6m/ 1y/ 2ys

Both

Yes

Yes

GA

1y/ 3y/ 5y

Both

4th offense

2nd offense

HI

3m/ 1y/ 1-5y

Both

No

Yes

ID

90d/ 1y/ 1y

No

No

Yes

IL

90d/ 1y/ varied

Treatment/
Assessment

3rd offense

2nd offense

IN

180d/ 180d/ 180d

No

Yes

Yes

IA

180d/ 1y/ 2y

Education

No

Yes

KS

30d/ 1y/ 1y

Either (not both)

No

2nd offense

KY

30d/ 1y/ 2ys

Both

Yes

Yes

LA

90d/ 1y/ 2y

Treatment/Assessment

3rd offense

2nd offense

ME

90d/ 18m/ 4ys

Both

Yes

Yes

MD

60d/ 120d/ --

No

No

Yes

MA

1y/ 2y/ 8y

Both

Yes

Yes

MI

6m/ 1y/ --

Both

2nd offense

2nd offense

MN

90d/ 180d/ 1y

Treatment/
Assessment - 3rd offense

3rd offense

Yes

MS

90d/ 2y/ 5y

Both

3rd offense

Yes

MO

30d/ 1y/ 1y

Both

in limited circumstances

Yes

MT

6m/ 1y/ 1y

Both

3rd offense

Yes

NE

90d/ 1y/ 1y

No

No

Yes

NV

90d/ 1y/ 3y

Both - in limited circumstances

No

Yes

NH

6m/ 3y/ 5y

Both

No

Yes

NJ

3m/ 2y/ 10y

Both

No

Yes

NM

90d/ varied/ varied

Both

No

2nd offense

NY

90d/ 6m/ 6m

Both

2nd offense

Yes

NC

60d/ 60d/ 90d

Both - in limited circumstances

4th offense

Yes

ND

91d/ 1y/ 2y

Treatment/
Assessment

2nd offense

Yes

OH

6m/ 1y/ 1y

Treatment/
Assessment - 3rd off.

4th offense

Yes

OK

30d/ 6m/ 1y

Both - in limited circumstances

in limited circumstances

Yes

OR

90d/ 1y/ 1y

Both

Yes

Yes

PA

1y/ 1y/ 1y

Both - 2nd offense

Yes

2nd offense

RI

45d/ 1y/ 2y

Both

3rd offense

Yes

SC

6m/ 1y/ 2y

Both - in limited circumstances

4th offense

Yes

SD

30d/ 1y/ 1y

No

No

No

TN

1y/ 2y/ 3y

Both - in limited circumstances

2nd offense

Yes

TX

90d/ 180d/ 180d

No

3rd offense

in limited circumstances

UT

90d/ 1y/ 1y

Both

No

Yes

VT

90d/ 18m/ permanent

Education - in limited circumstances

3rd offense

No

VA

1y/ 3y/ 3y

Both

Yes

Yes

WA

90d/ 2y/ 3y

Both

2nd offense

Yes

WV

6m/ 1y/ 1y

Both - in limited circumstances

No

Yes

WI

6m/ 1y/ 2y

Both - in limited circumstances

3rd offense

Yes

WY

90d/ 1y/ 3y

Treatment/
Assessment - 3rd offense

No

Yes

Note: Persons arrested for DUI will be subject to additional criminal law penalties not addressed here -- including jail time, fines, and community service. Such criminal penalties are typically more discretionary than those identified in this chart, and are therefore more difficult to accurately predict. Generally speaking, first-time DUI offenders can expect to incur a fine, and face the possibility of jail time. Repeat DUI offenders will incur harsher fines, and will almost certainly be sentenced to a number of days in jail. Penalties will be harsher still if the DUI offender was involved in an accident in which someone else was injured or killed.

 Administrative License Suspension/Revocation
The Administrative License Suspension/Revocation penalties indicated here refer to minimum mandatory penalties imposed on drivers whose BAC is above the state limit for intoxication, or drivers who refuse to submit to BAC testing. Administrative suspension or revocation of a driver's license is usually carried out by a state agency (such as a Department of Motor Vehicles), distinct from any criminal court penalties. Most states impose harsher penalties for second or third DUI offenses, typically defined as those that occur within five years of a prior DUI offense.

Note: the penalties identified here do not include variations for DUI offenders operating commercial vehicles, or drivers who have violated "zero tolerance" and "enhanced penalty" DUI laws. Most states recognize different sanctions for these types of DUI offenses.

 Mandatory Alcohol Education and Assessment/Treatment
Alcohol education and treatment/assessment penalties for DUI offenders can include mandatory attendance at DUI prevention programs, and assessment of potential alcohol dependency problems. Such programs are often made "conditions" of a suspended sentence or probation, meaning that a DUI offender can avoid jail time and payment of hefty fines if he or she completes participation in the program.

Vehicle Confiscation
Vehicle confiscation penalties allow a motor vehicle department or law enforcement agency to seize a DUI offender's vehicle, either permanently or for a set period of time. Such penalties typically apply only to repeat DUI offenders, and often the return of the vehicle requires payment of fines and significant administrative costs.

 Ignition Interlock
A vehicle ignition interlock breath-testing device measures a vehicle operator's BAC, and will prevent operation of the vehicle if more than a minimal amount of alcohol is detected (i.e. BAC level of .02). DUI offenders will usually be required to pay the costs of installation, rental, and maintenance of an ignition interlock device.

Consult an Experienced DUI Attorney

If you or a loved one are arrested for DUI, you may need an experienced DUI lawyer. A skilled attorney who specializes in defending DUI cases will evaluate all the evidence, including the procedure and results of any field sobriety and chemical tests, to ensure that your legal rights are protected. Plus it's important to speak to a lawyer familiar with the laws in your jurisdiction. Most offer free consultations, so your first step should be to contact an experienced DUI attorney.

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

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