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By State DUI Penalities

All 50 states and the District of Columbia have laws defining it as a crime to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at or above a proscribed level, most states – 0.08 percent.

License suspension and/or revocation traditionally follows conviction for alcohol-impaired driving. Under a procedure called administrative license suspension, licenses are taken before conviction when a driver fails or refuses to take a chemical test. Because administrative license suspension laws are independent of criminal procedures and are invoked right after arrest, they’ve been found to be more effective than traditional post-conviction sanctions. Forty-one states and the District of Columbia have administrative license suspension laws.

Forty-five states permit some offenders to drive only if their vehicles have been equipped with ignition interlocks. These devices analyze a driver’s breath and disable the ignition if the driver has been drinking.

In 30 states, multiple offenders may forfeit vehicles that are driven while impaired by alcohol.

Forty-three states and Washington D.C. have laws prohibiting the driver, passengers or both from possessing an open container of alcohol in the passenger compartment of a vehicle.





































Foot Notes

  1. Drivers must demonstrate special hardship to justify restoring privileges during suspension.
  2. First offender pilot program in 4 counties:  Alameda, Los Angeles, Sacramento, and Tulare.
  3. Interlock is mandatory unless waived due to financial hardship.
  4. In New York, administrative license suspension lasts until prosecution is complete.
  5. In Texas, an interlock is mandatory for first offense high-BAC as a condition of suspending the jail sentence.

Source: IIHS

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