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Welcome to DUI LAWS

DUI/DWI LAWS last updated July 2004

All fifty states along with 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, 0.08 percent.

License suspension 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. 41 states and the District of Columbia have administrative license suspension laws.

45 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 thirty 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.

State BAC Defined as illegal per se Administrative license suspension 1st offense?1 Restore driving privileges during suspension?1,2 Do penalties include interlock/forfeiture?3 Open container laws
Alabama 0.08 90 days no no/no driver/passenger
Alaska 0.08 90 days after 30 days yes/yes driver
Arizona 0.08 90 days after 30 days yes/yes driver/passenger
Arkansas 0.08 120 days yes yes/yes --
California 0.08 4 months after 30 days yes/yes

driver/passenger

Colorado 0.08 3 months yes yes/no --
Connecticut 0.08 90 days yes no/no --
Delaware 0.08 3 months no yes/no --
District of Columbia 0.08 2-90 days yes yes/no driver/passenger
Florida 0.08 6 months after 30 days yes/yes driver/passenger


State BAC Defined as illegal per se Administrative license suspension 1st offense?1 Restore driving privileges during suspension?1,2 Do penalties include interlock/forfeiture?3 Open container laws
Georgia 0.08 1 year yes yes/yes driver/passenger
Hawaii 0.08 3 months after 30 days yes/no driver/passenger
Idaho 0.08 90 days after 30 days yes/no driver/passenger
Illinois 0.08 3 months after 30 days yes/yes driver/passenger
Indiana 0.08 180 days after 30 days

yes/no

driver4

Iowa 0.08 180 days after 90 days yes/no driver/passenger
Kansas 0.08 30 days no yes/no driver
Kentucky 0.08 -- -- yes/yes driver/passenger
Louisiana 0.08 90 days after 30 days yes/yes driver/passenger
Maine 0.08 90 days yes yes/yes driver/passenger


State BAC Defined as illegal per se Administrative license suspension 1st offense?1 Restore driving privileges during suspension?1,2 Do penalties include interlock/forfeiture?3 Open container laws
Maryland 0.08 45 days yes yes/no driver/passenger
Massachusetts 0.08 90 days no no/no driver/passenger
Michigan 0.085 -- -- yes/yes driver/passenger
Minnesota 0.08
(eff. 08/01/05)
90 days after 15 days yes/yes driver/passenger
Mississippi 0.08 90 days no yes/yes

--

Missouri 0.08 30 days no yes/yes --
Montana 0.08 -- -- yes/yes driver/passenger
Nebraska 0.08 90 days after 30 days yes/no driver/passenger
Nevada 0.08 90 days after 45 days yes/no driver/passenger
New Hampshire 0.08 6 months no yes/no driver/passenger


State BAC Defined as illegal per se Administrative license suspension 1st offense?1 Restore driving privileges during suspension?1,2 Do penalties include interlock/forfeiture?3 Open container laws
New Jersey 0.08 -- -- yes/no driver/passenger
New Mexico 0.08 90 days after 30 days yes/no driver/passenger
New York 0.08 variable6 yes yes/yes driver/passenger
North Carolina 0.08 30 days after 10 days yes/yes driver/passenger
North Dakota 0.08 91 days after 30 days yes/yes

driver/passenger

Ohio 0.08 90 days after 15 days yes/yes driver/passenger
Oklahoma 0.08 180 days yes yes/yes driver
Oregon 0.08 90 days after 30 days yes/yes driver/passenger
Pennsylvania 0.08 -- -- yes/yes driver/passenger
Rhode Island 0.08 -- -- yes/yes driver


State BAC Defined as illegal per se Administrative license suspension 1st offense?1 Restore driving privileges during suspension?1,2 Do penalties include interlock/forfeiture?3 Open container laws
South Carolina 0.08 -- -- yes/yes driver/passenger
South Dakota 0.08 -- -- no/no driver/passenger
Tennessee 0.08 -- -- yes/yes driver7
Texas 0.08 90 days yes yes/yes driver/passenger
Utah 0.08 90 days no yes/no

driver/passenger

Vermont 0.08 90 days no no/yes driver/passenger
Virginia 0.08 7 days no yes/yes  
Washington 0.08 90 days after 30 days yes/yes driver/passenger
West Virginia 0.08 6 months after 30 days yes/no --
Wisconsin 0.08 6 months yes yes/yes driver/passenger
Wyoming 0.08 90 days yes no/no driver

1Information pertains to drivers in violation of the BAC defined as illegal per se for all drivers, not the special BAC for young drivers.

2Drivers usually must demonstrate special hardship to justify restoring privileges during suspension, and then privileges often are restricted.

3A multiple offender's vehicle may be seized and disposed.

4In Indiana, the open container restriction only applies if the driver has a BAC of 0.04.

5The 0.08 per se BAC law in Michgan contains a sunset clause which states that the legal BAC will revert to 0.10 on October 1, 2013.

6In New York, administrative license suspension lasts until prosecution is complete.

7In Tennessee, the open container law does not prohibit any municipality, by ordinance, or any county, by resolution, from prohibiting passengers from possessing an open container.


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