DUI Resources: Article Library

DUI / DWI Laws by State

All 50 states and the District of Columbia have Per Se 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. Administrative license suspension laws are in place in 41 states and the District of Columbia.

Some offenders in 46 states and the District of Columbia are permitted 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 32 states, multiple offenders may have to forfeit their vehicles.

Laws prohibiting the driver, passengers, or both from possessing an open container of alcohol in the passenger compartment of a vehicle are in place in 43 states and the District of Columbia.

DUI-DWI Laws by State
State BAC defined as illegal Per Se Administrative license suspension 1st offense? Restore driving privileges during suspension? Do penalties include interlock Open container laws
Alabama 0.08 90 days No No Driver; Passenger
Alaska 0.08 90 days after 30 days1 Yes Driver
Arizona 0.08 90 days after 30 days1 Yes Driver; Passenger
Arkansas 0.08 120 days Yes 1 Yes No
California 0.08 4 months after 30 days1 Yes Driver; Passenger
Colorado 0.08 3 months Yes 1 Yes Driver; Passenger
Connecticut 0.08 90 days Yes 1 Yes No
Delaware 0.08 3 months No Yes No
District of Columbia 0.08 2-90 days Yes 1 Yes Driver; Passenger
Florida 0.08 6 months after 30 days1 Yes Driver; Passenger
Georgia 0.08 1 year Yes1 Yes Driver; Passenger
Hawaii 0.08 3 months after 30 days1 No Driver; Passenger
Idaho 0.08 90 days after 30 days1 Yes Driver; Passenger
Illinois 0.08 3 months after 30 days1 Yes Driver; Passenger
Indiana 0.08 180 days after 30 days1 Yes Driver; Passenger
Iowa 0.08 180 days after 90 days1 Yes Driver; Passenger
Kansas 0.08 30 days No Yes Driver
Kentucky 0.08 No not applicable Yes Driver; Passenger
Louisiana 0.08 90 days after 30 days1 Yes Driver; Passenger
Maine 0.08 90 days Yes1 Yes Driver; Passenger
Maryland 0.08 45 days Yes1 Yes Driver; Passenger
Massachusetts 0.08 90 days No Yes Driver; Passenger
Michigan 0.08 No Not applicable Yes Driver; Passenger
Minnesota 0.08 90 days After 15 days1 Yes Driver; Passenger
Mississippi 0.08 90 days No Yes No
Missouri 0.08 30 days No Yes No
Montana 0.08 No Not applicable Yes Driver; Passenger
Nebraska 0.08 90 days After 30 days1 Yes Driver; Passenger
Nevada 0.08 90 days After 45 days1 Yes Driver; Passenger
New Hampshire 0.08 6 months No Yes Driver; Passenger
New Jersey 0.08 No Not applicable Yes Driver; Passenger
New Mexico 0.08 90 days After 30 days1 Yes Driver; Passenger
New York 0.08 variable3 Yes1 Yes Driver; Passenger
North Carolina 0.08 30 days After 10 days1 Yes Driver; Passenger
North Dakota 0.08 91 days After 30 days1 Yes Driver; Passenger
Ohio 0.08 90 days After 15 days1 Yes Driver; Passenger
Oklahoma 0.08 180 days Yes1 Yes Driver
Oregon 0.08 90 days After 30 days1 Yes Driver; Passenger
Pennsylvania 0.08 No Not applicable Yes Driver; Passenger
Rhode Island 0.08 No Not applicable Yes Driver
South Carolina 0.08 No Not applicable Yes Driver; Passenger
South Dakota 0.08 No Not applicable Yes Driver; Passenger
Tennessee 0.08 No Not applicable Yes Driver4
Texas 0.08 90 days Yes1 Yes Driver; Passenger
Utah 0.08 90 days No Yes Driver; Passenger
Vermont 0.08 90 days No No Driver; Passenger
Virginia 0.08 7 days No Yes No
Washington 0.08 90 days After 30 days1 Yes Driver; Passenger
West Virginia 0.08 6 months After 30 days1 Yes No
Wisconsin 0.08 6 months Yes1 Yes Driver; Passenger
Wyoming 0.08 90 days Yes1 Yes Driver; Passenger

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

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

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

4 In Tennessee, municipalities and counties can prohibit passengers from possessing an open container.

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