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Blue Bullet DRUNK DRIVING LAWS BY STATE

DUI/DWI LAWS as of October 2008

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 47 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.

State
BAC defined as illegal per se
Administrative license suspension 1st offense?
Restore driving privileges during suspension?
Do penalties include interlock
Vehicle forfeiture for multiple offenses
Open container laws
Alabama
0.08
90days
no
no
no
driver/passenger
Alaska
0.08
90days
after 30 days1
yes
yes
driver
Arizona
0.08
90days
after 30days1
yes
yes
driver/passenger
Arkansas
0.08
120days
yes1
yes
yes
no
California
0.08
4months
after 30days1
yes
yes
driver/passenger
Colorado
0.08
3months
yes1
yes
no
driver/passenger
Connecticut
0.08
90days
yes1
yes
no
no
Delaware
0.08
3months
no
yes
no
no
District of Columbia
0.08
2-90days
yes1
yes
no
driver/passenger
Florida
0.08
6months
after 30days1
yes
yes
driver/passenger
Georgia
0.08
1year
yes1
yes
yes
driver/passenger
Hawaii
0.08
3months
after 30days1
yes
no
driver/passenger
Idaho
0.08
90days
after 30days1
yes
no
driver/passenger
Illinois
0.08
3months
after 30days1
yes
yes
driver/passenger
Indiana
0.08
180days
after 30days1
yes
yes
driver/passenger
Iowa
0.08
180days
after 90days1
yes
no
driver/passenger
Kansas
0.08
30days
no
yes
no
driver
Kentucky
0.08
no
notapplicable
yes
yes
driver/passenger
Louisiana
0.08
90days
after 30days1
yes
yes
driver/passenger
Maine
0.08
90days
yes1
yes
yes
driver/passenger
Maryland
0.08
45days
yes1
yes
no
driver/passenger
Massachusetts
0.08
90days
no
yes
yes
driver/passenger
Michigan
0.082
no
notapplicable
yes
yes
driver/passenger
Minnesota
0.08
90days
after 15days1
yes
yes
driver/passenger
Mississippi
0.08
90days
no
yes
yes
no
Missouri
0.08
30days
no
yes
yes
no
Montana
0.08
no
notapplicable
yes
yes
driver/passenger
Nebraska
0.08
90days
after 30days1
yes
no
driver/passenger
Nevada
0.08
90days
after 45days1
yes
no
driver/passenger
New Hampshire
0.08
6months
no
yes
no
driver/passenger
New Jersey
0.08
no
notapplicable
yes
no
driver/passenger
New Mexico
0.08
90days
after 30days1
yes
no
driver/passenger
New York
0.08
variable3
yes1
yes
yes
driver/passenger
North Carolina
0.08
30days
after 10days1
yes
yes
driver/passenger
North Dakota
0.08
91days
after 30days1
yes
yes
driver/passenger
Ohio
0.08
90days
after 15days1
yes
yes
driver/passenger
Oklahoma
0.08
180days
yes1
yes
yes
driver
Oregon
0.08
90days
after 30days1
yes
yes
driver/passenger
Pennsylvania
0.08
no
notapplicable
yes
yes
driver/passenger
Rhode Island
0.08
no
notapplicable
yes
yes
driver
South Carolina
0.08
no
notapplicable
yes
yes
driver/passenger
South Dakota
0.08
no
notapplicable
no
no
driver/passenger
Tennessee
0.08
no
notapplicable
yes
yes
driver4
Texas
0.08
90days
yes1
yes
yes
driver/passenger
Utah
0.08
90days
no
yes
no
driver/passenger
Vermont
0.08
90days
no
no
yes
driver/passenger
Virginia
0.08
7days
no
yes
yes
no
Washington
0.08
90days
after 30days1
yes
yes
driver/passenger
West Virginia
0.08
6months
after 30days1
yes
no
no
Wisconsin
0.08
6months
yes1
yes
yes
driver/passenger
Wyoming
0.08
90days
yes1
yes
no
driver/passenger

1 Drivers usually must demonstratespecial hardship to justify restoring privileges during suspension, and thenprivileges 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 licensesuspension lasts until prosecution is complete.

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

©1996-2004, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Highway Loss Data Institute | http://www.iihs.org
Last modified: Oct-2008


Please note, that this information is for general informational purposes only and is subject to change without notice. At any given time one or more states may be reviewing or revising their drunk driving laws, and the legal limits they set for BAC while operating a motor vehicle. Therefore, if you need this information for legal purposes, please confirm the information shown above for your state with your state's own department of transportation or with a state or local police agency.

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