Attorney at Law
FOR LAWYERS

The Complete Guide to DUI/DWI Laws

By
Daisy Rogozinsky
/
June 4, 2023
Last reviewed by
Joanna Smykowski
/
April 7, 2024

Drunk driving is a serious offense that can result in significant legal, financial, and personal consequences, including fines, license suspension or revocation, mandatory alcohol education or treatment programs, and jail time.

This article is a comprehensive guide to DUI/DWI laws in the United States, providing a state-by-state breakdown of the minimum jail time, minimum fines, minimum license suspension, enhanced penalties for high blood alcohol concentration (BAC), and whether an ignition interlock device is required for each state. 

DUI/DWI Laws

DUI/DWI laws vary from state to state, but generally, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration above a certain level. The legal BAC limit is 0.08% in all 50 states, but some states have lower limits for certain drivers, such as commercial drivers or drivers under the age of 21. 

Additionally, all states have implied consent laws, which means that drivers who refuse to take a chemical test to determine their BAC can face automatic license suspension or revocation. Field sobriety tests, such as the walk-and-turn or one-leg stand, are often used to determine if a driver is impaired, but these tests are not always reliable. 

Penalties for DUI/DWI offenses can include fines, license suspension or revocation, community service, mandatory alcohol education or treatment programs, and even jail time. Aggravating factors, such as multiple offenses, high BAC levels, or causing injury or death, can lead to increased penalties.

DUI/DWI and Your Driver's License

A DUI/DWI conviction can have a significant impact on your driver's license. In most states, a first-time DUI/DWI offense can result in a license suspension of 90 days to one year, depending on the circumstances of the case. Subsequent offenses can result in longer suspensions or even license revocation. In some cases, you may be eligible for a restricted license that allows you to drive to work, school, or other necessary activities. 

To reinstate your license after a suspension or revocation, you will typically need to pay a reinstatement fee, complete an alcohol education or treatment program, and possibly retake the driver's test. In some states, you may also be required to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle, which requires you to pass a breathalyzer test before starting the car. It is important to understand the specific requirements for reinstating your license in your state and to work with an attorney who can help you navigate the process.

DUI Laws By State

Last reviewed June 4, 2023

State Minimum Jail Time Minimum Fine For First Offense Minimum License Suspension for First Offense Enhanced Penalties for High BAC Ignition Interlock Device Required
Alabama None $600 90 Days or Ignition Interlock Device for 6 months Yes No
Alaska 72 hours $1,500 90 days (restricted license available after 30 days) Yes Yes
Arizona 24 hours $250 90 days (restricted license possible) Yes Yes
Arkansas 24 hours $150 6 months Yes Yes
California 96 hours including 48 consecutive hours

(Probation possible in lieu of jail time)

$390 4 months administrative suspension

6 months criminal suspension

Yes Yes, in some counties
Colorado 120 hours $600 90 day administrative suspension

9 month criminal suspension

Yes No
Connecticut 48 hours or 100 hours of community service $500 45 days (restricted license possible) N/A Yes
Delaware None $500 3 month administrative suspension

12 to 24 month criminal suspension depending on BAC

Yes No
District of Columbia None $500 6 months Yes No
Florida 8 hours $500 6 months (restricted license possible) Yes Yes
Georgia 24 hours $300 1 year (restricted license possible) Yes No
Hawaii 48 hours $150 90 days (restricted license possible) Yes No
Idaho None None 90 days (restricted license possible after 30 days) Yes No
Illinois 5 days(or 240 hours of community service) $750 6 month administrative suspension

1 year criminal suspension

(restricted license Possible)

Yes Yes
Indiana None None 180 day administrative suspension (restricted license possible) Yes No
Iowa 48 hours $1,200 (or community service) 180 days (restricted license possible) Yes Yes, if BAC above .10
Kansas 48 hours $750 30 days + restricted license for 180 days Yes Yes
Kentucky 48 hours (or community service) $200 (or community service) 30 days (restricted license possible) Yes Yes
Louisiana 48 hours (or community service) $300 90 days (restricted license possible after 30 days) Yes Possible
Maine None $500 150 days (restricted license possible after 30 days) Yes Possible
Maryland None None 180 days (or ignition interlock device) Yes Yes
Massachusetts None $500 1 year (restricted license possible after 3 months) Yes No
Michigan None $100 30 days + restricted license for 150 days Yes Possible
Minnesota None None 90 days (restricted license possible) Yes Possible
Mississippi None $250 120 days (restricted license possible) N/A Possible
Missouri None None 30 days + restricted license for 60 days Yes Possible
Montana 24 hours $600 6 months (restricted license possible) Yes Possible
Nebraska 7 days $500 6 months (restricted license possible) Yes Possible
Nevada 48 hours (or community service) $400 90 days (restricted license possible) Yes Possible
New Hampshire None $500 6 month administrative suspension

9 months criminal suspension (restricted license possible)

Yes Possible
New Jersey 12 hours $250 3 months (restricted license possible) Yes Possible
New Mexico None (24 hours community service required) $300 6 months Yes Yes
New York None $500 6 months (restricted license possible) Yes Yes
North Carolina 24 hours (or community service) None 30 day administrative suspension

1 year criminal suspension (restricted license possible)

Yes Possible
North Dakota None $500 91 days (restricted license possible) Yes Possible
Ohio 72 hours $375 90 day administrative suspension

1 year criminal suspension (restricted license possible)

Yes Possible
Oklahoma 10 days None 180 days (restricted license possible) Yes Possible
Oregon 48 hours (or 80 hours community service) $1,000 90 day administrative suspension

1 year criminal suspension

Yes Yes
Pennsylvania None (6 nonths probation) $300 None Yes Yes, if refusal to take chemical test or a first-time DUI offender with high BAC levels
Rhode Island None (10 hours of community service) $100 30 days Yes Yes
South Carolina 48 hours (or community service) $400 6 months (restricted license possible) Yes Possible
South Dakota None None 30 days (restricted license possible) Yes No
Tennessee 48 hours *or community service) $350 1 year (restricted license possible) Yes Yes
Texas 72 hours None 90 days (restricted license possible) Yes Possible
Utah 48 hours (or community service) $700 120 days (restricted license possible) Yes Yes
Vermont None $750 90 days (restricted license possible) Yes Possible
Virginia None $250 7 day administrative suspension

1 year criminal revocation (restricted license possible)

Yes Yes 
Washington 24 hours $350 90 days (restricted license possible) Yes Yes
West Virginia None $100 6-month revocation or 15-day revocation +120-day restricted license Yes Possible
Wisconsin None $150 6 months (restricted license possible) Yes Possible
Wyoming None None 90 days (restricted license possible) Yes Yes - if BAC .15 or above

Conclusion

Getting charged with a DUI can be a stressful and overwhelming experience. However, it's essential to understand that you have legal rights and options available to you. Consulting with a DUI lawyer can provide you with invaluable advice and guidance throughout the legal process, including plea negotiations and representation in court. A DUI lawyer can help you understand the potential consequences of a conviction, and work with you to build a strong defense strategy.

Ask a Lawyer

Ask your own question and get advice from expert attorneys
Ask Question

Featured DUI Law Lawyers

Issa Law, LLC

google-logo
13 years in practice
Auto Accidents, Bicycle Accidents, Criminal Defense, DUI Law, Motorcycle Accidents
View Profile

Ianuario Law

google-logo
16 years in practice
Auto Accidents, DUI Law, Medical Malpractice
View Profile

The Clardy Law Firm, P.A.

google-logo
28 years in practice
Auto Accidents, DUI Law
View Profile

RYTELAW

1 years in practice
Insurance Law, Personal Injury
View Profile

Issa Law, LLC

google-logo
13 years in practice
Auto Accidents, Bicycle Accidents, Criminal Defense, DUI Law, Motorcycle Accidents
View Profile

Law Office of Tal Rubin, PC

google-logo
22 years in practice
Auto Accidents, Personal Injury
View Profile

Contact AttorneyAtLaw.com

Are you looking for an attorney? Do you have questions about a legal case you are facing? Contact us now and we will put you in touch with a lawyer for free.
Attorney At Law is changing how clients connect with lawyers. By providing an innovative platform to lawyers who want to expand their practice’s reach, AAL is bringing law practices into the future.
6142 Innovation Way
Carlsbad, California 92009
Some of the content of this website may be considered attorney advertising under the rules of certain jurisdictions. The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute an attorney-client relationship.
crossmenuchevron-upchevron-down linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram