DRIVING DRUNK LAWS- All 50 states and the District of Columbia have "per se" laws defining it as a crime to be driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at or above a specified level, currently 0.08 percent (0.08 g alcohol per 100 ml blood). See BAC Consumption Chart
Driving license suspension or driving revocation traditionally follows conviction for alcohol-impaired (drunk) driving. Your driving licenses can also be taken before conviction, under a procedure called administrative driving license suspension, when a driver fails or refuses to take a chemical test. Because administrative driver license suspension occurs immediately, it has been found to be more effective than post-conviction sanctions. Administrative driver license suspension is allowed in 41 states and the District of Columbia.
Driving privileges in many states can be restored during a suspension, but drivers usually must demonstrate special hardship, and the restored privileges often come with limitations. For example, a person could be allowed only to drive to work or could be required to install an ignition interlock.
Interlock devices analyze a driver's breath and disable the ignition if the driver has been drinking. More than half of all U.S. states require DUI and DWI offenders to install interlocks on their vehicles in order to drive during a license suspension and/or require the devices for specified time periods before fully re-licensing offenders. In 16 states and 4 California counties, such a restriction is applied to all drunk driving offenders, including first-time offenders. An additional 15 states apply the restriction to drunk driving offenders with a high BAC (usually 0.15 percent or higher) and to repeat offenders, and 6 states apply the restriction only to repeat offenders.
The remaining states don't have mandatory interlock laws, though courts or departments of motor vehicles have the discretion to require them.
|State||Administrative driving license suspension 1st offense?||Restore driving privileges during suspension?||Are ignition interlocks mandatory under state law for the following drunk driving offenses?|
|First offenders||Repeat offenders|
|Alabama||90 days||no||high-BAC offenders only||yes|
|Alaska||90 days||after 30 days1||all offenders||yes|
|Arizona||90 days||after 30 days1||all offenders||yes|
|Arkansas||6 months||yes1||all offenders||yes|
|California||4 months||after 30 days1||all offenders (in 4 counties)2||no|
|Colorado||3 months||yes1||all offenders||yes|
|Connecticut||90 days||yes1||all offenders(effective 12/01/12)||yes|
|Delaware||3 months||no||high-BAC offenders only||yes|
|District of Columbia||2-90 days||yes1||no||no|
|Florida||6 months||after 30 days1||high-BAC offenders only||yes|
|Hawaii||3 months||after 30 days1||all offenders||yes|
|Idaho||90 days||after 30 days1||no||no|
|Illinois||6 months||after 30 days1||all offenders||yes|
|Indiana||180 days||after 30 days1||no||no|
|Iowa||180 days||after 90 days1||no||no|
|Kansas||30 days||no||all offenders||yes|
|Louisiana||90 days||after 30 days1||all offenders||yes|
|Maryland||45 days||yes1||high-BAC offenders only||yes|
|Michigan||no||not applicable||high-BAC offenders only||yes|
|Minnesota||90 days||after 15 days1||high-BAC offenders only||yes|
|Nebraska||180 days||after 30 days1||all offenders||yes|
|Nevada||90 days||after 45 days1||no||no|
|New Hampshire||6 months||no||high-BAC offenders only||yes|
|New Jersey||no||not applicable||high-BAC offenders only||yes|
|New Mexico||6 months||yes1||all offenders||yes|
|New York||variable4||yes1||all offenders||yes|
|North Carolina||30 days||after 10 days1||high-BAC offenders only||yes|
|North Dakota||91 days||after 30 days1||no||no|
|Ohio||90 days||after 15 days1||no||no|
|Oklahoma||180 days||yes1||high-BAC offenders only||yes|
|Oregon||90 days||after 30 days1||all offenders||yes|
|Rhode Island||no||not applicable||no||no|
|South Carolina||no||not applicable||no||yes|
|South Dakota||no||not applicable||no||no|
|Tennessee||no||not applicable||high-BAC offenders only||yes|
|Texas||90 days||yes1||high-BAC offenders only5||yes|
|Utah||120 days||no||all offenders||yes|
|Virginia||7 days||no||all offenders(effective 07/01/12)||yes|
|Washington||90 days||yes1||all offenders||yes|
|West Virginia||6 months||after 30 days 1||high-BAC offenders only||yes|
|Wisconsin||6 months||yes1||high-BAC offenders only||yes|
|Wyoming||90 days||yes1||high-BAC offenders only||yes|
1 Drivers usually must demonstrate special hardship to justify restoring driving privileges during suspension, and then driving privileges often are restricted.
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 driving 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.
The above chart and information is provided by OHS, Inc. to you through the courtesy of The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Highway Loss Data Institute | http://www.highwaysafety.org
Last modified: April-2012
Please note, that this DUI/DWI 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 driving a motor vehicle. Therefore, if you need this drunk driving laws 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.