DUI Consequences and Penalties: Everything about DUI
- Driving under the influence is not only dangerous, it is also a crime in our country.
- DUI can be a felony or a misdemeanor depending on different factors.
- DUI consequences include arrest, jail time, and higher insurance rates.
- The first-time offenders might get some lenient punishment depending on the state.
- Every state has its own rules and laws for DUI offenders.
Did You Know? Every day more than 25 people die in the USA because of drunk driving crashes. Driving under the influence is one of the most common criminal offenses that most Americans are accused of. Even though DUI does not seem like a big crime, Consequences of dui are huge, especially for the middle class and lower class drivers.
RateForce has decided to write this detailed guide for everyone to help you understand what exactly is DUI, its consequences, state dui laws, and everything else. Keep reading till the end to know some effective ways to save money after a DUI on record.
What is DUI?
DUI stands for; Driving Under the Influence and it is considered a misdemeanor or felony based on the circumstances. It is an offense of driving a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol or drugs. In simple terms; DUI means if a driver gets caught drinking and driving, the amount of toxicity in your blood higher than the amount that makes it unsafe to operate any vehicle.
Every state has its own allowed blood alcohol content level. In general, if the BAC of the driver is higher than the range of .05% to .08% then the driver will get punished under the state laws of DUI.
Is DUI a Felony?
There are a lot of factors that affect the final decision in this case like age of the driver, the mental state, the physical state, etc.
A first-time DUI driver might get a misdemeanor but in the consequent cases, it will be a felony. Even based on the level of toxication the driver might get punished for a felony for the first time only.
If an officer gives you a DUI ticket then also you can go to court to prove that it was a misdemeanor and to get it revoked from your records.
What Happens for Your First DUI Offense?
DUI laws vary a lot from state to state. Some states have lenient punishment for first-time DUI offenders while others do not have a separate section for first-time or N-time offenders. In most cases, there are a lot of other factors that affect your punishment as a first-time offender like your age, your experience on road, your driving record, etc.
As a result; we have tried to cover the general scenario of what happens with the first-time DUI offense:
- You will have to pay a fine as per the limit of your state and your BAC level.
- You might get jail time from 2 days to 180 days.
- Your driving license will get suspended from 24 hours to 1 year.
- Your vehicle will be impounded for a specific period.
- You will have to install an ignition interlock device in your car.
DUI Laws by State
Every state has its own laws and rules for DUI, some are a bit lenient with the DUI drivers and others are too strict. To help you have a better understanding we have listed out all the requirements of a DUI driver for every state of our country:
|State||Minimum Jail||Fines & Fees||Minimum License Suspension||Ignition Interlock Device|
|Alabama||Not required||Between $600 to $2,100||3 months or 90 days||Not required|
|Alaska||At least 72 hours||$1,500||Minimum. 90 days||Required|
|Arizona||At Least 24 hours||$250 base fine||90 to 360 days||Required|
|Arkansas||From 24 hours to 1 year||$150 to $1,000||6 months||Required|
|California||From 4 days to 6 months||$1,400 to $2,600||30 days to 10 months||Required, in some areas|
|Colorado||Up to 1 year in case of DUI||Up to $1,000 (DUI), or up to $500 (DWAI)||9 months (DUI), none for DWAI||Not required|
|Connecticut||From 2 days up to 6 months||$500 to $1,000||1 year||Not required|
|Delaware||Maximum 6 months||$500 to $1,1500||1 to 2 years||Not required|
|D.C.||Maximum 90 days||$300 to $1,100||6 months||Not required|
|Florida||From 6 to 9 months||$500 to $2,000||180 days to 1 year||Required|
|Georgia||From 24 hours to 1 year||$300 to $1,000||Up to 1 year||Not required|
|Hawaii||None||$150 to $1,000||90 days||Not required|
|Idaho||Maximum 6 months||Up to $1,000||90 to 180 days||Not required|
|Illinois||Maximum 1 year||Up to $2,500||Min. 1 year||Required|
|Indiana||From 60 days to 1 year||$500 to $5,000||Up to 2 years||Not required|
|Iowa||From 48 hours up to 1 year||$625 to $1,200||180 days||Required, if BAC above .10|
|Kansas||48 hour minimum||$750 to $1,000||30 days||Required|
|Kentucky||Not required||$600 to $2,100||90 days||Not required|
|Louisiana||From 2 days to 6 months||$1,000||90 days||Possible|
|Maine||30 days||$500||90 days||Not required|
|Maryland||Maximum 1 year in case of DUI||Up to $1,000 DUI||Min 6 months (DUI & DWI)||Not required|
|Massachusetts||Up to 30 months||$500 to $5,000||1 year||Not required|
|Michigan||Up to 93 days||From $100 to $500||Up to 6 months||Possible|
|Minnesota||Maximum 90 days||$1,000||Up to 90 days||Required|
|Mississippi||Maximum 48 hours||$250 to $1,000||90 days||Not required|
|Missouri||Up to 6 months||Up to $500||30 days||Possible|
|Montana||From 2 days to 6 months||$300 to $1,000||6 months||Possible|
|Nebraska||From 7 to 60 days||Up to $500||Up to 60 days||Not required|
|Nevada||From 2 days to 6 months||$400 to $1,000||90 days||Possible|
|New Hampshire||Not required||$500 to $1,200||6 months||Not required|
|New Jersey||Maximum 30 days||$250 to $500||3 months to 1 year||Possible|
|New Mexico||Maximum 90 days||Up to $500||Up to 1 year||Required|
|New York||None||$500 to $1,000||6 months||Required|
|North Carolina||24 hours (for level 5 offender) (however, if 3 aggravated factors are present then it will be Level 1A with minimum of 12 months)||$200 (for level 5 offender)||60 days to 1 year||Not required|
|North Dakota||Not required||$500 to $750||91 to 180 days||Not required|
|Ohio||3 days to 6 months||$250 to $1,000||6 months to 3 years||Not required|
|Oklahoma||5 days to 1 year||Up to $1,000||30 days||Not required|
|Oregon||2 days or 80 hours community services||$1,000 to $6,250||1 year||Required|
|Pennsylvania||None||$300||No||Required, if refusal to take chemical test|
|Rhode Island||Up to 1 year||$100 to $500||2 to 18 months||Not required|
|South Carolina||48 hours to 90 days||$400 to $1,000||6 months||Not required|
|South Dakota||Maximum 1 year||$1,000||30 days to 1 year||Not required|
|Tennessee||48 hours up to 11 months||$350 to $1,500||1 year||Required|
|Texas||3 to 180 days||Up to $2,000||90 to 365 days||Not required|
|Utah||48 hours minimum||$700 min.||120 days||Not required|
|Vermont||Maximum 2 years||Up to $750||90 days||Not required|
|Virginia||Minimum 5 days||Min. $250||1 year||Required (if BAC .15 or above)|
|Washington||From 24 hours to 1 year||$865.50 to $5,000||90 days to 1 year||Required|
|West Virginia||Maximum 6 months||$100 to $1,000||15 to 45 days||Possible|
|Wisconsin||None||$150 to $300||6 to 9 months||Not required|
|Wyoming||Maximum 6 months||Up to $750||90 days||Required – if BAC .15 or above|
Now comes the most important part; what will be the consequences of driving under the influence in any state?
- Jail Time
If a driver gets arrested for a DUI type offense then he or she might have to spend time in jail. The jail time will be decided by the court based on the BAC level and other factors.
- The Expense of Attorney Fees
You are asked to be present in front of the court on a specific date and the judge will decide your fine and jail time. You will have to hire an attorney to represent you in court so that you don’t get much higher fines and jail time.
- Expect Immediate Financial Liability
Your financial liability will increase immediately as you will be declared as an unsafe driver for the insurance companies.
- Restrictions on Your Driving Privileges
The court will decide the restrictions you will get on your driving privileges; in most cases, you will not be allowed to drive after late evening or during high traffic days. You might not be allowed to drive on weekends or during holidays.
- Expect to Pay More Money for Car Insurance
Be ready to do your research on cheap car insurance in your state because your insurance premium will increase to a huge extent. As you will be on the list of unsafe drivers; your insurance company will ask you to pay higher premiums. In some cases, insurance companies even decline the renewal of the policy for such drivers.
- Expect to Be Placed on Probation
You will have to go to the assigned police station at regular time intervals for a specific duration. It can be days, months, or years to sign your attendance and prove you are a responsible driver now.
- Be Ready to Attend an Alcohol Education Program
In case you get caught more than once or your blood alcohol content level was too much higher, then you will be required to attend an alcohol education program.
- Be Ready to Complete a Formal Alcohol or Substance Use Disorder Evaluation
The court will ask you to undergo a medical evaluation to check if you have an alcohol or substance abuse disorder. In this evaluation, they will check if you have any mental problems that are pushing you to take alcohol or any other substance in high amounts.
- Be Ready To Undergo Substance Use Disorder Treatment
If the medical attendant and court find out that you have substance abuse disorder then you will have to undergo treatment for that. Until a doctor gives you a clean chit you will have to continue the treatment.
DUI vs DWI: What’s the Difference?
We all know that DUI stands from Driving Under the Influence. On the other hand; DWI stands for Driving While Intoxicated or Driving While Impaired. The difference between DUI vs DWI varies a lot from state to state. In some states, DUI and DWI are considered similar, and in others, they are considered separate felonies.
In some states, DUI only covers driving under the influence of Alcohol. While in the case of DWI, the driver is not able to operate the vehicle properly because of some prescribed or not prescribed drugs that are affecting his or her brain.
The definition of DUI and DWI might be different in your state too. It is always recommended to clear both the terms with your insurance agency before buying a policy.
FAQs About DUI
Which is the most common DUI penalties?
The common DUI penalties in every state for drivers are fine, license suspension, jail time, and community service.
Which state has the toughest penalties for DUI?
Arizona is the toughest state when it comes to penalties for DUI. the driver will lose his or her driving privilege at the moment he or she gets caught driving under the influence.
Which state has the weakest DUI laws?
South Dakota, the driver will get no jail time, no license suspension, or even no vehicle impoundment.
What drugs are considered under DUI laws?
Alcohol, Marijuana, Cocaine, Methamphetamine, etc are the drugs that affect the driving ability and result in reckless driving.
Do I have to appear before the court for DUI?
Yes. In most states; DUI is considered a criminal felony and the driver is required to report to the court.
Over To You!
More than 1.5 million people are arrested for DUI every year. DUI can be a huge problem when it comes to renewing your insurance policy. Drivers with DUI on records are required to pay way more than the other drivers.
RateForce knows that you are looking for ways to get cheap car insurance rates this year. The best way to get affordable car insurance is to shop around and compare the rates of insurance policies with different companies.
- Checked the NHTSA website to see the statistics of accidents caused by DUI drivers.
- Referred to Wikipedia to understand the laws and impact of DUI in different states of our country.
- Referred to One DUI to check the facts related to Driving Under the influence rules and laws.
- Checked the website of the Driving Laws to understand the state-wise laws for DUI drivers.
Editorial Guidelines: The above is meant as general information to help you understand the different aspects of auto insurance. This information does not refer to any specific auto insurance policy. Coverages and other features vary between insurers, vary by state, and are not available in all states. References to costs of coverages/repair, average or typical premiums, amounts of losses, deductibles, etc., are indicative and may not apply to your situation. We encourage you to speak to our insurance representative and to read your policy contract to fully understand your coverages.