State DUI Laws

Guide to DUI Laws by State

Driving under the influence, or DUI for short, is the term given to the act of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated. Though most cases of DUI deal with persons who are under the influence of alcohol it is also illegal to operate a vehicle while under the influence of marijuana, cocaine or any other illicit drug that impairs your judgment and/or motor skills. Also, though some believe that you can only be charged while driving a car it is actually illegal to operate any motorized vehicle (boat, car, truck, off-road motorcycle, tractor, etc) while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Drinking and driving – as it’s commonly referred to – is one of the most discussed and debated legal issues facing American society today.  All states in America are adopting harsher penalties when it comes to drinking and driving. This is because of the major impact and ramifications that can result from it, and the negative ways in which the crime has been affecting society.

Many lives have been lost and many families have been destroyed because of this senseless crime. Some feel that penalties for an individual who gets drunk and drives with the end result being serious injury, or death are not currently strong enough. Many organizations around the country, such as MADD – Mother’s Against Drunk Driving – are pushing for penalties more in line with someone who commits murder.

Difference Between DUI and DWI

Another term for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated is DWI, which stands for driving while intoxicated. In some states the two terms are interchangeable, with both carrying the same legal definitions and penalties. Other states differentiate the two by certain factors, such as level of intoxication, recklessness of driving and whether or not personal injury or death resulted. In theses states usually a DWI would be more severe than a DUI.

It is possible to have a DWI reduced to a DUI provided a certain set of criteria are met. These criteria can include but are not limited to; whether it’s a first offence, the defendant’s likelihood of repeating the offense and his or her level of remorse for their actions. In addition to these examples there are a number of other factors that are usually determined on a case-by-case basis.

State Versus Federal Laws

Here you will find information on each state’s DUI or DWI laws. Though each and every state has a separate set of laws pertaining to DUI, or DWI, there are some federal laws that are consistent across all 50 states. These include a legal blood alcohol limit of .08 for anyone operating a motor vehicle. Also anyone under the federal legal drinking age of 21-years old who is found to have any amount of alcohol in their system will be automatically charged under the federal “zero tolerance” law for underage drinkers operating a motor vehicle.

Whatever situation you find yourself in regarding driving under the influence, or while intoxicated, you will be best served to hire a good lawyer. Try to find someone who is familiar with the laws in your state and has experience defending individuals who have been charged with a DUI, or DWI.


DUI Laws in Your State

Alabama DUI Laws

Stuff happens. Although we’ve all used that excuse at one time or another, it’s not a legitimate legal defense especially when is comes to DUI laws. Like other states, Alabama…

Alaska DUI Laws

Alaska DUI Law Details We all know we’re not supposed to drink and drive. However, there are those occasions when having a few beers or couple of glasses of wine…

Arizona DUI Laws

After an individual has been arrested he or she only has fifteen days to request an MVD hearing that will defend his or her driver’s license. The state of Arizona…

Arkansas DUI Laws

Arkansas DWI Charges Driving while intoxicated charges are separated into different categories in the state of Arkansas. The first category is called a common law driving while intoxicated charges. Under…

California DUI Laws

After you are pulled over and arrested on suspicion of DUI, you face a battle on two fronts: one in criminal court and one against the California Department of Motor…

Colorado DUI Laws

Drunk drivers can be charged with either a DUI charge or a DWAI charge within the state lines of Colorado. After an arrest for one of these charges, an individual…

Connecticut DUI Laws

Connecticut DUI Basics Driving under the influence can often easily be prosecuted as the law in Connecticut states that any individual who decides to drive must consent to chemical testing….

Delaware DUI Laws

Delaware DUI Prosecution Driving under the influence charges can be prosecuted in two different ways in Delaware. The first form of prosecution is called per se law. Per se law…

Florida DUI Laws

Individuals always have the right to refuse a blood, breath, or chemical test upon an arrest. However when a test reveals a blood alcohol content level to be above 0.08…

Georgia DUI Laws

A DUI arrest in Georgia is a very serious matter. Whether you’ve had only one or multiple DUIs, the consequences are significant. Standard penalties are outlined in the following pages….

Hawaii DUI Laws

Punishments for DUIs in Hawaii can be automatic. Upon an arrest an individual can automatically lose his or her driver’s license. Hawaii is known as one of the strictest states…

Idaho DUI Laws

Idaho law states that all DUI arrests will have the consequence of driver’s license suspension. This can only be halted if the individual files for an administrative hearing within seven…

Illinois DUI Laws

Illinois jurisdiction recently determined that driver’s license suspension is not considered a punishment and does not violate the United States’ double jeopardy clause along with Illinois double jeopardy clauses. Illinois…

Indiana DUI Laws

Indiana OWI Prosecution Indiana has two different ways for prosecuting operating while intoxicated laws. The first of the laws is where an individual is charged with impairment while operating a…

Iowa DUI Laws

Iowa law states that an individual may only be convicted of a drunk driving offense if the prosecuting attorney proves to the court that the individual was operating an automobile…

Kansas DUI Laws

Kansas sets its DUI level at 0.08 percent for blood alcohol content. After this point an individual may be arrested for driving under the influence or for driving while intoxicated….

Kentucky DUI Laws

Kentucky DUI Basics The legal limit for prosecuting driving under the influence is a blood alcohol content percentage of 0.08. Those under the age of twenty-one are considered minors and…

Louisiana DUI Laws

Louisiana law states that those driving while intoxicated are to be convicted with misdemeanors. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol also constitutes misdemeanor charges if the individuals have…

Maine DUI Laws

Maine DUI Minor Laws Like other United States, Maine has a zero tolerance law for minors who drink and drive. The blood alcohol content level for adults is 0.08 percent….

Maryland DUI Laws

Drunk driving offenses are taken very seriously, especially in Maryland. This is where Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) was formed as a consumer group to enact stricter DUI laws. Most…

Massachusetts DUI Laws

Massachusetts DUI Prosecution Massachusetts has two different ways of prosecuting drunk driving offenses. One of these is called per se law. Under this prosecution an individual can be convicted simply…

Michigan DUI Laws

Drunk Driving Laws in Michigan Drunk driving laws in Michigan are broken into three different sections: driving with an illegal blood alcohol content, operating under the influence of alcohol, and…

Minnesota DUI Laws

Minnesota DUI Basics Minnesota DUI and DWI laws are often considered to be some of the harshest in the United States. The punishments for driving under the influence, as well…

Mississippi DUI Laws

Mississippi DUI Basics Mississippi law sets its blood alcohol content percentage at 0.08 for adults. At this level or above this level it is considered drunk driving. Commercial drivers have…

Missouri DUI Laws

Missouri DUI Basics Drunk driving charges in Missouri are broken into the categories of driving while intoxicated and driving under the influence. Each offense has different consequences and varies depending…

Montana DUI Laws

Montana DUI laws state that any individual who drives in the state of Montana gives implied consent to chemical testing when requested. Chemical tests include breath tests, blood tests, and…

Nebraska DUI Laws

Nebraska law states that an individual may be convicted of a driving under the influence offense in one of two ways. The first of these ways is through proof of…

Nevada DUI Laws

Nevada DUI Charges Driving under the influence in most states, including Nevada, does not only mean driving under the influence of alcohol. It also means driving under the influence of…

New Hampshire DUI Laws

New Hampshire DUI Details There is no getting around the simple fact that being pulled over for driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) is serious business…

New Jersey DUI Laws

DUI Laws in New Jersey The United States has a blood alcohol content limit of 0.08 percent. This means that anyone with a blood alcohol content over the legal limit…

New Mexico DUI Laws

New Mexico prides itself on having some of the toughest drunk driving laws on the books. In New Mexico, they refer to drunken driving charges as DWI or driving while…

New York DUI Laws

New York DUI Details The first step in understanding various state driving violations is to first understand how they specify these charges. When it comes to driving under the influence…

North Carolina DUI Laws

Arrested for DWI in North Carolina? Know What’s Ahead If you have been arrested for drunk driving in North Carolina, you are facing serious criminal penalties. In these difficult times,…

North Dakota DUI Laws

North Dakota DUI Basics The legal limit for blood alcohol content in the United States is 0.08 percent. Minors in North Dakota will be arrested for driving under the influence…

Ohio DUI Laws

Ohio DUI In the state of Ohio an individual can be legally arrested for driving with a blood alcohol content above the legal limit. The United States sets a federal…

Oklahoma DUI Laws

Oklahoma DUI Basics In Oklahoma, driving under the influence charges can be filed in two different ways. The first of these ways is called under the influence charges where an…

Oregon DUI Laws

Oregon DUI Basics In the state of Oregon those who choose not to take a blood alcohol test or those who fail blood alcohol testing will have their driver’s licenses…

Pennsylvania DUI Laws

Every state has DUI laws developed by their own legislature. Some are stricter than others. It all depends on the will of the people. In Pennsylvania, a review of their…

Rhode Island DUI Laws

Rhode Island DUI Basics In the state or Rhode Island operating under the influence charges can be prosecuted in two ways. The first of these ways is through intoxication. When…

South Dakota DUI Laws

Thanks to the tenth amendment of the US Constitution, every state is allowed to create any laws that are not specifically provided from the federal government. Among the laws that…

Tennessee DUI Laws

Tennessee DUI Basics In most states driving under the influence offenses have varying degrees of penalties and are considered misdemeanors in most cases. In Tennessee, driving under the influence offenses…

Texas DWI/DUI Laws

Texas DWI Resource Center The term DUI (Driving Under the Influence) is often used interchangeably with DWI (Driving While Intoxicated). In Texas, a DUI is a charge specifically for drinking…

Utah DUI Laws

Utah DUI Basics In 2005 a new law was created for Utah citizens who have had their driver’s licenses suspended. If these individuals have any amount of alcohol in their…

Vermont DUI Laws

DUI Laws in Vermont All those in the United States are subject to drunken driving laws. The federal government sets a maximum blood alcohol content level at 0.08 percent. This…

Virginia DUI Laws

Virginia DUI Basics The legal limit for blood alcohol content in the United States is 0.08 percent. In Virginia this limit is decreased to 0.04 percent for all those who…

Washington DC DUI Laws

District of Columbia law identifies a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent and up to make a DUI arrest. A blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent marks an individual as…

Washington DUI Laws

Washington has some of the strictest DUI laws in the country.  If it has been determined that you have been driving in Washington with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of…

West Virginia DUI Laws

In the United States, those under the age of twenty-one are considered minors when alcohol is involved. Some states have a no tolerance policy in regards to minors and alcohol…

Wisconsin DUI Laws

A common DUI law across the nation is the definition of being legally drunk. This is determined by a test of your blood alcohol content (BAC). The BAC for being…

Wyoming DUI Laws

Some DUI laws in the United States are somewhat similar, but the state of Wyoming’s DUI laws are known as the toughest laws in the entire country. Wyoming has anti-plea…