DUI State Regulations

DUI state regulations have different restrictions, limits and penalties regarding alcohol. Some states use the term Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) while other states use OUI or Operating Under the Influence instead of DUI.

Penalties for DUI

All 50 states of the US including the District of Columbia have DUI state regulations or DUI laws that impose penalties on those guilty of driving with blood alcohol concentration or BAC equal to or above the prescribed level of 0.08 percent. A BAC of 0.04 percent for commercial drivers translates to an automatic DUI conviction nationwide.

License suspension

A conviction for DUI demands that the driving license of the driver be suspended or revoked. Licenses may be taken before conviction when the driver refuses to subject himself or herself to chemical test as provided by the administrative license suspension procedure. The procedure is independent from a criminal liability that is why it is more effective than the usual post-conviction sanctions.

About 41 states and the District of Columbia practice administrative license suspension laws. 45 states allow DUI offenders to continue using their vehicles only if the vehicles are provided with ignition interlocks. The installed device can collect information regarding driver’s breath and can disable the vehicle ignition if the driver has been detected to be drinking.

Vehicle forfeiture

In about 30 US states, repeating offenders may be subjected to vehicle forfeiture while impaired by alcohol. About 43 states and Washington, DC have laws the prevent the driver and the passengers or both from having an open bottle of alcohol in the vehicle passenger compartment.


Penalties for drunk driving in the state of California imposes imprisonment in a county jail for 96 hours to six months for a person convicted of his first DUI and also requires the person to pay a fine ranging from 390 to 1000 dollars. A person convicted of his fourth DUI in the same state within a 10 year period will be imprisoned in state prison or county jail for 180 days to one year while requiring him or her to pay a fine of 390 to 1000 dollars. Driver’s license revocation lasts for four years.

DUI state regulations in Florida subjects a fourth conviction of DUI to imprisonment of five years and a fine of up to 5000 dollars regardless of when the offense happened. Fines for the fourth DUI conviction cannot be less than 2000 dollars while the offender’s driver’s license is permanently revoked. All persons convicted of DUI in the state of Florida are subjected to a probation status by which he or she provides a monthly report and must also finish a substance abuse course which requires psychosocial evaluation.

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