DUI/DWI

August 2015

All 50 states and the District of Columbia have per se laws making it a crime to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at or above a specified level, currently 0.08 percent (0.08 g alcohol per 100 ml blood).

License suspension or revocation traditionally follows conviction for alcohol-impaired driving. Licenses can also be taken before conviction, under a procedure called administrative license suspension, when a driver fails or refuses to take a chemical test. Because administrative license suspension occurs immediately, it has been found to be more effective than post-conviction sanctions. Administrative license suspension is allowed in 41 states and the District of Columbia.

In many states driving privileges can be restored during an administrative license suspension, but drivers usually must demonstrate special hardship, and the restored privileges often come with limitations. For example, 12 states require a person to install an ignition interlock.

An interlock device is a breath-testing unit that a driver must blow into before starting a vehicle. The device disables the ignition if alcohol is detected. All states have laws either requiring interlocks for certain offenders or allowing courts to order interlocks at their discretion. In 26 states and four California counties, all alcohol-impaired driving offenders, including first-time offenders, must install interlocks to resume driving. An additional 13 states require interlocks for offenders with high BACs (usually 0.15 percent or higher) and for repeat offenders, 6 states require them only for repeat offenders, and one state requires them only for high-BAC offenders. Four states and D.C. have no mandatory interlock requirements.

State Administrative license suspension
1st offense?
Restore driving privileges
during suspension?
Are ignition interlocks mandatory under
state law for the following offenses?
First offenders Repeat offenders
Alabama 90 days no all offenders yes
Alaska 90 days after 30 days, with an interlock all offenders yes
Arizona 90 days after 30 days all offenders yes
Arkansas 6 months yes, with an interlock all offenders yes
California 4 months after 30 days only 4 counties1 yes
Colorado 9 months yes, with an interlock all offenders yes
Connecticut 45 days no2 all offenders yes
Delaware 3 months no3 all offenders yes
District of Columbia 2-90 days yes no no
Florida 6 months yes high-BAC offenders only yes
Georgia 1 year yes no yes4
Hawaii 3 months yes, with an interlock all offenders yes
Idaho 90 days after 30 days no yes
Illinois 6 months after 30 days, with an interlock all offenders5 yes
Indiana 180 days yes no no
Iowa 180 days yes high-BAC offenders only yes
Kansas 30 days no6 all offenders yes
Kentucky no not applicable high-BAC offenders only yes
Louisiana 90 days after 30 days or immediately with an interlock all offenders yes
Maine 90 days yes all offenders yes
Maryland 45 days yes high-BAC offenders only yes
Massachusetts 30 days no no yes
Michigan no not applicable high-BAC offenders only yes
Minnesota 90 days after 15 days high-BAC offenders only yes
Mississippi 90 days no all offenders yes
Missouri 30 days yes, with an interlock all offenders yes
Montana no not applicable no no
Nebraska 180 days yes, with an interlock all offenders yes
Nevada 90 days after 45 days high-BAC offenders only7 high-BAC offenders only7
New Hampshire 6 months no all offenders (effective 01/01/16) yes
New Jersey no not applicable high-BAC offenders only yes
New Mexico 6 months yes, with an interlock all offenders yes
New York variable8 yes all offenders yes
North Carolina 30 days after 10 days high-BAC offenders only yes
North Dakota 91 days after 30 days no no
Ohio 90 days after 15 days no yes
Oklahoma 180 days yes, with an interlock high-BAC offenders only yes
Oregon 90 days after 30 days all offenders yes
Pennsylvania no not applicable no yes
Rhode Island no not applicable high-BAC offenders only yes
South Carolina no not applicable high-BAC offenders only yes
South Dakota no not applicable no no
Tennessee no not applicable all offenders yes
Texas 90 days yes all offenders (effective 09/01/15) yes
Utah 120 days no all offenders yes
Vermont 90 days after 30 days, with an interlock all offenders yes
Virginia 7 days no all offenders yes
Washington 90 days yes, with an interlock all offenders yes
West Virginia 6 months after 15 days, with an interlock all offenders yes
Wisconsin 6 months yes high-BAC offenders only yes
Wyoming 90 days yes high-BAC offenders only yes

1In California, the all-offender pilot program is in Alameda, Los Angeles, Sacramento and Tulare counties.

2In Connecticut, the suspension period is 45 days after which an ignition interlock is required as a condition for license reinstatement.

3In Delaware, any person who meets the criteria for a first offense election may apply for an interlock to be installed on a vehicle to be driven by the applicant and may be issued an interlock license.

4In Georgia, the interlock is mandatory unless waived due to financial hardship.

5In Illinois, the interlock is mandatory for first offenders at the time of arrest, not conviction.

6In Kansas, the suspension period is 30 days after which an ignition interlock is required as a condition for license reinstatement.

7In Nevada, the interlock is also mandatory for felony offenses, regardless of BAC level.

8In New York, administrative license suspension lasts until prosecution is complete.