How do DUI Penalties Differ by State?

All 50 states make DUI a crime on some level.  However, some states are a bit more strict than others.  There are some states that are wholly lenient when it comes to DUI arrests.  The personal finance website drew up a comparison of DUI penalties by state.

Arizona came in at number one when it came to the strictest state for DUI penalties.  Score a DUI in the Silver State and you’re looking at a minimum of 10 days in jail for the first offense.  Decide to drink and drive again and getting caught will net you 90 days in the clink.  Get caught a third time and you’re looking at an automatic felony.  Ouch.

The most lenient state was South Dakota.  A first time DUI in the Peace Garden State has no minimum sentence for the first or second DUI offense.  A third offense, like in Arizona, is a felony.  A DUI will remain on your record and affect subsequent offenses for 10 years.  

California is number 34 of 50 when ranking from strictest to most lenient.  A mandatory two days in jail comes with your first DUI.  A second DUI only increases that stay to 10 days.  Similar to South Dakota, a DUI conviction will remain on your record for 10 years.  Also, your license is suspended for a minimum of 120 days, as opposed to 90 days in Arizona, the strictest state.

Where does your state rank?  Check on Wallethub.  Better yet, before deciding to drink and drive, call Uber or Lyft.  It’s much cheaper in the long run.  

If you have been charged with a DUI, you will need legal representation.  Our attorneys specialize in the defense of DUI charges.  Contact us today.


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