In 1993, President Bill Clinton set forth a national “per se” blood-alcohol limit of 0.08%. It wasn’t until seven years later, in 2000, that Congress passed a law stating that states would have to adopt a 0.08% per se law or begin losing federal highway construction funds. As of now, all 50 states have adopted the 0.08% per se laws, but now that National Highway Traffic Administration is advocating for an even lower limit of 0.05%. Only Utah has enacted this limit so far, but some other states are considering adopting the new limit. Meanwhile, DUI penalties vary from state to state, but there are some things that a person can count on, according to Yahoo Finance.
The most common DUI penalties are similar for each state. They include:
Jail and Community Service: Most of the time, DUI offenders will have to perform community service when convicted of a DUI. This can change, however, with a higher BAC and if there are human victims involved. Though the amount of jail time can vary from just a few days if there were no victims to several years if there is a fatality.
Fines: Like the amount of jail time, the amount of the fines can vary greatly from state to state as well. States like North Dakota have a fine of just $500 for first-time offenders. However, in Texas, if there’s a minor in the vehicle, the fine can be as much as $10,000.
AA Meetings: A judge may sentence a convicted DUI driver to attend meetings for a 12-step program, especially if the judge believes that alcohol addiction may have played a part.
License Suspension: Most states will suspend a person’s driver’s license upon a DUI arrest. This can be overturned if there is no conviction. The length of the suspension varies from state to state.
Ignition Interlock Devices: Several states, including California, require the installation of an ignition interlock device upon even a first-time DUI conviction.
Expensive Premiums: Expect car insurance rates to double or even triple. Some insurance companies may cancel coverage or refuse to renew.