Alcohol Impaired Driving

All states but Utah define driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at or above 0.08% as a crime, and specific laws and penalties vary substantially from state to state. Effective December 30, 2018, Utah’s BAC is set at 0.05.%

44 states, D.C. and Guam have increased penalties for drivers convicted at higher BACs (specific levels and penalties vary by state).

48 states, D.C., the Northern Mariana Islands and the Virgin Islands have administrative license suspension (ALS) on the first offense. ALS allows law enforcement to confiscate a driver's license for a period of time if he fails a chemical test. Most of these states allow limited driving privileges (such as to/from work).

All states have some type of ignition interlock program, in which judges require all or some convicted drunk drivers to install interlocks in their cars to disable the engine if alcohol is detected on their breath. 31 states* (and four California counties) have made ignition interlocks mandatory or highly incentivized for all convicted drunk drivers, even first-time offenders. 7 states require them for repeat offenders; and 8 states for both high BAC and repeat offenders. The remaining 4 states make interlocks discretionary.
*We defer to our State Highway Safety Office members' interpretation of the law. Some groups may have a higher count.

Drunk Driving Law Chart
Law Chart

Federal law mandates that states adopt open container and repeat offender laws meeting specific requirements. Otherwise, a portion of the state's surface transportation funding is transferred to the state DOT or State Highway Safety Office. 38 states, D.C. and 3 territories have open container laws which meet federal requirements. 33 states, D.C. and 3 territories have repeat offender laws which meet federal requirements.

A PDF chart of state drunk driving laws is available for download here.

NOTE: GHSA does not compile any additional data on drunk driving laws other than what is presented here. For more information, consult the appropriate State Highway Safety Office.

Sources: Ensuring Solutions to Alcohol ProblemsInsurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) and State Highway Safety Offices.

  • Alabama

    Penalties

    Increased Penalty for High BAC Administrative License Suspension on First Offense Limited Driving Privileges During Suspension
    .15 90 days  

    Ignition Interlocks

    Mandatory for high BAC (0.15 and above) and repeat convictions; highly incentivized for first convictions

    Other

    Open Container Laws Repeat Offender Laws
    Yes Yes

     

  • Alaska

    Penalties

    Increased Penalty for High BAC Administrative License Suspension on First Offense Limited Driving Privileges During Suspension
      90 days After 30 days

    Ignition Interlocks

    Mandatory for all convictions

    Other

    Open Container Laws Repeat Offender Laws
    No No

     

  • Arizona

    Penalties

    Increased Penalty for High BAC Administrative License Suspension on First Offense Limited Driving Privileges During Suspension
    .15 90 days After 30 days

    Ignition Interlocks

    Mandatory for all convictions

    Other

    Open Container Laws Repeat Offender Laws
    Yes Yes

     

  • Arkansas

    Penalties

    Increased Penalty for High BAC Administrative License Suspension on First Offense Limited Driving Privileges During Suspension
      6 months Yes

    Ignition Interlocks

    Mandatory for all convictions

    Other

    Open Container Laws Repeat Offender Laws
    Yes Yes

     

  • California

    Penalties

    Increased Penalty for High BAC Administrative License Suspension on First Offense Limited Driving Privileges During Suspension
    .15 4 months After 30 days

    Ignition Interlocks

    Discretionary. Mandatory for all convictions in Alameda, Los Angeles, Tulare, and Sacramento counties (pilot project – extended)

    Other

    Open Container Laws Repeat Offender Laws
    Yes No

     

  • Colorado

    Penalties

    Increased Penalty for High BAC Administrative License Suspension on First Offense Limited Driving Privileges During Suspension
    .15 3 months Yes

    Ignition Interlocks

    Mandatory for high BAC (0.15 and above) and repeat convictions, highly incentivized for first convictions

    Other

    Open Container Laws Repeat Offender Laws
    Yes No

     

  • Connecticut

    Penalties

    Increased Penalty for High BAC Administrative License Suspension on First Offense Limited Driving Privileges During Suspension
      90 days Yes

    Ignition Interlocks

    Highly incentivized for all convictions

    Other

    Open Container Laws Repeat Offender Laws
    No Yes

     

  • Delaware

    Penalties

    Increased Penalty for High BAC Administrative License Suspension on First Offense Limited Driving Privileges During Suspension
    .15 3 months No

    Ignition Interlocks

    Highly incentivized for all convictions

    Other

    Open Container Laws Repeat Offender Laws
    No Yes

     

  • District of Columbia

    Penalties

    Increased Penalty for High BAC Administrative License Suspension on First Offense Limited Driving Privileges During Suspension
    .20, .25 and .30 2-90 days or until deposition Yes

    Ignition Interlocks

    Mandatory for all convictions

    Other

    Open Container Laws Repeat Offender Laws
    Yes Yes

     

  • Florida

    Penalties

    Increased Penalty for High BAC Administrative License Suspension on First Offense Limited Driving Privileges During Suspension
    .20

    6 months for DUI

    12 months for refusal

    DUI: After 30 days

    Refusal: After 90 days

    Ignition Interlocks

     

    Other

    Open Container Laws Repeat Offender Laws
    Yes Yes

     

  • Georgia

    Penalties

    Increased Penalty for High BAC Administrative License Suspension on First Offense Limited Driving Privileges During Suspension
    .15 1 year Yes

    Ignition Interlocks

    Mandatory for repeat convictions

    Other

    Open Container Laws Repeat Offender Laws
    Yes Yes

     

  • Guam

    Penalties

    Increased Penalty for High BAC Administrative License Suspension on First Offense Limited Driving Privileges During Suspension
    From .08 to .10    

    Ignition Interlocks

    Discretionary

    Other

    Open Container Laws Repeat Offender Laws
    Yes Yes

     

  • Hawaii

    Penalties

    Increased Penalty for High BAC Administrative License Suspension on First Offense Limited Driving Privileges During Suspension
      3 months After 30 days

    Ignition Interlocks

    Mandatory for all convictions

    Other

    Open Container Laws Repeat Offender Laws
    No No

     

  • Idaho

    Penalties

    Increased Penalty for High BAC Administrative License Suspension on First Offense Limited Driving Privileges During Suspension
    .20 90 days After 30 days

    Ignition Interlocks

    Mandatory for all convictions

    Other

    Open Container Laws Repeat Offender Laws
    Yes Yes

     

  • Illinois

    Penalties

    Increased Penalty for High BAC Administrative License Suspension on First Offense Limited Driving Privileges During Suspension
    .16 6 months After 30 days

    Ignition Interlocks

    Mandatory for all convictions; highly incentivized for first convictions

    Other

    Open Container Laws Repeat Offender Laws
    Yes Yes

     

  • Indiana

    Penalties

    Increased Penalty for High BAC Administrative License Suspension on First Offense Limited Driving Privileges During Suspension
    .15 180 days Available Immediately

    Ignition Interlocks

    Mandatory for repeat convictions

    Other

    Open Container Laws Repeat Offender Laws
    Yes No

     

  • Iowa

    Penalties

    Increased Penalty for High BAC Administrative License Suspension on First Offense Limited Driving Privileges During Suspension
    .15 180 days After 30 days

    Ignition Interlocks

    Highly incentivized for all convictions.

    Other

    Open Container Laws Repeat Offender Laws
    Yes Yes

     

  • Kansas

    Penalties

    Increased Penalty for High BAC Administrative License Suspension on First Offense Limited Driving Privileges During Suspension
    .15 30 days  

    Ignition Interlocks

    Highly incentivized for all convictions

    Other

    Open Container Laws Repeat Offender Laws
    Yes Yes

     

  • Kentucky

    Penalties

    Increased Penalty for High BAC Administrative License Suspension on First Offense Limited Driving Privileges During Suspension
    .15 30-120 days Yes

    Ignition Interlocks

    Mandatory for all convictions

    Other

    Open Container Laws Repeat Offender Laws
    Yes Yes

     

  • Louisiana

    Penalties

    Increased Penalty for High BAC Limited Driving Privileges During Suspension Vehicle and License Plate Sanctions
    .15 and .20   Vehicle confiscation

    Ignition Interlocks

    Mandatory for high BAC (0.20 and above) and repeat convictions; highly incentivized for first convictions

    Other

    Open Container Laws Repeat Offender Laws
    No No

     

  • Maine

    Penalties

    Increased Penalty for High BAC Administrative License Suspension on First Offense Limited Driving Privileges During Suspension
    .15 90 days Yes

    Ignition Interlocks

    Highly incentivized for all convictions

    Other

    Open Container Laws Repeat Offender Laws
    No Yes

     

  • Maryland

    Penalties

    Increased Penalty for High BAC Administrative License Suspension on First Offense Limited Driving Privileges During Suspension
    0.15 90 days Yes, with interlock

    Ignition Interlocks

    Mandatory for all convictions

    Other

    Open Container Laws Repeat Offender Laws
    Yes Yes

     

  • Massachusetts

    Penalties

    Increased Penalty for High BAC Administrative License Suspension on First Offense Limited Driving Privileges During Suspension
    .20 90 days Yes

    Ignition Interlocks

    Mandatory for repeat convictions

    Other

    Open Container Laws Repeat Offender Laws
    Yes Yes

     

  • Michigan

    Penalties

    Increased Penalty for High BAC Administrative License Suspension on First Offense Limited Driving Privileges During Suspension
    .17 30-180 days After 45 days

    Ignition Interlocks

    Mandatory for high BAC (0.17) and repeat convictions

    Other

    Open Container Laws Repeat Offender Laws
    Yes Yes

     

  • Minnesota

    Penalties

    Increased Penalty for High BAC Administrative License Suspension on First Offense Limited Driving Privileges During Suspension
    .16 90 days After 15 days

    Ignition Interlocks

    Highly incentivized for high BAC (0.16) and repeat convictions

    Other

    Open Container Laws Repeat Offender Laws
    Yes No

     

  • Mississippi

    Penalties

    Increased Penalty for High BAC Administrative License Suspension on First Offense Limited Driving Privileges During Suspension
      90 days  

    Ignition Interlocks

    Mandatory for all convictions

    Other

    Open Container Laws Repeat Offender Laws
    No Yes

     

  • Missouri

    Penalties

    Increased Penalty for High BAC Administrative License Suspension on First Offense Limited Driving Privileges During Suspension
    .15 90 days

    After 0 days with interlock use (restricted)

    After 30 days (restricted)

    Ignition Interlocks

    Mandatory for repeat convictions

    Other

    Open Container Laws Repeat Offender Laws
    No Yes

     

  • Montana

    Penalties

    Increased Penalty for High BAC Administrative License Suspension on First Offense Limited Driving Privileges During Suspension
    .16 6 months Yes

    Ignition Interlocks

    Mandatory for repeat convictions

    Other

    Open Container Laws Repeat Offender Laws
    Yes No

     

  • Nebraska

    Penalties

    Increased Penalty for High BAC Administrative License Suspension on First Offense Limited Driving Privileges During Suspension
    .15 90 days After 30 days

    Ignition Interlocks

    Mandatory for all convictions

    Other

    Open Container Laws Repeat Offender Laws
    Yes Yes

     

  • Nevada

    Penalties

    Increased Penalty for High BAC Administrative License Suspension on First Offense Limited Driving Privileges During Suspension
    .18 90 days After 45 days

    Ignition Interlocks

    Mandatory for all convictions.

    Other

    Open Container Laws Repeat Offender Laws
    Yes Yes

     

  • New Hampshire

    Penalties

    Increased Penalty for High BAC Administrative License Suspension on First Offense Limited Driving Privileges During Suspension
    .16 6 months  

    Ignition Interlocks

    Mandatory for all convictions.

    Other

    Open Container Laws Repeat Offender Laws
    Yes Yes

     

  • New Jersey

    Penalties

    Increased Penalty for High BAC Administrative License Suspension on First Offense Limited Driving Privileges During Suspension
    .10 3 months  

    Ignition Interlocks

    Mandatory for all convictions

    Other

    Open Container Laws Repeat Offender Laws
    Yes Yes

     

  • New Mexico

    Penalties

    Increased Penalty for High BAC Administrative License Suspension on First Offense Limited Driving Privileges During Suspension
    .16 (with mandatory jail on all offenses)

    Under 21: 1 year

    21 and over: 6 months

    Immediately with Ignition Interlock

    Ignition Interlocks

    Mandatory for all convictions

    Other

    Open Container Laws Repeat Offender Laws
    Yes No

     

  • New York

    Penalties

    Increased Penalty for High BAC Administrative License Suspension on First Offense Limited Driving Privileges During Suspension
    .18 Yes Yes

    Ignition Interlocks

    Mandatory for all convictions

    Other

    Open Container Laws Repeat Offender Laws
    Yes Yes

     

  • North Carolina

    Penalties

    Increased Penalty for High BAC Administrative License Suspension on First Offense Limited Driving Privileges During Suspension
    .15 30 days After 10 days

    Ignition Interlocks

    Mandatory for high BAC (.15 or higher) and repeat convictions

    Other

    Open Container Laws Repeat Offender Laws
    Yes Yes

     

  • North Dakota

    Penalties

    Increased Penalty for High BAC Administrative License Suspension on First Offense Limited Driving Privileges During Suspension
    .18 91 days After 30 days

    Ignition Interlocks

    Discretionary

    Other

    Open Container Laws Repeat Offender Laws
    Yes Yes

     

  • Northern Mariana Islands

    Penalties

    Increased Penalty for High BAC Administrative License Suspension on First Offense Limited Driving Privileges During Suspension
      30 days - <6 months  

    Ignition Interlocks

    N/A

    Other

    Open Container Laws Repeat Offender Laws
    Yes Yes

     

  • Ohio

    Penalties

    Increased Penalty for High BAC Administrative License Suspension on First Offense Limited Driving Privileges During Suspension
    .17 90 days After 15 days

    Ignition Interlocks

    Mandatory for repeat convictions.

    Other

    Open Container Laws Repeat Offender Laws
    No No

     

  • Oklahoma

    Penalties

    Increased Penalty for High BAC Administrative License Suspension on First Offense Limited Driving Privileges During Suspension
    .15 180 days Yes

    Ignition Interlocks

    Mandatory for high BAC (0.15 and above) and repeat convictions; highly incentivized for first convictions

    Other

    Open Container Laws Repeat Offender Laws
    Yes Yes

     

  • Oregon

    Penalties

    Increased Penalty for High BAC Administrative License Suspension on First Offense Limited Driving Privileges During Suspension
    .15 90 days After 30 days

    Ignition Interlocks

    Mandatory for all convictions and diversions

    Other

    Open Container Laws Repeat Offender Laws
    Yes No

     

  • Pennsylvania

    Penalties

    Increased Penalty for High BAC Limited Driving Privileges During Suspension Vehicle and License Plate Sanctions
    .10 and .16 See note  

    Ignition Interlocks

    Mandatory for high BAC (.10 or higher) and repeat convictions.

    Other

    Open Container Laws Repeat Offender Laws
    Yes Yes

    *NOTE: Pennsylvania uses programs called Occupational Limited License (OLL) and Ignition Interlock Limited License (IILL).

  • Rhode Island

    Penalties

    Increased Penalty for High BAC Administrative License Suspension on First Offense Limited Driving Privileges During Suspension
    .10 and .15 30-180 days  

    Ignition Interlocks

    Mandatory for all convictions

    Other

    Open Container Laws Repeat Offender Laws
    Yes No
  • South Carolina

    Penalties

    Increased Penalty for High BAC Administrative License Suspension on First Offense Limited Driving Privileges During Suspension
    .10 and .16 1 month (for BAC .15 or higher) Yes

    Ignition Interlocks

    Mandatory for both high BAC (.15 or higher) and repeat convictions

    Other

    Open Container Laws Repeat Offender Laws
    Yes No
  • South Dakota

    Penalties

    Increased Penalty for High BAC Administrative License Suspension on First Offense Limited Driving Privileges During Suspension
    .17 30 days Yes

    Ignition Interlocks

    Discretionary

    Other

    Open Container Laws Repeat Offender Laws
    Yes No
  • Tennessee

    Penalties

    Increased Penalty for High BAC Administrative License Suspension on First Offense Limited Driving Privileges During Suspension
    .20 1 year Yes

    Ignition Interlocks

    Mandatory for repeat convictions; highly incentivized for first convictions

    Other

    Open Container Laws Repeat Offender Laws
    No Yes
  • Texas

    Penalties

    Increased Penalty for High BAC Administrative License Suspension on First Offense Limited Driving Privileges During Suspension
    .15 90 days if .08 or greater; 180 days for refusal Yes

    Ignition Interlocks

    Mandatory for repeat convictions

    Other

    Open Container Laws Repeat Offender Laws
    Yes Yes
  • Utah

    Penalties

    Increased Penalty for High BAC Administrative License Suspension on First Offense Limited Driving Privileges During Suspension
    .16 120 days  

    Ignition Interlocks

    Mandatory for repeat convictions; highly incentivized for first convictions

    Other

    Open Container Laws Repeat Offender Laws
    Yes Yes
  • Vermont

    Penalties

    Increased Penalty for High BAC Administrative License Suspension on First Offense Limited Driving Privileges During Suspension
      90 days  

    Ignition Interlocks

    Highly incentivized for all convictions

    Other

    Open Container Laws Repeat Offender Laws
    Yes No
  • Virgin Islands

    Penalties

    Increased Penalty for High BAC Administrative License Suspension on First Offense Limited Driving Privileges During Suspension
      Variable Yes

    Ignition Interlocks

    N/A

    Other

    Open Container Laws Repeat Offender Laws
    Yes Yes
  • Virginia

    Penalties

    Increased Penalty for High BAC Administrative License Suspension on First Offense Limited Driving Privileges During Suspension
    .15 and .20 7 days  

    Ignition Interlocks

    Mandatory for repeat convictions; highly incentivized for first convictions

    Other

    Open Container Laws Repeat Offender Laws
    No Yes
  • Washington

    Penalties

    Increased Penalty for High BAC Administrative License Suspension on First Offense Limited Driving Privileges During Suspension
    .15 90 days With an ignition interlock driver's license

    Ignition Interlocks

    Mandatory for all convictions

    Other

    Open Container Laws Repeat Offender Laws
    Yes No
  • West Virginia

    Penalties

    Increased Penalty for High BAC Administrative License Suspension on First Offense Limited Driving Privileges During Suspension
    .15 6 months After 30 days

    Ignition Interlocks

    Mandatory for high BAC (.15 or higher) and repeat convictions

    Other

    Open Container Laws Repeat Offender Laws
    Yes Yes
  • Wisconsin

    Penalties

    Increased Penalty for High BAC Administrative License Suspension on First Offense Limited Driving Privileges During Suspension
    .17, .20 and .25 6-9 months Yes

    Ignition Interlocks

    Mandatory for high BAC (.15 or higher) and repeat convictions

    Other

    Open Container Laws Repeat Offender Laws
    Yes Yes
  • Wyoming

    Penalties

    Increased Penalty for High BAC Administrative License Suspension on First Offense Limited Driving Privileges During Suspension
    .15 90 days Yes

    Ignition Interlocks

    Mandatory for high BAC (.15 or higher) and repeat convictions

    Other

    Open Container Laws Repeat Offender Laws
    No No