Alcohol Impaired Driving

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The chart below describes the statewide laws related to alcohol-impaired driving across the country. Use the arrows below the chart to toggle through the states in alphabetical order. To advance slowly, click the single right arrow (>). To jump to the end, click the double arrows (>>). Or use the filter by state feature to jump to a specific state.
 
Download a PDF chart of alcohol-impaired driving laws for all states here.
 
Scroll down for a summary and overall totals of the number of states that have specific provisions.

Alabama Alaska Arizona Arkansas
Increased penalty for high BAC

0.15

Increased penalty for high BAC
Increased penalty for high BAC

0.15

Increased penalty for high BAC
Administrative license suspension on first offense

90 days

Administrative license suspension on first offense

90 days

Administrative license suspension on first offense

90 days

Administrative license suspension on first offense

6 months

Limited driving privileges during suspension
Limited driving privileges during suspension

After 30 days

Limited driving privileges during suspension

After 30 days

Limited driving privileges during suspension

Yes

Ignition Interlocks

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

Ignition Interlocks

Mandatory for all convictions

Ignition Interlocks

Mandatory for all convictions

Ignition Interlocks

Mandatory for all convictions

Open container laws

Yes

Open container laws

No

Open container laws

Yes

Open container laws

Yes

Repeat Offender Laws

Yes

Repeat Offender Laws

No

Repeat Offender Laws

Yes

Repeat Offender Laws

Yes

Increased penalty for high BAC

0.15

Administrative license suspension on first offense

90 days

Limited driving privileges during suspension
Ignition Interlocks

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

Open container laws

Yes

Repeat Offender Laws

Yes

Increased penalty for high BAC
Administrative license suspension on first offense

90 days

Limited driving privileges during suspension

After 30 days

Ignition Interlocks

Mandatory for all convictions

Open container laws

No

Repeat Offender Laws

No

Increased penalty for high BAC

0.15

Administrative license suspension on first offense

90 days

Limited driving privileges during suspension

After 30 days

Ignition Interlocks

Mandatory for all convictions

Open container laws

Yes

Repeat Offender Laws

Yes

Increased penalty for high BAC
Administrative license suspension on first offense

6 months

Limited driving privileges during suspension

Yes

Ignition Interlocks

Mandatory for all convictions

Open container laws

Yes

Repeat Offender Laws

Yes

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.