The Louisiana Highway Safety Commission (LHSC) was one of five State Highway Safety Offices to receive a grant from GHSA and ride hailing company Lyft to prevent impaired driving during the 2018 holiday season. With its grant, LHSC complemented its annual "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" enforcement campaign with social media messaging to spotlight discounted Lyft rides.
Alcohol Impaired Driving
All states but Utah define driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at or above 0.08 percent 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 percent.
48 states, D.C. and Guam have increased penalties for drivers convicted at higher BACs (the specific levels and penalties vary by state).
44 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. 28 states* (and 4 California counties) have made ignition interlocks mandatory or highly incentivized for all convicted drunk drivers, even first-time offenders. An additional 3 states mandate interlocks for high BACs, 8 states require them for repeat offenders; and 7 states for both high BAC and repeat offenders. The remaining 4 states and D.C. make interlocks discretionary.
*We defer to our State Highway Safety Office members' interpretation of the law. Some groups may have a higher count.
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. 33 states and 3 territories have open container laws which meet federal requirements. 28 states, D.C. and 3 territories have repeat offender laws which meet federal requirements.
Alcohol exclusion laws allow insurance companies to deny payment for treatment of drunk drivers' injuries, but they have limited doctors' abilities to diagnose alcohol problems and recommend treatment. Currently, 37 states have such laws. Some states have repealed such laws.
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 Problems, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) and State Highway Safety Offices.
As the recipient of a grant from GHSA and Lyft, the North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) bolstered its winter anti-impaired driving campaign with additional media efforts and discounted rides for impaired travelers.
The California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) was one of five states to receive a grant from Lyft and GHSA in 2018. With this funding, OTS augmented its "Go Safely, California" campaign during the holiday season to provide discounted Lyft rides to impaired travelers.
As the recipient of a grant from GHSA and Lyft, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) teamed up with the Illinois State Police (ISP) for "Ride Smart," a social media campaign encouraging ride-hailing as an alternative to impaired road use.
The Washington Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC) was the recipient of a GHSA and Lyft grant to deter impaired driving. With this funding, WTSC partnered with Seattle Hempfest Director and cannabis activist Vivian McPeak for "Plan Before You Party," a holiday season campaign discouraging poly-drug (under the influence of a combinations of alcohol and drugs) impaired driving.
On Super Bowl Sunday, Jim Reaper, a character created by the South Dakota Office of Highway Safety, bar hopped around Sioux Falls to spread the word against impaired driving. Office of Highway Safety Director, and GHSA Treasurer, Lee Axdahl elaborates.
Story by Perry Groten
January 31, 2019
Colorado DOT has launched its "The Heat is On" campaign, a winter enforcement period cracking down on drunk and drug-impaired driving. CDOT Office of Transportation Safety Director Derrell Lingk discusses the importance of the enforcement period.
January 19, 2019
Through a grant from GHSA and Lyft, the California Office of Traffic Safety launched its "Go Safely" campaign to help those ringing in the New Year travel safely.
Story by Melia Russell and Megan Cassidy
December 30, 2018
Having received one of GHSA and Lyft's grants to help deter impaired road use, the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission (LHSC) is offering discounted rides to travelers this holiday season. LHSC's Mark Lambert discusses the program.
Story by Ellen Couvillion
December 18, 2018