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.

Short Term Description
All states but Utah define driving with a BAC at or above 0.08% as a crime, and specific laws and penalties vary substantially from state to state. Beginning in 2019, Utah’s BAC is set at 0.05%.
Wyoming
Administrative license suspension on first offense

90 days

Wyoming
Limited driving privileges during suspension

yes

Wyoming
Ignition Interlocks

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

Wyoming
Open container laws

No

Wyoming
Repeat Offender Laws

No

Wyoming
Increased penalty for high BAC

0.15

Wisconsin
Increased penalty for high BAC

.17, .20 and .25

Wisconsin
Administrative license suspension on first offense

6-9 months

Wisconsin
Limited driving privileges during suspension

Yes

Wisconsin
Ignition Interlocks

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

Wisconsin
Open container laws

Yes

Wisconsin
Repeat Offender Laws

yes

West Virginia
Increased penalty for high BAC

0.15

West Virginia
Administrative license suspension on first offense

6 months

West Virginia
Limited driving privileges during suspension

After 30 days

West Virginia
Ignition Interlocks

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

West Virginia
Open container laws

Yes

West Virginia
Repeat Offender Laws

Yes

Washington
Ignition Interlocks

Mandatory for all convictions

Washington
Open container laws

yes

Washington
Repeat Offender Laws

No

Washington
Increased penalty for high BAC

0.15

Washington
Administrative license suspension on first offense

90 days

Washington
Limited driving privileges during suspension

With an ignition interlock driver's license

Virginia
Increased penalty for high BAC

.15 and .20

Virginia
Administrative license suspension on first offense

7 days

Virginia
Limited driving privileges during suspension
Virginia
Ignition Interlocks

Mandatory for repeat convictions; highly incentivized for first convictions

Virginia
Open container laws

No

Virginia
Repeat Offender Laws

yes

Virgin Islands
Increased penalty for high BAC
Virgin Islands
Administrative license suspension on first offense

Variable

Virgin Islands
Limited driving privileges during suspension

yes

Virgin Islands
Ignition Interlocks
Virgin Islands
Open container laws

yes

Virgin Islands
Repeat Offender Laws

yes

Vermont
Repeat Offender Laws

No

Vermont
Increased penalty for high BAC
Vermont
Administrative license suspension on first offense

90 days

Vermont
Limited driving privileges during suspension
Vermont
Ignition Interlocks

Highly incentivized for all convictions

Vermont
Open container laws

yes

Utah
Increased penalty for high BAC

0.16

Utah
Administrative license suspension on first offense

120 days

Utah
Limited driving privileges during suspension
Utah
Ignition Interlocks

Mandatory for repeat convictions; highly incentivized for first convictions

Utah
Open container laws

yes

Utah
Repeat Offender Laws

yes

Texas
Administrative license suspension on first offense

90 days if .08 or greater; 180 days for refusal

Texas
Limited driving privileges during suspension

Yes

Texas
Ignition Interlocks

Mandatory for repeat convictions

Texas
Open container laws

Yes

Texas
Repeat Offender Laws

yes

Texas
Increased penalty for high BAC

0.15

Tennessee
Increased penalty for high BAC

0.2

Tennessee
Administrative license suspension on first offense

1 year

Tennessee
Limited driving privileges during suspension

yes

Tennessee
Ignition Interlocks

Mandatory for repeat convictions; highly incentivized for first convictions

Tennessee
Open container laws

No

Tennessee
Repeat Offender Laws

Yes

South Dakota
Increased penalty for high BAC

0.17

South Dakota
Administrative license suspension on first offense

30 days

South Dakota
Limited driving privileges during suspension

Yes

South Dakota
Ignition Interlocks

Discretionary

South Dakota
Open container laws

Yes

South Dakota
Repeat Offender Laws

No

South Carolina
Ignition Interlocks

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

South Carolina
Open container laws

Yes

South Carolina
Repeat Offender Laws

No

South Carolina
Increased penalty for high BAC

.10 and .16

South Carolina
Administrative license suspension on first offense

1 month (for BAC .15 or higher)

South Carolina
Limited driving privileges during suspension

Yes

Rhode Island
Increased penalty for high BAC

.10 and .15

Rhode Island
Administrative license suspension on first offense

30-180 days

Rhode Island
Limited driving privileges during suspension
Rhode Island
Ignition Interlocks

Mandatory for all convictions

Rhode Island
Open container laws

Yes

Rhode Island
Repeat Offender Laws

No

Pennsylvania
Increased penalty for high BAC

.10 and .16

Pennsylvania
Administrative license suspension on first offense
Pennsylvania
Limited driving privileges during suspension

Pennsylvania uses programs called Occupational Limited License (OLL) and Ignition Interlock Limited License (IILL)

Pennsylvania
Ignition Interlocks

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

Pennsylvania
Open container laws

Yes

Pennsylvania
Repeat Offender Laws

Yes

Oregon
Repeat Offender Laws

No

Oregon
Increased penalty for high BAC

0.15

Oregon
Administrative license suspension on first offense

90 days

Oregon
Limited driving privileges during suspension

After 30 days

Oregon
Ignition Interlocks

Mandatory for all convictions and diversions

Oregon
Open container laws

Yes

Oklahoma
Increased penalty for high BAC

0.15

Oklahoma
Administrative license suspension on first offense

180 days

Oklahoma
Limited driving privileges during suspension

Yes

Oklahoma
Ignition Interlocks

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

Oklahoma
Open container laws

Yes

Oklahoma
Repeat Offender Laws

Yes

Ohio
Administrative license suspension on first offense

90 days

Ohio
Limited driving privileges during suspension

After 15 days

Ohio
Ignition Interlocks

Mandatory for repeat convictions

Ohio
Open container laws

No

Ohio
Repeat Offender Laws

No

Ohio
Increased penalty for high BAC

0.17

Northern Mariana Islands
Increased penalty for high BAC
Northern Mariana Islands
Administrative license suspension on first offense

30 days -

Northern Mariana Islands
Limited driving privileges during suspension
Northern Mariana Islands
Ignition Interlocks
Northern Mariana Islands
Open container laws

Yes

Northern Mariana Islands
Repeat Offender Laws

Yes

North Dakota
Increased penalty for high BAC

0.18

North Dakota
Administrative license suspension on first offense

91 days

North Dakota
Limited driving privileges during suspension

After 30 days

North Dakota
Ignition Interlocks

Discretionary

North Dakota
Open container laws

Yes

North Dakota
Repeat Offender Laws

Yes

North Carolina
Ignition Interlocks

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

North Carolina
Open container laws

Yes

North Carolina
Repeat Offender Laws

Yes

North Carolina
Increased penalty for high BAC

0.15

North Carolina
Administrative license suspension on first offense

30 days

North Carolina
Limited driving privileges during suspension

After 10 days

New York
Increased penalty for high BAC

0.18

New York
Administrative license suspension on first offense

Yes

New York
Limited driving privileges during suspension

Yes

New York
Ignition Interlocks

Mandatory for all convictions

New York
Open container laws

Yes

New York
Repeat Offender Laws

Yes

New Mexico
Increased penalty for high BAC

.16 (with mandatory jail on all offenses)

New Mexico
Administrative license suspension on first offense

Under 21: 1 year; 21 and over: 6 months

New Mexico
Limited driving privileges during suspension

Immediately with ignition interlock

New Mexico
Ignition Interlocks

Mandatory for all convictions

New Mexico
Open container laws

Yes

New Mexico
Repeat Offender Laws

No

New Jersey
Repeat Offender Laws

Yes

New Jersey
Increased penalty for high BAC

0.1

New Jersey
Administrative license suspension on first offense

3 months

New Jersey
Limited driving privileges during suspension
New Jersey
Ignition Interlocks

Mandatory for all convictions

New Jersey
Open container laws

Yes

New Hampshire
Increased penalty for high BAC

0.16

New Hampshire
Administrative license suspension on first offense

6 months

New Hampshire
Limited driving privileges during suspension
New Hampshire
Ignition Interlocks

Mandatory for all convictions

New Hampshire
Open container laws

Yes

New Hampshire
Repeat Offender Laws

Yes

Nevada
Administrative license suspension on first offense

90 days

Nevada
Limited driving privileges during suspension

After 45 days

Nevada
Ignition Interlocks

Mandatory for all convictions

Nevada
Open container laws

Yes

Nevada
Repeat Offender Laws

Yes

Nevada
Increased penalty for high BAC

0.18

Nebraska
Increased penalty for high BAC

0.15

Nebraska
Administrative license suspension on first offense

90 days

Nebraska
Limited driving privileges during suspension

After 30 days

Nebraska
Ignition Interlocks

Mandatory for all convictions

Nebraska
Open container laws

Yes

Nebraska
Repeat Offender Laws

Yes

Montana
Increased penalty for high BAC

0.16

Montana
Administrative license suspension on first offense

6 months

Montana
Limited driving privileges during suspension

Yes

Montana
Ignition Interlocks

Mandatory for repeat convictions

Montana
Open container laws

Yes

Montana
Repeat Offender Laws

No

Missouri
Ignition Interlocks

Mandatory for repeat convictions

Missouri
Open container laws

No

Missouri
Repeat Offender Laws

Yes

Missouri
Increased penalty for high BAC

0.15

Missouri
Administrative license suspension on first offense

90 days

Missouri
Limited driving privileges during suspension

After 0 days with interlock use (restricted); After 30 days (restricted)

Mississippi
Increased penalty for high BAC
Mississippi
Administrative license suspension on first offense

90 days

Mississippi
Limited driving privileges during suspension
Mississippi
Ignition Interlocks

Mandatory for all convictions

Mississippi
Open container laws

No

Mississippi
Repeat Offender Laws

Yes

Minnesota
Increased penalty for high BAC

0.16

Minnesota
Administrative license suspension on first offense

90 days

Minnesota
Limited driving privileges during suspension

After 15 days

Minnesota
Ignition Interlocks

Highly incentivized for high BAC (0.16) and repeat convictions

Minnesota
Open container laws

Yes

Minnesota
Repeat Offender Laws

No

Michigan
Repeat Offender Laws

Yes

Michigan
Increased penalty for high BAC

0.17

Michigan
Administrative license suspension on first offense

30-180 days

Michigan
Limited driving privileges during suspension

After 45 days

Michigan
Ignition Interlocks

Mandatory for high BAC (0.17) and repeat convictions

Michigan
Open container laws

Yes

Massachusetts
Increased penalty for high BAC

0.2

Massachusetts
Administrative license suspension on first offense

90 days

Massachusetts
Limited driving privileges during suspension

Yes

Massachusetts
Ignition Interlocks

Mandatory for repeat convictions

Massachusetts
Open container laws

Yes

Massachusetts
Repeat Offender Laws

Yes

Maryland
Administrative license suspension on first offense

90 days

Maryland
Limited driving privileges during suspension

Yes, with interlock

Maryland
Ignition Interlocks

Mandatory for all convictions

Maryland
Open container laws

Yes

Maryland
Repeat Offender Laws

Yes

Maryland
Increased penalty for high BAC

0.15

Maine
Increased penalty for high BAC

0.15

Maine
Administrative license suspension on first offense

90 days

Maine
Limited driving privileges during suspension

Yes

Maine
Ignition Interlocks

Highly incentivized for all convictions

Maine
Open container laws

No

Maine
Repeat Offender Laws

Yes

Louisiana
Increased penalty for high BAC

.15 and .20

Louisiana
Administrative license suspension on first offense
Louisiana
Limited driving privileges during suspension
Louisiana
Ignition Interlocks

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

Louisiana
Open container laws

No

Louisiana
Repeat Offender Laws

No

Kentucky
Ignition Interlocks

Mandatory for all convictions

Kentucky
Open container laws

Yes

Kentucky
Repeat Offender Laws

Yes

Kentucky
Increased penalty for high BAC

0.15

Kentucky
Administrative license suspension on first offense

30-120 days

Kentucky
Limited driving privileges during suspension

Yes

Kansas
Increased penalty for high BAC

0.15

Kansas
Administrative license suspension on first offense

30 days

Kansas
Limited driving privileges during suspension
Kansas
Ignition Interlocks

Highly incentivized for all convictions

Kansas
Open container laws

Yes

Kansas
Repeat Offender Laws

Yes

Iowa
Increased penalty for high BAC

0.15

Iowa
Administrative license suspension on first offense

180 days

Iowa
Limited driving privileges during suspension

After 30 days

Iowa
Ignition Interlocks

Highly incentivized for all convictions

Iowa
Open container laws

Yes

Iowa
Repeat Offender Laws

Yes

Indiana
Repeat Offender Laws

No

Indiana
Increased penalty for high BAC

0.15

Indiana
Administrative license suspension on first offense

180 days

Indiana
Limited driving privileges during suspension

Available immediately

Indiana
Ignition Interlocks

Mandatory for repeat convictions

Indiana
Open container laws

Yes

Illinois
Increased penalty for high BAC

0.16

Illinois
Administrative license suspension on first offense

6 months

Illinois
Limited driving privileges during suspension

After 30 days

Illinois
Ignition Interlocks

Mandatory for all convictions; highly incentivized for first convictions

Illinois
Open container laws

Yes

Illinois
Repeat Offender Laws

Yes

Idaho
Administrative license suspension on first offense

90 days

Idaho
Limited driving privileges during suspension

After 30 days

Idaho
Ignition Interlocks

Mandatory for all convictions

Idaho
Open container laws

Yes

Idaho
Repeat Offender Laws

Yes

Idaho
Increased penalty for high BAC

0.2

Hawaii
Increased penalty for high BAC
Hawaii
Administrative license suspension on first offense

3 months

Hawaii
Limited driving privileges during suspension

After 30 days

Hawaii
Ignition Interlocks

Mandatory for all convictions

Hawaii
Open container laws

No

Hawaii
Repeat Offender Laws

No

Guam
Increased penalty for high BAC

From .08 to .10

Guam
Administrative license suspension on first offense
Guam
Limited driving privileges during suspension
Guam
Ignition Interlocks

Discretionary

Guam
Open container laws

Yes

Guam
Repeat Offender Laws

Yes

Georgia
Ignition Interlocks

Mandatory for repeat convictions

Georgia
Open container laws

Yes

Georgia
Repeat Offender Laws

Yes

Georgia
Increased penalty for high BAC

0.15

Georgia
Administrative license suspension on first offense

1 year

Georgia
Limited driving privileges during suspension

Yes

Florida
Increased penalty for high BAC

0.2

Florida
Administrative license suspension on first offense

6 months for DUI; 12 months for refusal

Florida
Limited driving privileges during suspension

DUI: After 30 days; Refusal: After 90 days

Florida
Ignition Interlocks
Florida
Open container laws

Yes

Florida
Repeat Offender Laws

Yes

District of Columbia
Increased penalty for high BAC

.20, .25 and .30

District of Columbia
Administrative license suspension on first offense

2-90 days or until deposition

District of Columbia
Limited driving privileges during suspension

Yes

District of Columbia
Ignition Interlocks

Mandatory for all convictions

District of Columbia
Open container laws

Yes

District of Columbia
Repeat Offender Laws

Yes

Delaware
Repeat Offender Laws

Yes

Delaware
Increased penalty for high BAC

0.15

Delaware
Administrative license suspension on first offense

3 months

Delaware
Limited driving privileges during suspension

No

Delaware
Ignition Interlocks

Highly incentivized for all convictions

Delaware
Open container laws

No

Connecticut
Increased penalty for high BAC
Connecticut
Administrative license suspension on first offense

90 days

Connecticut
Limited driving privileges during suspension

Yes

Connecticut
Ignition Interlocks

Highly incentivized for all convictions

Connecticut
Open container laws

No

Connecticut
Repeat Offender Laws

Yes

Colorado
Administrative license suspension on first offense

3 months

Colorado
Limited driving privileges during suspension

Yes

Colorado
Ignition Interlocks

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

Colorado
Open container laws

Yes

Colorado
Repeat Offender Laws

No

Colorado
Increased penalty for high BAC

0.15

California
Increased penalty for high BAC

0.15

California
Administrative license suspension on first offense

4 months

California
Limited driving privileges during suspension

After 30 days

California
Ignition Interlocks

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

California
Open container laws

Yes

California
Repeat Offender Laws

No

Arkansas
Increased penalty for high BAC
Arkansas
Administrative license suspension on first offense

6 months

Arkansas
Limited driving privileges during suspension

Yes

Arkansas
Ignition Interlocks

Mandatory for all convictions

Arkansas
Open container laws

Yes

Arkansas
Repeat Offender Laws

Yes

Arizona
Ignition Interlocks

Mandatory for all convictions

Arizona
Open container laws

Yes

Arizona
Repeat Offender Laws

Yes

Arizona
Increased penalty for high BAC

0.15

Arizona
Administrative license suspension on first offense

90 days

Arizona
Limited driving privileges during suspension

After 30 days

Alaska
Increased penalty for high BAC
Alaska
Administrative license suspension on first offense

90 days

Alaska
Limited driving privileges during suspension

After 30 days

Alaska
Ignition Interlocks

Mandatory for all convictions

Alaska
Open container laws

No

Alaska
Repeat Offender Laws

No

Alabama
Increased penalty for high BAC

0.15

Alabama
Administrative license suspension on first offense

90 days

Alabama
Limited driving privileges during suspension
Alabama
Ignition Interlocks

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

Alabama
Open container laws

Yes

Alabama
Repeat Offender Laws

Yes

‘Get a Lyft on Us’ Initiative Promotes Safe Driving in New Mexico Ahead of Super Bowl

The New Mexico Department of Transportation and the Governor’s Highway Safety Association has partnered with Lyft in order to offer safe rides in New Mexico now through Super Bowl weekend on February 8, 2021, in an effort to combat drunk driving. Those who participate in the offer will receive a $20 Lyft credit that can be used up to two times per Lyft account.

'Get a Lyft on Us' Initiative Promotes Safe Driving in New Mexico Ahead of Super Bowl

In an effort to combat drunk driving, the New Mexico Department of Transportation has partnered with GHSA and Lyft in order to offer safe rides in New Mexico now through Super Bowl weekend on February 8.

'Get a Lyft on Us' Initiative Promotes Safe Driving in New Mexico Ahead of Super Bowl

Story by KRQE Staff
January 21, 2021

National Traffic Deaths Spike Dramatically Despite Less Miles Driven During Pandemic

Shortly after the pandemic started last March, traffic safety officials sounded a warning when they saw an increase in the rate of traffic deaths per 100 million miles driven despite less traffic on the roads.

National Traffic Deaths Spike Dramatically Despite Less Miles Driven During Pandemic

Story by Ed Blazina
January 14, 2021

Subscribe to Alcohol Impaired Driving