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DUI Fines Vary Widely by State, with Arizona as Most Strict

| August 10, 2017

Police pulling over car

With drunk driving resulting in roughly 1 million arrests, 10,000 deaths and $44 billion in economic damage each year, penalties vary widely by state.

In the interest of underscoring the financial downsides of driving drunk, WalletHub compared the penalties in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 15 key metrics, ranging from fines and minimum jail time to “ignition interlock device” requirements.

The results are perhaps a bit surprising.

Strictest States on DUI Most Lenient States on DUI
1 Arizona 42 Vermont
2 Georgia 43 Michigan
3 Alaska 43 Pennsylvania
4 Oklahoma 45 New Jersey
4 Kansas 46 Maryland
6 Nebraska 47 Idaho
7 Connecticut 47 North Dakota
8 Utah 49 Ohio
9 Delaware 50 District of Columbia
10 West Virginia 51 South Dakota

Key Findings:

  • “Red” states have tougher DUI laws than “blue” states, ranking 23.29 and 28.00, respectively.
  • The average fine for a first DUI ($352) is higher than the Uber fare from Washington, DC to Philadelphia, and you could get all the way to New York with the second-DUI average ($762).
  • Repeat offenders spend nearly three weeks longer in jail than first-time offenders, on average.
  • 44 states (and DC) can automatically suspend your license, before any court involvement, if you’re arrested for DUI.
  • In 44 states offenders are required to equip their vehicles with ignition interlock devices after a DUI.


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Category: General Update, News

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