A ranking of states with the toughest DUI Laws in the U.S.

A ranking of states with the toughest DUI Laws in the U.S.

Over the past three decades or so, federal and state authorities have been focused on cracking down on impaired drivers. While this effort has been key in establishing the legal limit of 0.08 for drunk driving throughout the nation, the DUI laws in various states have evolved in different ways over the years, with some states having far tougher laws and penalties – while others have DUI laws that are remarkably more lenient.

Recently, some researchers took an analytical eye to the enforcement rules in each state in order to evaluate which states in the nation have the strictest versus the most relaxed DUI laws. To do this, they assessed a number of different factors, only some of which included:

  • The nature and severity of the criminal punishments imposed for drunk driving convictions
  • Whether the state allows for felony DUI charges (or only misdemeanor DUI charges)
  • Whether the state has a “washout” or “lookback” period for prior DUIs and, if so, how long this period is
  • Whether the state has options for imposing additional penalties for excessively high BACs (such as those that are 0.15 or higher)
  • Whether a state also imposed an administrative driver’s license suspension following a drunk driving arrest
  • The degree to which the state’s DUI laws were deterring repeat offenders (i.e., preventing people from incurring a subsequent DUI conviction).

The Ranking

What researchers found after assessing the above factors was that the following states generally have the toughest DUI laws in the nation (in order of most severe to more lenient):

  1. Arizona
  2. Alaska
  3. Connecticut
  4. West Virginia
  5. Kansas
  6. Nebraska
  7. Utah
  8. Virginia
  9. Delaware, Georgia & Washington
  10. Tennessee
  11. Oklahoma
  12. Louisiana
  13. Iowa
  14. Oregon
  15. Colorado
  16. New Hampshire & Texas
  17. South Carolina.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, the states that were noted as having the most relaxed DUI laws in the nation included South Dakota, Pennsylvania, North Dakota and Maryland.

Contact an Adams County & Boulder DUI Attorney at Peter Loyd Weber & Associates

Have you or a loved one been charged with a DUI in Colorado? If so, an Adams County and Boulder DUI attorney at Peter Loyd Weber & Associates is ready to immediately start defending you. Our primary concern is protecting your constitutional rights throughout the criminal process while helping you obtain the best possible outcome to your case.

To talk about your defense and how we can help you, call us today at (720) 863-7755 or email us using the contact form on this page.  We offer complimentary consultations, and we take pride in always being available to our clients – 24 hours per day, 7 days per week – so that they have the personal attention their case deserves.

From our offices based in Northglenn, Broomfield and Boulder, we provide the strongest defense and highest quality legal services to our clients throughout Weld County, Adams County and the state of Colorado.