DUI Penalties and Arrests in the US: Are they related?
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DUI Penalties and Arrests Across States in America

 For a country that’s a mecca of highways and interstates, it’s no wonder they need to crack down on DUI penalties. Some states are more lenient than others, let’s take a look at which ones crack down on DUI offenders and which ones are more lax. The rankings take into consideration the fines, jail time, vehicle impound, license suspension and more. However, we’re just going to have a glance at the common penalties and see if higher penalties have an impact in the number of DUI Arrests per state.

How much would a DUI fine cost?

DUI fines vary from state to state, as traffic laws are different across the United States. For many of these states, the average DUI ticket fine are within the same range, but let’s take a look at the maximum fines and see how high a DUI fine can get:

Maximum DUI Fines

 

On the map, you’ll see some states reaching beyond $2000 dollars in maximum fines, including Texas, Kentucky, California, Oregon, and Florida. The majority of the states fall under the $1000-$2000 range of maximum fines.

DUI Penalties Across the US

The map already gives us a picture of how the traffic laws about DUI are per particular state, but we’ve listed down other important information below so we’d have a better understanding of DUI penalties in different states.

  1. Arizona – A fine of around $250 (at least) with a minimum of 24 hour jail time and license suspension of 90 days.
  2. Georgia – A find of around $300-$1000 with minimum jail time of 24 hours to a year, and license suspension of up to one year.
  3. Alaska – The fine is $1500 with a minimum of 72 hours in jail and minimum license suspension of 90 days.
  4. Kansas –A find of $750-$100, with 48 hours of jail time and a 90-day license suspension.
  5. Oklahoma – You will face a fine of up to $1000, jail time of 5 days to a year and a 30-day license suspension.
  6. Nebraska – 7-60 days of jail time, fines from $400-$1000, and jail time up to 60 days.
  7. Connecticut – Jail time ranges from 2 days to 6 months with fines from $500-$1000 and license suspension of a year.
  8. Utah – 48 hours minimum jail time, $700 min of fines and 120 days of jail time.
  9. Delaware – Delaware has a maximum jail time sentence of 6 months, fines from $500 to $1000 and license suspension of a year.
  10. West Virginia – Jail time up to half a year, fines from $100 to $1000, and license suspension of 15-45 days.
  11. Colorado – Up to a year jail time for DUI, fines of $1000, and license suspension of 9 months.
  12. Virginia – Their minimum jail is 5 days and a fine of $250 at the least with license suspension of 356 days.
  13. Texas – Jail time can range from 3 to 180 days and fines can run as high as $2000. License suspension ranges from 90 days to a year.
  14. Louisiana – Jail time ranges from 2 days to half a year with a fine of $1000. License suspension is the standard 90 days.
  15. Washington – You can spend a day to a year in jail and face fines of $865.50 to $5000. License suspension goes from 90 days to a year.
  16. Oregon – 2 days of jail time or 80 hours of community service. Fines are higher ranging from $1000 to $6250 with license suspension of a year.
  17. Florida – Jail time is high from 6-9 months and fines run from $500-$2000 and license suspension of 180 days to a year.
  18. Nevada – 2 days to 6 months of jail time with fines from $400-$1000 and 90 day license suspension.
  19. Illinois – Up to a year minimum of jail time and fines up to $2500. Jail time is also a minimum of a year.
  20. Tennessee – Jail time of 2 days up to 11 months. Fines range from $350-$1500 and license suspension of a year.
  21. California – Jail time is anywhere from 4 days to half a year. Fines are higher at $1400 to $2600 and license suspension from a month to 10 months.
  22. Arkansas – Jail time of 1 day to a year. Fines vary from $150 to $1000 and a license suspension minimum of 6 months.
  23. Massachusetts – You can get jail time up to 30 months! Fines range from $500-$5000 and license suspension of a year.
  24. Iowa – 2 days to a year of jail time and fines from $625 to $1200 with license suspension of 180 days.
  25. Kentucky – No jail time minimum but fines can go up to $2100 with license suspension of 90 days. You can learn more about getting your first DUI offense in the state.
  26. Hawaii – Also no minimum jail time, although fines can go up to $1000 and license suspension for 90 days.
  27. Minnesota – Jail time can go up to 90 days with fines up to $1000 and license suspension up to 90 days.
  28. South Carolina – South Carolina has minimum jail time of 2 days up to 90. Fines range from $400-$1000 and license revocation for half a year.
  29. New Mexico – Jail time up to 90 days and fines only up to $500 and license suspension up to a year.
  30. New York – They don’t have minimum jail time either and have fines from $500-$1000 and license suspension of 6 months.
  31. New Hampshire – Also no minimum jail time and fines from $500-$1200 and license suspension of 6 months.
  32. Alabama – Alabama is the same as the above with no minimum jail time and fines from $600-$1200 and a 90-day license suspension.
  33. Rhode Island – Jail time can go up to a year minimum but fines are lower from $100-$500 and license suspension from 2-18 months.
  34. Missouri – Jail time goes up to 6 months and fines range from $250-$1000 with a 90-day license suspension.
  35. Maine – You are looking at 30 days of jail time with a $500 fine and 90 day license suspension.
  36. North Carolina – 24 hours for level 5 offender. Fines are $200 and license suspension is 60 days to a year.
  37. Indiana – Jail time for Indiana DUI is 60 days to a year with fines up to $2500 and 1 year minimum license suspension.
  38. Wisconsin – No minimum jail time in Wisconsin, and fines are low at $150-$300 and half a year to 9 months of license suspension.
  39. Wyoming – Jail time of up to 6 months and fines up to $750. License suspension is the standard 90 days.
  40. Montana – 2 days to 6 months of jail time and fines go from $300 to $1000 with half a year license suspension.
  41. Mississippi – Jail time goes to 48 hours and fines up to $500. License suspension is the standard 90 days.
  42. Vermont – Jail time in Vermont goes to an impressive 2 years and fines up to $750 with the standard 90-day license suspension.
  43. Michigan – Jail time can last up to 93 days and fines from $100-$500 and up to 6 months of jail time.
  44. Pennsylvania – Pennsylvania ranks this low for a reason. There is no minimum jail time or license suspension and fees are only $300.
  45. New Jersey – New Jersey has jail time up to a month and low fines of $250 to $500 and license suspension of 3 months to a year.
  46. Maryland – Maryland has jail time of up to a year minimum and fines up to $1000. You are looking at a minimum of 6 months without your license.
  47. Idaho – Jail time of up to 6 months and fines up to $1000. License suspension goes from 90-180 days.
  48. North Dakota – No minimum jail time and fines from $500-$750 and license suspension of 91-180 days.
  49. Ohio – 3 days to 6 months of jail time and fines from $250-$1000. License suspension is a bit longer, from 6 months to 3 years!
  50. District of Columbia – D.C. has a maximum of 90 days of jail time and fines from $300-$1100 and 6 months of license suspension.
  51. South Dakota – Last but not least is South Dakota with up to a year of jail time and fines of $1000. The license suspension is only for a month.

DUI Arrests per State

Now,  let’s take a look at the number of arrests per state:

DUI Arrests

On this map, we see that the common range of DUI arrests per 1000 drivers in 3 to 6, whereas in 5 states, arrests exceed 6. For the other 8 states, numbers of arrests are impressively low at less than 3 per 1000 drivers.

Correlation Between Fines and Arrests

The question here is, “Do drivers avoid driving under the influence when they know that fines are higher and laws are stricter in their state?” Let’s take a look at the two maps:

Correlation between fines and arrests

 

In a study by Becker and Posner, they classified drinking and driving into two different categories: preventative and ex-postregulations. The former being fines and preventative measures enacted to prevent alcohol-related incidences and the latter being to penalize drivers after the fact.

Based on the maps, can we claim that the fines work as a way to prevent the frequency of drinking and driving (based on the arrests)?

Yes, for some states.

Although we cannot conclusively say that the states low penalty get more DUI incidents, we can see that for some of the states with high fines (Alabama, Florida, and Illinois), people are less likely to drink and drive. For the rest of the states with higher fines, the arrests do not reach above 6, which is already quite a good number.

Conclusion

Now you have a pretty basic idea of the DUI penalties and number of arrests for each state. Make sure you understand the consequences and the severity of DUIs and try to abide by the law in whichever state you live in. A big thanks to DUI driving laws for the statistics!

You can also learn how to reduce your DUI charge to reckless driving in case it’s too late.

William
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