Drink driving penalty calculator

Been arrested for driving under the influence (DUI)? Wondering what penalty you might get? Use our drink driving penalty calculator to find out what your penalty may be in your state if you are convicted.

DUI penalty calculator
Been arrested for DUI? Find out what kind of penalties you may face if you are convicted.

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Calculate your potential DUI penalty

Use our handy DUI penalty calculator to instantly discover what jail time you may need to serve, and what fine you may need to pay in your state if it is your first drink driving offense.

Please note that some states use the term driving while intoxicated (DWI) or operating under the influence (OUI) instead of DUI. You can also be charged with driving while ability impaired (DWAI). 

To use our calculator above, just choose the state you were arrested in and you can find out:

  • The potential jail sentence you may receive
  • The fine or fees you may need to pay
  • The minimum license suspension you may receive is
  • Whether an ignition interlock device may be required

The information in our DUI penalty calculator is taken from DUI Laws by State.

Find out the DUI penalty in your state

Our drink driving calculator shows you the potential penalty for a first offense in these states:

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • D.C.
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

What is the penalty for a first-offense DUI?

The consequences of a first-offense DUI (driving under the influence) vary by state. Common penalties include jail time, community service, fines, license suspension, and having to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in your vehicle. 

The minimum penalties for a first-offense DUI are often increased if you had a high blood alcohol concentration (BAC) (usually .15% or more) or were involved in an accident where someone was injured.

What does DUI mean?

Here’s what DUI and other similar terms mean:

  • DUI: Driving under the influence
  • DWI: Driving while intoxicated
  • OUI: Operating under the influence
  • DWAI: Driving while ability impaired
  • BAC: Blood alcohol concentration 

In some states there is a difference between these terms. For example, in New York, A DWI means a driver is legally intoxicated, or drunk, with a BAC of at least 0.08%. A DWAI, meanwhile, means a driver’s BAC is between 0.05 and 0.07%, or there is other evidence that the driver is impaired. 

A DWI and DWAI are both criminal charges, and can result in fines, license revocation, and/or jail. A DWAI is specific to the substance impairing the driver, so you can be charged with a DWAI-Drugs, for driving under the influence of drugs, or a DWAI-Alcohol, for driving under the influence of alcohol.

In Colorado, you can be charged with DUI, DWI or DWAI. Of the three offences DWAI is the least serious. This charge is usually reserved for drivers who are slightly affected by drugs or the influence of alcohol that falls under the legal limit. 

A DWI offense I, meanwhile, is often reserved for impaired driving under the influence of alcohol. If you have a blood alcohol content .08% or above you may be charged with DWI in Colorado. 

And finally, DUI charges cover a wide range of circumstances of driver impairment, including alcohol and other drugs and schedule I controlled substances, such as marijuana, cocaine, heroin, even some prescription drugs. 

In both New York and Colorado, you can be arrested for a DWAI if your BAC is within the legal limit. Both states have a BAC limit of .08, but you can be arrested for a DWAI if your BAC is between .05 and .07 and evidence, such as a failing a field sobriety test, indicates your driving ability is impaired.

How many people drink and drive?

According to FBI data in 2021 police arrested more than 443,000 people on suspicion of DUI. 

The three states with the highest number of arrests for DUI in 2021 were Pennsylvania (25.0% of all arrests), Washington (17.4%) and Wyoming (15.5%).

In 2020, 20% of drivers polled by TIRF Road Safety Monitor reported driving drunk at least once, and 10% said they did it often.

According to legal DUI statistics, young people are the most likely to drink and drive. Drivers aged between 21-24 account for 29% of all fatal alcohol-impaired crashes. And 25-34 year olds account for 28%.

Which state has the toughest drink driving penalties?

Utah has some of the toughest drink driving laws. In 2018 they lowered the BAC (blood alcohol content) to 0.05. An analysis of traffic deaths in the state before and after the law discovered that this reduction helped cut fatalities by almost 20%

What is the cost of drink driving?

Drunk driving accidents are responsible for around one third of all traffic-related deaths. About 37 people in the US die in drunk-driving crashes every day – that’s one person every 39 minutes. In 2022, 13,524 people died in alcohol-impaired driving traffic deaths. More than 280 of them were children.

In total, drinking and driving costs more than $58 billion in deaths and damages every year.

What should you do if you are arrested for DUI?

If you are charged with driving under the influence, it is advised to get help from an attorney who specialises in DUI. 

Depending on the state, you can be imprisoned while awaiting trial, released on bail, and/or tried in a criminal court if arrested for DUI. 

If you are convicted of DUI, you will be subject to the laws and potential punishments that apply to the state you were arrested in. This can include a fine, imprisonment, and/or other penalty, including license suspension and having to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in your vehicle. 

How can you avoid being arrested for DUI?

The simplest way to avoid being arrested for DUI is not to drive after you have been drinking or talking any other substance that may impair your ability to drive. (This incudes prescription drugs.) Even a small amount of alcohol can put you over the BAC limit in some states, so it is best to not drink at all if you are planning to drive. 

It is also important to make sure you do not get in a car with a driver you suspect may have been drinking or taking drugs, for your own safety. If you can, encourage them not to drive at all. 

How can you turn your life around after a DUI charge?

If you have been charged with DWI, DUI, OUI or DWAI, consider this a wake up call to take stock of your life and make positive changes going forward. Here are some steps to take you in the right direction: 

  • Try to stay sober: Not only will this improve your health and reduce the chances of being charged again (plus make you safer on the roads) but it will demonstrate to the courts that you regret your actions, and are trying to change. 
  • Get support: Gather a support group around you to help you make any changes you need to in your life. This can be family and friends, a counsellor or involve joining a program to help you stop drinking. You may even decide to go to rehab. 
  • Hire an attorney: Before you can move on from a DUI charge, you need to first deal with the consequences. A DUI attorney can help you beat your charge, or reduce your penalty if convicted so you can can start taking positive steps to a new life sooner. 

Read our resources on drink driving

We have a number of articles on drink driving. You can read more advice here:

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