Who Has the Strictest DUI Laws in the Country? Arizona

As the number of DUIs increase across the nation, states are beginning to create stricter regulations for drinking and driving. However, some states have more intense laws than others. Recent studies have found that Arizona has the strictest DUI regulations and penalties in the country.

Arizona DUI Penalties

A WalletHub study compared all 50 states and how they treat DUIs, looking at the severity of the penalties. Arizona easily made the top of the list. As a punishment for a driver’s first DUI in Arizona, he or she must spend 10 days in jail and pay a minimum $750 fine. After the driver finishes his or her time in jail, he or she must have an ignition interlock device installed in any vehicles he or she operates that requires him or her to blow into a breathalyzer device before being able to turn on the car. The interlock device must remain in his or her car for one full year.

For 7 years after the first offense, other DUIs will be impacted by previous offenses. The police will impound the driver’s vehicle. On average, the insurance rate of someone with a DUI will increase by 37%.

If a police officer arrests someone and it is his or her second DUI, he or she must spend 90 days in jail and pay a $1,750 fine.

After the third time a police officer arrests a driver for drinking and driving, the DUI becomes an automatic felony. In 2013, police officers arrested over 23,000 people in Arizona for DUIs. The average blood alcohol content in Arizona in 2014 was 0.152, a reading that warrants an extreme DUI charge with severe penalties.

DUI Severity in the Other States

Along with Arizona, Georgia, Alaska, Kansas, and Oklahoma have the strictest DUI laws in the country. Idaho, North Dakota, Ohio, District of Columbia, and South Dakota have the loosest DUI regulations in the country.

South Dakota does not require any jail time for people arrested for driving under the influence for the first or second conviction and does not have a fine. South Dakota law does not consider a DUI a felony until the third offense. The police officer will not impound a DUI offender’s vehicle, and the offender does not need to have an ignition interlock device in his or her car for any period.

DUIs in the United States Statistics

The average fine for a first time DUI offender ($352) is higher than the cost of an Uber ride from Washington, DC to Philadelphia ($217). For a second offense, the fine is the same price as the cost of taking an Uber from Washington, DC to New York ($762).

All but six states have laws that allow them to automatically suspend a driver’s license after a DUI before going to court. 59% of the states will suspend the license for up to 90 days. 22% of them may suspend the license for between 120 days and one full year.

Ignition interlock devices are mechanisms in vehicles that force drivers to blow into a tube before being able to turn on their cars. 88% of states require DUI offenders to have ignition interlock devices in their cars after their first DUI. 37 states also require that a person with a DUI completes alcohol abuse treatment or an assessment.

In most places in the United States, DUI offenses stain a person’s record for a long period of time. In 84% of the states, a DUI will stay on a person’s record for at least six years after the incident. Five states leave the DUI on a person’s record for his or her entire life.