Driving under the influence, or DUI, is one of the leading causes of arrest in the United States. In 2014 (the most recent year for Bureau of Justice statistics), there were 1,117,852 DUI arrests. That accounts for just under 10 percent of all arrests. In this post, we share a variety of DUI statistics as well as how Arizona compares to the rest of the country.
Where Does Our DUI Data Come From?
All of our information comes from trusted authorities, typically government agencies. These include the:
- Bureau of Justice (linked above)
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
- Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
In some instances, we also collected information from relevant organizations, such as the Insurance Information Institute. (If you want a master class on using data, you can’t beat the insurance industry. They base every policy and decision on data and statistics.)
Please note that every statistic we provide is the most recent data available from that agency. Most government statistics are at least two years behind the current year.
DUI Penalties by State: How Does Arizona Compare?
Arizona has a reputation for having some of the toughest DUI laws in the country. This may be due, at least in part, to the fact that Arizona has one of the highest minimum fines in the country (second only to Alaska). In reality, though, Arizona is neither the toughest nor the most lenient.
The most common penalties for DUI are:
- Fines and fees
- Jail time
- License suspension
- Ignition interlock device (IID)
The following statistics assume a first conviction for DUI with a BAC (blood alcohol concentration) between 0.08 and 0.15, without a minor under age 15 in the vehicle.
- Coming in at $1,500, Alaska has the highest fines and fees; Arizona is right behind at $1,480
- The highest minimum sentence is 10 days, imposed by Georgia, Louisiana, and Oklahoma; Arizona’s minimum sentence is 24 hours
- 12 months is longest license revocation, with 7 state sharing that honor; Arizona comes in at 90 days, a penalty imposed by 15 other states
- Including Arizona, only 21 states have an IID requirement once driving privileges have been reinstated
Please note that these are all minimum penalties. Conviction may result in harsher penalties in every state. The following table lists DUI penalties by state.
DUI Penalties by State
|State||Minimum Jail||Fines & Fees||Minimum License Suspension||Ignition Interlock Device Required|
|Alabama||No min||600||90 Days||Yes|
|Alaska||Min. 72 hours||1500||90 days||Yes|
|Arizona||Min. 24 hours||1480||90 days||Yes|
|Arkansas||24 hours||150||6 months||Yes|
|California||No min||390||6 months||Yes|
|Colorado||5 days to 1 year||600||9 months||Yes|
|Connecticut||48 hours||500||45 days||Yes|
|D.C.||No min||300||6 months||No|
|Delaware||No min||500||12 months||No|
|Florida||No min||500||180 days||Yes|
|Georgia||10 days||300||120 days||No|
|Hawaii||No min||150||90 days||No|
|Idaho||No min||No min||90 days||Yes|
|Illinois||No min||No min||1 year||Yes|
|Indiana||No min||No min||No min||No|
|Iowa||48 hours||625||180 days||No|
|Kansas||48 hours||No min||30 days||Yes|
|Kentucky||48 hours||200||30 days||Yes|
|Louisiana||10 days||300||90 days||No|
|Maine||No min||500||150 days||No|
|Maryland||No min||No min||No min||No|
|Massachusetts||No min||500||1 year||No|
|Michigan||No min||100||90 days||No|
|Minnesota||No min||1000||90 days||No|
|Mississippi||No min||250||90 days||No|
|Missouri||No min||No min||0 days||No|
|Montana||24 hours||300||6 months||No|
|Nebraska||No min||400||60 days||No|
|Nevada||48 hours||400||90 days||No|
|New Hampshire||No min||500||9 months||No|
|New Jersey||No min||250||3 months||Yes|
|New Mexico||No min||No min||6 months||Yes|
|New York||No min||500||6 months||Yes|
|North Carolina||No min||No min||12 months||No|
|North Dakota||No min||500||91 days||No|
|Ohio||3 days||375||3 months||No|
|Oklahoma||10 days||No min||180 days||Yes|
|Oregon||48 hours||1000||1 year||Yes|
|Rhode Island||No min||100||30 days||No|
|South Carolina||48 hours||400||6 months||No|
|South Dakota||No min||No min||30 days||No|
|Tennessee||48 hours||350||1 year||Yes|
|Texas||72 hours||No min||90 days||No|
|Utah||48 hours min.||$700 min.||120 days||No|
|Vermont||No min||910||90 days||Yes|
|Virginia||No min||250||1 year||Yes|
|Washington||24 hours||350||90 days||Yes|
|West Virginia||No min||100||6 months||No|
|Wisconsin||No min||150||6 months||No|
|Wyoming||No min||No min||90 days||No|
According to the NHTSA (linked above), there were over 37,000 fatalities due to traffic accidents in 2017. Of those, over one-third – 12,514 – died in accidents where one or more drivers had a BAC over 0.01. The vast majority of these drivers had a BAC over 0.08.
At 51.85 percent, Washington, DC posted the highest percentage of accident fatalities where one or more drivers had any alcohol in their system. Just over 30 percent of Arizona’s traffic fatalities involved some level of alcohol. However, when you look at the legal limit, which is a BAC of 0.08, Montana leads the union, with 44.74 percent of their traffic fatalities involving alcohol. Arizona comes in at number 44, with a little over 24 percent of traffic fatalities involving a BAC over 0.08.
The table below shows the statistics for each state.
DUI Traffic Fatalities by State
|State||Total Fatalaties||No Alcohol||BAC 0.01+||BAC 0.08+||BAC 0.15+|
|District of Columbia||27||13||14||10||6|
According to the CDC, around 1.9 percent of drivers nationwide report driving after having too much to drink. As far as self-reported numbers, Arizona drivers come in under the national average, at 1.7 percent. Unfortunately, the rate of DUI-related deaths per 100,000 population does not back up those self-reported numbers. Arizona beats the national averages in all categories.
Were You Arrested for DUI?
A DUI arrest can feel overwhelming. It’s possible to beat the charge, but the clock is ticking. Our DUI page explains your rights and what you can expect throughout the process – and how you can start protecting yourself. If you were arrested for driving under the influence, call 480.305.2121 to schedule your free consultation with Liberty Law today.