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Top 10 Worst States to Get a DUI

List of the 10 most strict states within the United States for DUI convictions based on fines, license suspensions, jail sentences, etc.

It wasn’t too long ago when the infamous DUI charge was considered a pretty bad traffic ticket and usually punishable by a nice slap on the wrist.  However, once people started paying closer attention to the statistics, it was clear that more harsh DUI punishments were necessary.  In 2015, there were over 10,000 alcohol-related deaths in the United States, which accounted for almost 1/3 of all traffic-related deaths.

So naturally, states started beefing up their legislature in attempts to weed out the drunk drivers.  Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and Fathers Against Drunk Driving (FADD) were both huge contributors to the lobbying of congress with resulted in more strict rules.  In the last couple of decades, fines have begun to rise, mandatory jail times have increased, driver’s license suspensions have increased in duration, and police and judges now have much more authority than they previously did.

Not only has alcohol changed the landscape for DUI cases, but drug-related DUIs have also become much more common.  With the legalization of marijuana, we’ve seen drug-related accidents skyrocket in most states (not just the states where the drug is legal).  This too has sparked a huge increase in arrests and successful prosecutions for DUIs.

DUIs were once a pesky inconvenience, but being arrest for a DUI in today’s world can almost end a person – especially if a person has been convicted of multiple DUI offenses within a certain amount of time deemed by the state.  The fines are now so significant, that those that are unemployed or less fortunate may end up serving a long jail sentence if they cannot pay the entire fine.  Some states allow their convicted to work off the fines or pay them over a long period of time, however.  Because criminal records are generally public records, many jails have begun to publish information on those arrested for crimes such as DUIs.  In some states, this could result in people losing their jobs and being publicly humiliated.  Suspended licenses are another obstacle for those that must have reliable transportation in order to get to work.  Or even worse, those that drive vehicles for their job.  As you’ll see below, a 2nd offense of a DUI can even be a felony charge.  If you’re convicted of a felony, you’re a felon for life which makes it impossible to vote, difficult to find a decent place to live, difficult to find a good job, and presents many other obstacles.

Since our great country gives each state the authority to make their own laws, some states are much more strict than others.  However, almost all states have grown considerably more strict over the years.  Below is a list of the 10 most strict states on DUI laws:


Paul Sawyer
About Paul Sawyer


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