In California it’s called DUI (driving under the influence), while in states like Minnesota and MIssouri it’s known as DWI (driving while intoxicated). Places like Iowa and Wisconsin call it OWI (operating while intoxicated). No matter the name of the offense, the trend is toward tougher enforcement policies and harsher penalties, from longer driver’s license suspension to installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) on the vehicles of some (often repeat) offenders.
Nolo’s new DUI/DWI Laws in Your State collection includes 51 articles — one for each state plus D.C. — that lay out the current DUI/DWI rules where you live. In every state it’s illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher, regardless of whether your driving ability was actually impaired. But state laws vary when it comes to things like license penalties for refusing to take a breathalyzer test, minimum jail time for convictions, plea bargain opportunities, ignition interlock device (IID) requirements, and more.
Check out Nolo’s new DUI/DWI Laws in Your State collection to learn more about drinking and driving laws where you live.
More Nolo articles and FAQ on DUI/DWI arrests, punishments, and what to expect if a DUI/DWI case goes to court: