How DUI and DWI Affect Your Insurance Rate

The difference between a DWI vs. DUI is the substance causing the impairment. If you’re charged with driving under the influence (DUI), it typically means drugs, while driving while intoxicated (DWI) refers to alcohol. States sometimes use other terms like OWI (operating while intoxicated), but this phrase, DWI, and DUI are often interchangeable. Regardless of the wording, you’ll see an average increase of 58% in your rates and penalties like fines, license suspension, and jail time.

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Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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Written by Rachel Bodine
Insurance Feature Writer Rachel Bodine

Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insurance...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years Leslie Kasperowicz

UPDATED: Feb 13, 2022

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What You Should Know

  • A DWI (driving while intoxicated) is typically specific to alcohol impairment as opposed to drug impairment with a DUI (driving under the influence)
  • Depending on the state, the DWI and DUI terms may be used interchangeably or to refer to specific charges (and some states use entirely different descriptors)
  • With a DUI (your blood alcohol concentration level is at least 0.01), your rates will increase by an average of 58%

We know understanding auto insurance when you have a DUI or DWI can be complicated and frustrating. Don’t worry, because we’ve done the work for you. What is a DUI? What is a DWI? What is an OWI? What’s the difference between a DWI and DUI? What about impaired driving vs. a DUI?

Read this article to find out everything you need to know. We’ll break down the meaning of a DWI vs. DUI, and tell you how getting caught driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs can impact your insurance rates (as well as the other consequences that come with making this choice).

Whether you have a DUI or DWI on your record or not, the best way to save is by comparison shopping. Use your ZIP code in our rate comparison tool to get free auto insurance quotes from companies in your area today.

What is a DWI or DUI, and will it impact your insurance rate?

You can be charged with a DWI, or “driving while intoxicated,” if you’ve been caught driving after drinking. Suppose you’re accused of a DUI, or “driving under the influence.” In that case, it could mean you’ve been caught driving after taking drugs (this applies to your prescription medication as well, if it causes a sufficient level of impairment). While a DWI and DUI are technically different, states often use the terms interchangeably.

Other acronyms like OWI are also common. If you’re wondering about an OWI vs. DUI, an OWI refers to operating while intoxicated. Like a DWI, this is a legal charge for driving while drunk (as opposed to a DUI, which, as we just described, refers to driving while under the influence of drugs).

States each define the appropriate terms for driving while intoxicated or under the influence, and there are several other terms beyond the standard DWI, DUI, and OWI, including:

  • OUI. Operating under the influence
  • OVUII. Operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant
  • ADWI. Aggravated driving while intoxicated
  • OVI. Operating a vehicle under the influence
  • DUII. Driving under the influence of intoxicants
  • DAI. Driving after imbibing

If you’re caught with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of at least 0.08, a DUI/DWI is definitely in your future, but even lower blood alcohol content levels can mean a DWI. For example, if you’re under 21 and live in New Mexico, you can be charged with and convicted of a DWI with a BAC of 0.02.

A DWI, DUI, OWI, etc., will impact your insurance rates. In most cases, you’ll see a significant increase in rates that ranges between 25% and 100%. We’ll discuss how a DUI/DWI charge affects your rates in more detail in the following few sections. Keep reading for more.

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Do DUIs and DWIs mean an increase in your insurance rates?

As we indicated in the previous section, a DUI/DWI on your record will probably mean higher insurance rates. On average, you’ll see a 58% increase in your rates after a DUI/DWI. Other penalties include fines, automatic license suspension, an ignition interlock device to start your car, driver reeducation, and jail time.

In the next section, we’ll talk in more detail about just how much a DUI/DWI can impact your rates, but high-risk driving behavior means high-risk insurance rates. In some cases, you may even struggle to obtain coverage after a DUI/DWI, in which case you may end up needing assistance to buy an auto insurance policy.

Most states have a high-risk insurance program that high-risk drivers can use to apply for coverage (though the minimum coverage requirements may be higher than for average drivers in your state, and your policy will cost more).

How much will your auto insurance rate increase?

Auto insurance companies consider a DUI/DWI an example of high-risk driving, and in most cases, a single DUI/DWI means you’re automatically categorized as a high-risk driver. High-risk auto insurance costs are significantly higher than for average drivers, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that you’ll see an increase in your rates after a DUI/DWI. Take a look at this table to see what we mean.

Average Change in Rates Based on a Clean Driving Record and a Driving Record With a DUI by Insurance Company
Insurance CompanyAverage Monthly Rate with a Clean Driving RecordAverage Annual Rate with a Clean Driving RecordAverage Monthly Rate with One DUIAverage Annual Rate with One DUI
State Farm$235.10$2,821.18$378.60$4,543.20
Liberty Mutual$397.86$4,774.30$634.46$7,613.48
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Progressive has the lowest overall percent change after a single DUI, with a 39% rate increase. Farmers has the highest average percent change with a 67% increase. These averages are based on data from across the country, so your rates may vary. Depending on the circumstances and your insurance company, your rates could even double with a single DUI/DWI.

How long will a DUI or DWI be on your driving record?

The answer to how long a DUI or DWI will be on your driving record is twofold. From an insurance perspective, DUI/DWI charges are typically on your record (and therefore impact your rates) for between three and five years, depending on where you live and your insurance company.

However, the length of time a DUI/DWI remains on your official record (beyond insurance) depends on state laws. Most states define a “look-back” period, during which the offense remains on your driving record.

The look-back period also defines how long a previous offense can be counted against you. This means if you get a second DUI/DWI, but after the completion of the look-back period of your first offense, the second DUI/DWI may be counted as a first offense.

Most states have a look-back period of between five and 10 years, but a handful of states have a look-back period of 55 years, and a few with lifetime look-back periods.

Do drunk driving laws differ by state?

Laws surrounding defining drunk driving, DWIs, DUIs, etc., are not managed at the federal level (except for the maximum BAC level, which we’ll discuss in greater detail in the next section). Instead, individual states define terms, requirements, and penalties.

So, what wording is used to describe a DUI or DWI in your state, and what kind of consequences will you face? Take a look at this table to find out the answers to these questions and the BAC limit for each state.

DUI/DWI/OWI Facts and Laws by State
StateBAC LimitFormal Name for OffenseCriminal Status by OffenseLookback Period/Duration the Offense Remains on Your Record1st Offense - Possible Penalties
Alabama0.08Driving Under the Influence (DUI)1st-3rd misdemeanors, 4th+ in 5 years class C felony5 years-Automatic License Suspension (ALS): mandatory 90 days
-Imprisonment: Up to 1 yr in municipal or county jail (no minimum)
-Fines: $500-$2,000 +$100 for Impaired Drivers Trust Fund
-Other: Mandatory DUI school
Alaska0.08Driving Under the Influence (DUI) / Operating Under the Influence (OUI)1st-2nd class A misdemeanors, 3rd+ in 10 years class C felony15 years-ALS: 90 days
-Imprisonment: mandatory minimum of 72 consecutive hours
-Fines: f $1,500 min +$200 license reinstatement fee
-Other: SR-22 liability insurance required for 5 years, possible attendance at ASAP endorsed treatment program; mandatory interlock 1 year
Arizona0.08Driving Under the Influence (DUI)1st-2nd class 1 misdemeanor, 3rd+ class 4 felony7 years-ALS: 90-360 days
-Imprisonment: Minimum of 1 to 10 days
-Fine: Minimum $250
Arkansas0.08Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)4th+ within 5 years is a felony. (otherwise unclassified)5 years-ALS: 6 months
-Imprisonment: 24 hours - 1 year, or community service
-Fine: $150-$1000
-Other: For license reinstatement, must complete approved treatment or education program and a Victim Impact Panel +$150 reinstatement fee; interlock device equal to license suspension time
California0.08Driving Under the Influence (DUI)Non-injury DUI are misdemeanors. 4th+ felony if offender sentenced to incarceration in state prison.10 years-ALS: 4 months
-Imprisonment: 96 hours to 6 months, including 48 continuous hours
-Fines: $390-$1000
-Other: $125 license reinstatement fee ($100 under 21 yr. old suspended under Zero ToleraneLaw) +CA Ins Proof Certificate (SR 22/SR 1P) +DUI program for license reinstatement
Colorado0.05 - DWAI, 0.08 - DUIDriving Under the Influence (DUI)1st-3rd misdemeanors, 4th+ class 4 official period-ALS: 9 months
-Imprisonment: 5 days-1 year
-Fines: $600-$1000
-Other: 24-48 hours public service
Connecticut0.08Driving Under the Influence (DUI)1st misdemeanor, 2+ within 10 years felonies.10 years-ALS: 45 days +1 year with ignition interlock device (IID)
-Imprisonment: Either 1) up to 6 months w/mandatory 2-day min or 2) up to six months suspended with probation requiring 100 hours community service
-Fines: $500-$1000
Delaware0.08Driving Under the Influence (DUI)1st-2nd unclassified misdemeanors, 3rd class G felony, 4th-5th class E felonies, 6th class D felony, 7th class C felony.10 years for 2nd offense, unlimited/lifetime for 3rd+-ALS: 12 months
-Imprisonment: No minimum
-Fines: $500
-Other: IID Installed for 12-23 months on one vehicle registered in offenders name after serving 30 days of revocation period and enrollment in a rehabilitation program.
Florida0.08Driving Under the Influence (DUI)1st-2nd misdemeanors, 3rd+ within 10 years is a 3rd-degree felony.10 years for 3rd offense, unlimited/lifetime for 4th+-ALS: 180 days min up to 1 year
-Imprisonment: 8hrs minimum, but not more than 6 months; with high BAC or minor in the car, not more than 9 months; for a first conviction, the total period of probation and incarceration may not exceed 1 year
-Fines: $500-$1000; High BAC or minor in the car, $1000-$2000
-Other: Car impounded for 10 days unless the family has no other transportation; mandatory 50 hours community service or additional fine of $10 for each hour of CS required
Georgia0.08Driving Under the Influence (DUI)1st-2nd misdemeanors, 3rd high and aggravated misdemeanor, 4th+ felony10 years-ALS: 120 days minimum up to 1 year
-Imprisonment: 10 days - 12 months, can all be suspended at judge's discretion unless HBAC, then all but 24 hours can be suspended
-Fines: $300-$1000
-Other: 20-40 hours community service
Hawaii0.08Driving Under the Influence (DUI) / Operating a Vehicle Under the Influence of an Intoxicant (OVUII)1st-3rd petty misdemeanors, 4th+ class C felony5 years-ALS: 1-year
-Imprisonment: 48 hours-5 days
-Fines: $150-$1000 +$25 to neurotrauma special fund +$25 to trauma system special fund if court-ordered
-Other: 14-hour min rehab program; may require 72 hours community service; IID for 1 year
Idaho0.08Driving Under the Influence (DUI)1st-2nd misdemeanors, 2nd or subsequent with BAC > 0.20 felony, 3rd+ felony. DUI with bodily harm or disfigurement is a felony.10 years for DUI, 5 years for HBAC-ALS: 90-180 days
-Imprisonment: no minimum, but up to 6 months
-Fines: no minimum, but up to $1000
Illinois0.08Driving Under the Influence (DUI)1st-2nd class A misdemeanor, 3rd-4th class 2 felony, 5th class 1 felony, 6th+ class X felony10 years-ALS: 1 year
-Imprisonment: no minimum, but up to 1 year
-Fines: $500 to $2500
-Other: before driving privileges restored, must complete substance evaluation and treatment program +high-risk auto insurance for 3 years.
Indiana0.08Operating While Intoxicated (OWI)1st class C misdemeanor, 1st High BAC class A misdemeanor; subsequent convictions within 5 years class D felony5 years-ALS: 30 days - 2 years OR probation with rehabilitation course
-Imprisonment: no minimum, but up to 1 year
-Fines: $500 to $5000
-Other: may be required to: attend victim impact panel, submit to urine testing and other terms of probation
Iowa0.08Operating While Intoxicated (OWI)1st serious misdemeanor, 2nd aggravated misdemeanor, 3rd+ class D felony12 years-ALS: 180 days but may apply for a temporary restricted license; if a crash occurred or BAC > .10, must install IID
-Imprisonment: 48 hours up to 1 year; min 48 hours may be served in OWI program with law enforcement security
-Fines: $625 up to $1250 OR community service
-Other: must complete substance abuse evaluation and treatment program and might be assigned a reality education substance abuse prevention program
Kansas0.08Driving Under the Influence (DUI)1st class B non-person misdemeanor, 2nd class A non-person misdemeanor, 3rd+ non-person felony10 years-ALS: 30-day suspension then 330-day restriction
-Imprisonment: 48 hours mandatory OR 100 hours community service
-Fines: $500-$1000
-Other: must complete substance abuse evaluation and treatment program; the vehicle can be impounded for up to 1 year
Kentucky0.08Driving Under the Influence (DUI)1st class B misdemeanor, 2nd-3rd within 5 years class A misdemeanors, 4th+ class D felony10 years-ALS: 30-120 days
-Imprisonment: 2-30 days
-Fines: $200-$500
-Other: 90 days of alcohol or substance abuse program; possible 48 hours-30 days of community labor
Louisiana0.08Driving Under the Influence (DUI)1st-2nd not classified, 3rd either a misdemeanor or felony, 4th felony10 years-ALS: 1 year/hBAC 2 years
-Imprisonment: 48 hours in jail + up to 6 months OR fine; up to 2 years probation
-Fines: $300-$1000 +$100 reinstatement fee
-Other: 30 hours reeducation, 32+ hours community service, half must be street garbage pickup
Maine0.08Operating Under the Influence (OUI)1st-2nd class D crime, 3rd+ within 10 years class C crimes10 years-ALS: 150 days min w/ or w/o aggravating factors
-Imprisonment: none; 48 hours min with aggravating factors
-Fines: $500
Maryland0.08Driving Under the Influence (DUI)all misdemeanors5 years-ALS: 6 months
-Imprisonment: no minimum, but up to 1 year
-Fines: no minimum, but up to $1000
-Other: 12 points on license
Massachusetts0.08Operating Under the Influence (OUI)1st-2nd unclassified, 3rd+ feloniesunlimited/lifetime-ALS: 1 year after the date of conviction; may apply for work/education provisional license after 3 months
-Imprisonment: no minimum, but up to 2.5 years
-Fines: $500-$5000
-Other: May be granted two-year parole with 2-week treatment program
Michigan0.08Operating While Intoxicated (OWI)1st-2nd unclassified, 3rd+ felonies7 years for 2nd offense, unlimited/lifetime for 3rd+-ALS: mandatory 6 months; may be eligible for a restricted license after 30 days
-Imprisonment: 5 days - 1 year consecutive jail time OR 30-90 community service
-Fines: $100-$500
-Other: 6 points on record; possible IID
Minnesota0.08Driving While Impaired (DWI)4th-degree offense w/no aggravating factors is a misdemeanor; 3rd-degree offense w/one aggravating factor is a gross misdemeanor; 2nd-degree offense w/two aggravating factors is a gross misdemeanor; 1st-degree offense w/3+ aggravating factors is a felony (Aggravating Factors: 1) any prior drunken driving offense 2) driving with BAC > 0.19 3) driving w/passenger <16 yo if the passenger is more than 36 months younger than driver10 years-ALS: revoked for 90 days (180 days if under 21)
-Imprisonment: no minimum, but up to 90 days
-Fines: $1000
Mississippi0.08Driving Under the Influence (DUI)1st-2nd misdemeanors, 3rd+ felonies with 4th automatic felony carrying 2-10 yrs. in prison5 years-ALS: 90 days +completion of alcohol safety program unless received IID license
-Imprisonment: no minimum. 48 hours OR attend victim impact panel
-Fines: $250-$1000
-Other: complete alcohol safety program within 1 year
Missouri0.08Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)1st intoxication offense class B misdemeanor, first per se offense class C misdemeanor, 2nd class A misdemeanors, 3rd class D felony, 4th+ class C felony5 years-ALS: 30-day suspension, may be eligible for the restricted driving privilege
-Imprisonment: no minimum
-Fines: no minimum
Montana0.08Driving Under the Influence (DUI)1st-3rd misdemeanors, 4th+ felonies10 years for 2nd offense, unlimited/lifetime for 3rd+-ALS: 6-month suspension
-Imprisonment: 24 hours-6 months
-Fines: $600-$1000 +$200 reinstatement fee
-Other: 10 license points for life; must participate in ACT phases (assessment, course, treatment); may be ordered to use IID
Nebraska0.08Driving Under the Influence (DUI)1st-3rd w/in 15 years class W misdemeanors, 4th w/in 15 years class IIIA felony, 5th+ w/in 15 years class III felonies, Injury related DUI class IIIA felony. If a driver with prior felony conviction with BAC >0.15 is caught driving with BAC >0.02, class IIIA misdemeanor in addition to any other penalties.15 years-ALS: 2 month minimum; may be served with IID upon court order. If given probation or suspended sentence: 60 day DL revocation -Imprisonment: 7-60 days probation/suspended sentence: 10 days in jail or 240 hours community service
-Fines: no minimum, but up to $500
-Other: SR-22 for three years
Nevada0.08Driving Under the Influence (DUI)1st-2nd misdemeanors, 3rd+ in 7 years category B felonies7 years-ALS: 90 days; eligible for restricted license after half of the revocation period
-Imprisonment: 2 days - 6 months OR 96 hours community service
-Fines: $400-$1000
-Other: SR-22 for three years; pay $150 for DUI school; may be ordered to attend a treatment program
New Hampshire0.08Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)1st class B misdemeanor, 2nd-3rd non-injury Class A misdemeanors, 4th+non-injury felony, DUI with serious bodily injury class B felony10 years-ALS: 9 months - 6 years, 6 months can be suspended if enrolled in a 20-hour Impaired Driver Intervention Program -Imprisonment: no minimum
-Fines: $500 min
New Jersey0.08Driving Under the Influence (DUI)drunken driving is a "violation" not a "crime"10 years-ALS: BAC 0.08-0.99: 3 months; BAC 0.10-0.14: 7 months-1 year; BAC 0.15+: 7 months - 1year, IID during suspension and 6 months - 1 year following restoration
-Imprisonment: minimum 12 hrs. BAC 0.08+: up to 30 days
-Fines: BAC 0.08-0.99: $250-$400; BAC 0.10-0.14: $300-$500; BAC 0.15+: $300-$500; BAC 0.08+ $3505 in fees and surcharges
-Other: 12-48 hours Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC)
New Mexico0.08Driving While Impaired (DWI)1st-3rd not classified, 4th-5th fourth-degree felony, 6th+ third-degree felonyunlimited/lifetime-ALS: 6 months - 1year (if under 21, 1 year) -Imprisonment: no minimum, but up to 90 days; High BAC additional 2 days jail mandatory -Fines: No minimum -Other: DWI school, evaluation, IID for 1 year, community service
New York0.05 - DWAI, 0.08 - DUIDriving While Intoxicated (DWI); High BAC Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated (ADWI)DWAI:1st traffic violation, 2nd+ misdemeanors; DWI: 1st misdemeanor, 2nd in 10 years class E felony, 3rd+ in 10 years class D felony10 years for 2nd offense, 15 years for 3rd+-ALS: revoked for at least 6 months; ADWI: 1-year min
-Imprisonment: no minimum, but up to 1 year; ADWI: up to 1 year
-Fines: $500-$1000; ADWI: $1000-$2500
North Carolina0.08Driving While Impaired (DWI)1st-3rd classified as level 1-5 based on sentence length, 4th+ class F felony7 years-ALS: 60-day suspension, 1-year revocation
-Imprisonment: 1-day minimum.
-Fines: no minimum
North Dakota0.08Driving Under the Influence (DUI)1st and 2nd offense within 7 years are class B misdemeanors. 3rd offense within 7 years is a Class A misdemeanor. 4th and subsequent offenses within 15 years are Class C felonies.7 years-ALS: 91 days minimum
-Imprisonment: no minimum
-Fines: $500 minimum
Ohio0.08Operating a Vehicle Under the Influence (OVI)1st-2nd first degree misdemeanors, 3rd misdemeanor, 4th in 6 years fourth-degree felony, + in any time period third-degree felony10 years-ALS: 6 months minimum, but up to 3 years; 15 days before eligible for restricted driving privileges with IID
-Imprisonment: 3 days jail or 3 days DIP - 6 months(If the court grants unrestricted driving privilege with IID, mandatory jail time suspended.)
-Fines: $250-$1075; license reinstatement fee $475
-Other: 6 points on driving record; up to 5 years probation, optional treatment order, optional restricted plates
Oklahoma0.08Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)1st misdemeanor, 2nd+ in 10 years felonies10 years-ALS: 1 month up to 6 months
-Imprisonment: 5 days - 1 year -Fines: no minimum, but up to $1000 -Other: IID required if BAC 0.15+ for 18 months
Oregon0.08Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants (DUII)1st-3rd class A misdemeanors, 4th+ class C felonies10 years-ALS: 1 year
-Imprisonment: 2 days - 1 year OR 80 hours community service
-Fines: min $1000 for BAC; min $2000 for HBAC; up to $10,000 if child in the car
-Other: drug and alcohol program, participation in victim impact panel, IID for 1 year after license suspension
Pennsylvania0.08Driving After Imbibing (DAI)1st-2nd misdemeanors, 3rd+ second degree misdemeanors10 years-ALS: no minimum
-Imprisonment: no minimum, but up to 6 months probation
-Fines: $300
-Other: alcohol hwy safety school, treatment when ordered
Rhode Island0.08Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)1st-2nd non-injury misdemeanors, 3rd+ non-injury felony. DUI w/serious bodily injury is a felony.5 years-ALS: 60 days - 18 months
-Imprisonment: no minimum, but up to 1 year or 10-60 hours community service
-Fines: $100-$500 +$500 to hwy assessment fund
-Other: possible attendance to a treatment program; SR-22 insurance
South Carolina0.08Driving Under the Influence (DUI)1st misdemeanor, 2nd in 10 years class C misdemeanor, 3rd in 10 years class A misdemeanor, 4th+ in 10 years class F felonies.10 years-ALS: 6 months
-Imprisonment: 48 hours - 30 days
-Fines: $400 minimum ($992 with assessments and surcharges)
South Dakota0.08Driving Under the Influence (DUI)1st-2nd class 1 misdemeanors, 3rd in 10 years class 6 felony, 4th in 10 years class 5 felony, 5th+ class 4 felonies10 years-ALS: 30 days - 1 year
-Imprisonment: no minimum, but up to 1 year
-Fines: $2,000 minimum
Tennessee0.08Driving Under the Influence (DUI)1st-3rd class A misdemeanors, 4th+ in 10 years class E felony10 years-ALS: 1 year
-Imprisonment: 48 hours - 11 months; HBAC: min 7 consecutive days
-Fines: $350-$1500
-Other: DUI school required, the court may require IID and/or addiction treatment
Texas0.08Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)1st class B misdemeanor, 2nd in 5 years class A misdemeanor, 3rd+ third-degree feloniesunlimited/lifetime for sentencing; 5 years for 2nd+ when determining the need for IID-ALS: 90 days - 1 year, may be eligible for hardship permit
-Imprisonment: 72 hours - 6 months
-Fines: no minimum, but up to $2000 +conviction based surcharge of $1000 for three consecutive years; if HBAC, a surcharge is $1500 for three consecutive years
-Other: 24-100 hours community service; required evaluation, DUI education, and victim impact panel; possible IID
Utah0.08; changes to 0.05 12/2018Driving Under the Influence (DUI)1st-2nd class B misdemeanors, 3rd+ in 10 years third-degree felonies10 years-ALS: 120 days; alcohol restricted driving privilege 2 years
-Imprisonment: min 48 consecutive hours OR 48 hours community service OR home confinement
-Fines: $1,310 min
-Other: IID 18 months
Vermont0.08Driving Under the Influence (DUI)1st-2nd misdemeanors, 3rd+ feloniesunlimited/lifetime-ALS: 90 days
-Imprisonment: no minimum, but up to 2 years
-Fines: no minimum, but up to $700
-Other: Alcohol and Driving Education Program required
Virginia0.08Driving Under the Influence (DUI)1st-2nd class 1 misdemeanors, 3rd+ in 10 years class 6 felony10 years-ALS: 1 year, restricted permit possible
-Imprisonment: up to 1 year; if BAC 0.15-0.19, mandatory 5 days; if BAC .20+, mandatory 20 days
-Fines: $250 mandatory minimum
-Other: VA Alcohol Safety Action Program (VASAP) required; IID required if BAC 0.15+
Washington0.08Driving Under the Influence (DUI)1st-4th gross misdemeanor, 5th+ class B felony7 years-ALS: 90 days
-Imprisonment: 24 consecutive hours - 365 days OR 15 days electronic home monitoring
-Fines: $865.50-$5000
-Other: IID 1 year, addiction education or treatment as ordered
West Virginia0.08Driving Under the Influence (DUI)1st-2nd misdemeanors, 3rd+ in 10 years felonies10 years-ALS: 15 days
-Imprisonment: no minimum, but up to 6 months
-Fines: $100-$500
-Other: IID possible
Wisconsin0.08Operating While Intoxicated (OWI)1st municipal offense, 2nd-3rd misdemeanors, 4th in 5 years and 5th-6th anytime class H felony, 7th-9th class G felony, 10th+ class F felony10 years-ALS: 6-9 months. If 2nd in 10 years: occupational license can be applied for in 45 days. If 2nd in 11+ years: occupational license can apply immediately.
-Imprisonment: none, unless passenger under 16 in the vehicle: 5 days - 6 months
-Fines: $150-$300 +$365 OWI surcharge
-Other: IID required for HBAC, alcohol assessment required, 6 points on license
Wyoming0.08Driving Under the Influence (DUI)1st-3rd non-injury misdemeanor, 4th+ non-injury in 10 years felony, serious injury DUI is felony10 years-ALS: 90 days
-Imprisonment: no minimum, but up to 6 months
-Fines: no minimum, but up to $750
-Other: Substance Abuse Assessment required; IID required for 6 months if HBAC
Washington DC0.08Driving Under the Influence (DUI)all are misdemeanors15 years-ALS: 6 months
-Imprisonment: No minimum, but up to 90 days. if BAC .20-.25: mandatory 5 days. If BAC .25+: mandatory 10 days
-Fines: up to $300
-Other: Alcohol Diversion Program possible if BAC <.16
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The penalty data in this table is primarily focused on what happens with the first offense. However, as you might expect, a second offense (or multiple offenses) will result in significantly more severe penalties.

What is the blood alcohol limit for a DUI?

The DWI BAC is 0.08 federally, but your state laws may differ, as you saw in the table in the previous section. While the BAC won’t be higher than 0.08, it may be lower depending on where you live (and your age). Remember the example we mentioned earlier for drivers under 21 in New Mexico? In some states, the BAC for under-21 drivers is as low as 0.01.

How dangerous is driving while under the influence?

Driving under the influence (whether it’s drugs or alcohol) can have a significant impact on your insurance rates and comes with penalties and criminal implications. It’s also a dangerous choice. reports that nearly 29% of vehicle fatalities in the U.S. are caused by drunk driving. Additionally, over a million people are arrested for DUI/DWI per year.

DWI vs. DUI: The Bottom Line

With even a single DWI or DUI, your rates could as much as double (though the average increase is about 58%). Financially, driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs just isn’t worth it.

The non-financial consequences are significantly more severe and can include fines, suspension of your driver’s license, installation of an ignition interlock device, community service, being arrested (over a million people are arrested for drunk driving per year), and even jail time.

Most importantly, driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol puts you, your passenger(s), and other drivers on the road in danger. Almost 29% of vehicle fatalities are the result of drunk driving, meaning this is a significant and ongoing safety issue.

Now that we’ve covered the basics on DUI, DWI, and other associated terms and looked at how it can affect your rates, are you ready to save? If so, use your ZIP code in the tool on this page to get free quotes from top companies right now.

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