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Thread: In which states are DUI laws the harshest? Is Florida the worst?

  1. #1
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    Question In which states are DUI laws the harshest? Is Florida the worst?

    A friend of mine got a DUI on January 1st, 2010 in Illinois.

    He got pulled over after not stopping at the white line at an intersection, due to a tall snow bank obscuring his view of the road onto which he was making a right hand turn.

    The cop said if he blew under 0.08, he would be free to go. He subsequently blew 0.12 and was arrested.

    So he hired an expensive lawyer and got the charge reduced from DUI to "careless driving" not 6 months later and went on his merry way.

    Illinois is notorious for these kinds of "deals", if you have an expensive lawyer.

    Florida, from what I have heard, is much more strict. Their army boot-wearing cops are much more proactive, and the court system is much stricter. I guess this is because Florida is a Red state or because it is part of the Bible Belt.

    I was just wondering which states people thought were the strictest and/or most lenient....
  2. #2
    HighwayMan is offline Senior Member
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    The question of which states are harshest is just about impossible to casually answer and is subjective to a degree.

    You go ahead and research the laws of all 50 states then you can decide for yourself. No one here is going to do that for you.
  3. #3
    asiny is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by HighwayMan View Post
    The question of which states are harshest is just about impossible to casually answer and is subjective to a degree.

    You go ahead and research the laws of all 50 states then you can decide for yourself. No one here is going to do that for you.
    Don't forget to research each of the traffic courts, with/without prosecutors, and the presiding judge records too. The law of the state is what it is, it's the way the court decides to flex to an attorney's argument is another.
  4. #4
    OliverChapman is offline Junior Member
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    Every state has its own laws to implement and most of the states have the same strict laws especially on driving under the influence. But this will only vary how law enforcements and the court work hand in hand in the implementation of the laws.

    I would agree that maybe Florida is one of the strictest states when it comes to monitoring and crime-control.
    Last edited by OliverChapman; 03-09-2012 at 11:22 PM. Reason: wrong post
  5. #5
    disneykid52 is offline Member
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    So basically you want to drink and drive
  6. #6
    ERAUPIKE is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gulfstream LLC View Post
    A friend of mine got a DUI on January 1st, 2010 in Illinois.

    He got pulled over after not stopping at the white line at an intersection, due to a tall snow bank obscuring his view of the road onto which he was making a right hand turn.

    The cop said if he blew under 0.08, he would be free to go. He subsequently blew 0.12 and was arrested.

    So he hired an expensive lawyer and got the charge reduced from DUI to \"careless driving\" not 6 months later and went on his merry way.

    Illinois is notorious for these kinds of \"deals\", if you have an expensive lawyer.

    Florida, from what I have heard, is much more strict. Their army boot-wearing cops are much more proactive, and the court system is much stricter. I guess this is because Florida is a Red state or because it is part of the Bible Belt.

    I was just wondering which states people thought were the strictest and/or most lenient....
    Florida is not known for making the same types of deals, it is more lenient than some other states. This also depends on the circumstances behind your DUI and your BAC.

    Georgia – Georgia is considered one of the states with the harshest DUI laws because you’ll automatically lose your license for a full year, even if you are a first-time offender. In addition, you’ll face possible jail time, have to do community service, and likely will need to install ignition interlock on your car.

    Florida – Like Georgia, Florida requires license suspension for first-time offenders, but in this state it’s only 6 months instead of a full year. You’ll still face jail time, community service, and ignition interlock.

    Iowa – In Iowa you’ll get a minimum of 2 days in jail if you are caught drinking and driving, and your license will be suspended for a mandatory of 6 months, even if it’s your first time. Iowa can also court order ignition interlock to be put on your car to make sure you don’t drive with any alcohol in your system again.

    Tennessee – Like Iowa, Tennessee requires a minimum of 2 days in jail for DUI offenders, but your sentence could be as long as 11 months — even for a first offense!

    Indiana – Like Iowa and Florida, Indiana requires even first time offenders to lose their license for 6 months, in addition to possible jail time and being court ordered to install ignition interlock on your car.

    New Hampshire – New Hampshire also suspends a first-time offender’s license for 6 months, and you’ll also face the possibility of jail time. You could find yourself having to install ignition interlock as well.

    South Carolina – This Southern state is incredibly harsh on DUI offenders, though not necessarily first time offenders. If it’s your first offense, you could be fined up to $1,000 and get up to 90 days in jail, which doesn’t seem bad when compared to some of the other states. However, fourth offenses get a mandatory 7-year jail sentence. Also, in South Carolina it’s a crime to refuse a breathalyzer test, and the penalty is a mandatory 12-month suspension of your license.

    Arizona – Like many of the states above, Arizona requires first-time offenders to install ignition interlock on their cars. However, Arizona also has an “extreme” classification for DUI offenders with blood alcohol content at 0.20% or higher — if you fall into this category, you will get a minimum of 45 days in jail, no exceptions.

    Nevada – Las Vegas may be the place lots of people go to drink, gamble, and party, but make sure you don’t drive! They have a “three strikes and you’re out” kind of law — your third DUI in a 7-year period becomes a felony offense.

    Minnesota – Like in South Carolina, Minnesota makes it a crime to even refuse a breathalyzer test!
  7. #7
    AngryDevil is offline Junior Member
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    Which State???...

    Arizona as far as I know & have heard.
  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ERAUPIKE View Post
    Florida is not known for making the same types of deals, it is more lenient than some other states. This also depends on the circumstances behind your DUI and your BAC.

    Georgia – Georgia is considered one of the states with the harshest DUI laws because you’ll automatically lose your license for a full year, even if you are a first-time offender. In addition, you’ll face possible jail time, have to do community service, and likely will need to install ignition interlock on your car.

    Florida – Like Georgia, Florida requires license suspension for first-time offenders, but in this state it’s only 6 months instead of a full year. You’ll still face jail time, community service, and ignition interlock.

    Iowa – In Iowa you’ll get a minimum of 2 days in jail if you are caught drinking and driving, and your license will be suspended for a mandatory of 6 months, even if it’s your first time. Iowa can also court order ignition interlock to be put on your car to make sure you don’t drive with any alcohol in your system again.

    Tennessee – Like Iowa, Tennessee requires a minimum of 2 days in jail for DUI offenders, but your sentence could be as long as 11 months — even for a first offense!

    Indiana – Like Iowa and Florida, Indiana requires even first time offenders to lose their license for 6 months, in addition to possible jail time and being court ordered to install ignition interlock on your car.

    New Hampshire – New Hampshire also suspends a first-time offender’s license for 6 months, and you’ll also face the possibility of jail time. You could find yourself having to install ignition interlock as well.

    South Carolina – This Southern state is incredibly harsh on DUI offenders, though not necessarily first time offenders. If it’s your first offense, you could be fined up to $1,000 and get up to 90 days in jail, which doesn’t seem bad when compared to some of the other states. However, fourth offenses get a mandatory 7-year jail sentence. Also, in South Carolina it’s a crime to refuse a breathalyzer test, and the penalty is a mandatory 12-month suspension of your license.

    Arizona – Like many of the states above, Arizona requires first-time offenders to install ignition interlock on their cars. However, Arizona also has an “extreme” classification for DUI offenders with blood alcohol content at 0.20% or higher — if you fall into this category, you will get a minimum of 45 days in jail, no exceptions.

    Nevada – Las Vegas may be the place lots of people go to drink, gamble, and party, but make sure you don’t drive! They have a “three strikes and you’re out” kind of law — your third DUI in a 7-year period becomes a felony offense.

    Minnesota – Like in South Carolina, Minnesota makes it a crime to even refuse a breathalyzer test!

    Very interesting and informative post.


    Regarding the charge of "refusing to blow", which most states have one form or another, does refusing a breathalyzer test "automatically" suspend your license, or do you have to go to trial and get convicted of refusing to submit to a breathalyzer test before they can suspend your license?
  9. #9
    justalayman is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gulfstream LLC View Post
    Very interesting and informative post.


    Regarding the charge of "refusing to blow", which most states have one form or another, does refusing a breathalyzer test "automatically" suspend your license, or do you have to go to trial and get convicted of refusing to submit to a breathalyzer test before they can suspend your license?
    In most states, the simple refusal to blow is adequate for the action.


    and while you are comparing laws, you might want to check out Michigan's super drunk laws.
  10. #10
    HighwayMan is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gulfstream LLC View Post
    Regarding the charge of "refusing to blow", which most states have one form or another, does refusing a breathalyzer test "automatically" suspend your license, or do you have to go to trial and get convicted of refusing to submit to a breathalyzer test before they can suspend your license?
    If this is such a hot issue for you it would be nice if you visited your own thread more than every six months.

    Your question about refusals is state specific.
  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by HighwayMan View Post

    If this is such a hot issue for you it would be nice if you visited your own thread more than every six months.
    I will come by more often then!

    Quote Originally Posted by HighwayMan View Post

    Your question about refusals is state specific.
    I understand that. It would be interesting to hear how some states handle "refusal to blow" license suspensions.
  12. #12
    justalayman is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gulfstream LLC View Post



    I understand that. It would be interesting to hear how some states handle "refusal to blow" license suspensions.
    the DMV or whatever entity that enforces administrative suspensions send a letter that says,

    No blow, no go.

    give us a call in a year.
    HighwayMan likes this.
  13. #13
    HighwayMan is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gulfstream LLC View Post
    I understand that. It would be interesting to hear how some states handle "refusal to blow" license suspensions.
    So then you can go look that up using Google or another search engine of your choice. Or you can visit each state's DMV (or equivalent agency) website and look it up.
    TheGeekess and Gulfstream LLC like this.

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