Getting a DUI is never easy. The fines are high, the punishments can be severe, and it can impact your life in numerous other ways. However, it truly can be worse, since the severity of the consequences varies from place to place. Here are 4 of the worst states to get charged with a DUI, based on the fines, license restrictions and criminal penalties they levy.
Arizona has long taken pride in being tough on crime. Maricopa County made the news for housing inmates in tents during the summer. And one outdoor jail was specifically for drunk drivers. First time DUI convictions come with a mandatory ten-day jail sentence. On top of this is a minimum $1,500 fine and suspension of your driver’s license for 90 days. The state has more severe punishments for “extreme DUI” and “super-extreme DUI”. Yes, these are actually the legal terms used. If the DUI falls into these categories based on your blood alcohol limit and other factors, you could land in jail for up to three months on the first offense.
Georgia has a minimum ten-day sentence for the first DUI offense. They suspend the drunk driver’s license for a full year. Fines, mandatory classes and a minimum forty hours of community service are required. A second offense within fifteen years of the first results in a ninety-day prison sentence and a three-year driver’s license suspension.
Alaska gives first time offenders three days in jail and suspends their driver’s license for ninety days. Court costs and fines are on top of this. What makes Alaska so bad is the difficult process to get your license back. For example, the state makes you retake the vision test, written test and driving test. If you get a second DUI within fifteen years of the first, your license will be suspended for an entire year.
Illinois is one of the more aggressive states when it comes to DUI. If you’re pulled over for a moving violation and your blood alcohol limit comes up higher than 0.08, an office can suspend your license for six months on the spot.
If you’re stopped for DUI and refuse to be tested, then the penalties are even worse. Refuse the test, and your license is suspended for a full year. If they ask a second time and you refuse, the license is suspended for three years, and that’s before you see a judge.
Repeat offenders have it even worse, since a fourth conviction could cost you your driver’s license forever and result in up to three years in jail with a $25,000 fine on top of it. So, if you’re in Illinois, it would be wise to have a good DUI attorney in Chicago number on hand to help you understand your rights.
And don’t think that going to another state to drink makes it safer, since Illinois has reciprocal agreements with surrounding states so that a conviction next door is treated as if you committed it in Illinois.
Drunk driving arrests used to be an inconvenience. However, the penalties have been ratcheting up across the country, and they’re incredibly severe in a number of states. Hefty fines, suspension and other penalties are now likely consequences if you don’t have a good attorney on your side.