Driving under the influence of alcohol and other drugs is one of the most dangerous crimes that exist, and can be one of the most difficult for states to address. Each state has approached the crime of drunk driving in its own way, but some stand out for having passed the most strict, intense laws. If you find yourself facing DUI charges, you must have good representation, Khonsari Law Group is known for handling many of these cases.
Arizona consistently ranks at the top of lists of the toughest states. Arizona has a reputation for being tough in general, but the state doesn’t play around at all when it comes to DUI. DUI penalties in Arizona . A DUI becomes a felony on the third offense, with only Indiana making it a felony sooner. Sobriety checkpoints are commonplace in Arizona, and if you appear intoxicated, there is no ability to refuse testing. In Arizona, your license can be suspended for thirty days without needing any court hearing. Your vehicle will be impounded, and the real penalties start once you’re convicted. The minimum fine on the first conviction is $750, enough to have taken an Uber from Washington, D.C. straight to Canada. Even on your first conviction, you will be required to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle, and the device will remain there for a full year. If you have prior convictions, which will be taken into consideration for as long as seven years after the conviction, fines and jail time skyrocket, with a second conviction resulting in a minimum jail sentence of 90 days and a fine of $1,750. The third conviction, as mentioned earlier, is a felony, which can carry over a year of prison time.
Southern states are known for having the harshest penalties, and Georgia stays close to the top of strict DUI states. The state has similar jail sentences to Arizona. Georgia is a bit more lenient in certain areas, but in others, it can be even tougher. Your license can be suspended for an entire year without a court hearing in Georgia. After the conviction, you’ll be given mandatory community service, along with a series of other classes and programs. Sobriety checkpoints with no refusal option can be found throughout the state, and your fourth offense in ten years will be a felony.
Another state with a reputation for being tough on DUI is Alaska. The Last Frontier may not have the harshest jail sentences, but Alaska will hit you in your wallet. Fines in Alaska for a DUI are higher, at $1,500 for the first offense and $3,000 for the second, are by far the highest in the country. The state will also hold it against you longer than almost any other state, with convictions from fifteen years prior being taken into account. Combine that with the fact that a DUI becomes a felony on the third occurrence, and fifteen years becomes an even longer period. There are no sobriety checkpoints, but if you do get pulled over, refusing the test is not an option, and if you are arrested, your vehicle will automatically be impounded. Your license will automatically be suspended upon arrest, and after a conviction, an interlock device will be required to start your vehicle for at least six months. It is always wise to avoid driving when drunk or otherwise impaired, but if you find yourself facing charges for a DUI, it is essential to know your rights and have the best lawyers to represent you in court.