Worst States to Get a DUI

Arizona DUI Team Attorneys primarily focus on DUI Defense Representation, and keeps up to date on the latest changes in DUI Defense in order to aggressively defend our clients.
Last updated on: January 18, 2023
Here's an alarming statistic: each day, an average of 28 people in the United States die in drunk-driving crashes. Think about it—that's one person every 52 minutes! The deaths reached the lowest percentage in 2019, but 10, 142 people still lost their lives. If it's any consolation, DUI-related deaths are preventable.
Worst States to Get a DUI

In an attempt to weed out drunk drivers, states have started beefing up their legislatures. While you can always hire the best DUI defense attorney, you need to remember that you would be dealing with stricter DUI rules. Over the years, fines have increased, and so has jail time for DUI offenders.

In any state, penalties for driving under the influence can be costly. However, some states have penalties that will leave you hurting more than others. Below are some of the states with the harshest DUI laws:


When it comes to drunk driving, Arizona is considered one of the strictest states. Need proof? Maricopa County has a massive outdoor jail facility made especially for drunk drivers! First-time DUI offenders can face a mandatory 10-day jail sentence and pay an average of $1,500 in fines and costs.

The term also has different DUI classifications—extreme and super extreme DUIs. The classification will be based on your alcohol blood content (and other factors) and can land you up to 90 days in jail. It is also likely that your vehicle will be confiscated, and you will face a 90-day license suspension to boot.


A first DUI offense in Georgia comes with a minimum jail sentence of 10 days and a full-year license suspension. Second offenders within a 15-year period will be slapped with a 3-year license suspension and a 90-day jail sentence. First-time offenders might also need to pay costly fines and attend alcohol classes.


First-time offenders in Alaska will face a 90-day license suspension, pay court costs, and spend three days in jail. Also, getting your license back is a grueling process since the state will require that you pass a written driver's test and a road test. 

You will also have to undergo vision testing. If you get a second DUI within 15 years, your license will be suspended for a whole year.


Delaware is another state that has very strict penalties for DUI offenders. While first-time offenders won't be given the maximum penalty for their first offense, the penalties are still rough. First-time DUI offenders can face up to 6 months in jail and a 12 to 24-month suspension. And that's just for starters.

They can also pay from $500 to $1,500 in fines. If you receive three more DUIs within five years, you will be slapped with a felony.


First-time DUI offenders in Oklahoma will have their license suspended for 180 days, and they will receive a minimum of 10 days jail sentence. If you receive a consecutive charge within ten years, you will be slapped with a felony. 


In Connecticut, driving under the influence is referred to as "Operating Under the Influence" or OUI. If you are a first-time offender, the fines are not that extreme. However, if you commit an OUI for the second time, you will be spending 120 days in jail.


First-time offenders in Utah will have their driver's license suspended for 120 days. They will also pay a huge fine, and their vehicle will be confiscated. A minimum of 2 days is also given to those who are convicted of DUI.


A first-time DUI offense in Kansas can cost you as much as $2,000 - $3,000 after paying fines, court costs, interlock device costs, and reinstatement fees, among others. You will also spend at least a couple of days in jail. Do it a second time, and you will receive a 90-day sentence and a costly fine.


If you are a first-time DUI offender in Nebraska, you are looking at a week in jail, a 90-day license suspension, and a $500 fine. Second-time offenders will spend at least 30 days in jail. 

Final Thought

Undeniably, most states have harsh DUI penalties since thousands are killed by impaired drivers annually. Apart from jail time, fines, and license suspensions, a DUI conviction can have other dire consequences like the loss of employment, raised insurance premiums, etc. The bottom line? Don't get behind the wheel while intoxicated. It's not worth it.

About the Author

Michelle White is currently the Content Marketing Strategist for Arizona DUI Team. Aside from spreading awareness on DUI and vehicular-related offenses, she enjoys reading and hiking with her family and friends.