A total of 39 alcohol-related laws have been established at the federal level. Each state enacts some or all of these laws. To look up which are adopted by a specific state, select the state and then the link for "Legal & Policy Issues." This data can also be found at Mothers Against Drunk Driving - state alcohol laws.
Law that makes it illegal to operate a motor vehicle at or above .08 Blood Alcohol Concentration. All 50 states have a law regarding .08 BAC.
Used generically to indicate either Administrative License Revocation or Administrative License Suspension. This law provides for prompt administrative license suspension of offenders who fail a BAC test by registering above the illegal limit or refuse to submit to a test. Currently, there are nine states that do not have Administrative License Revocation. These states are: Kentucky, Michigan, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, and Tennessee.
Law that creates a separate offense or enhances existing DUI/DWI penalties for offender who drives under the influence with a minor child in a vehicle. Currently, 13 states do not have child endangerment laws.
A term referring to liability of establishments arising out of the sale of alcohol to obviously intoxicated persons or minor who subsequently cause death or injury to third-parties as a result of alcohol-related crashes. There are nine states without dram shop laws.
A statute that creates an offense for an underage person to use a fraudulent ID and provides for a driver’s license suspension for attempting to purchase alcohol using a false ID. All 50 states have laws regarding fake ID.
Law that makes DUI/DWI a felony offense based on the number of prior convictions. There are three states that do not have felony DUI.
Graduated Drivers Licensing: a three-tiered licensing system under which novice drivers are given full driving privileges gradually, after an extended period of education, supervised driving with nighttime restrictions and citation and alcohol-free driving record. There are ten states that do not have graduated drivers licensing.
A term used to refer to reduced price or multiple drink alcohol sales practices and promotions that encourage excessive alcohol consumption. There are 29 states without happy hour laws.
High BAC refers to a driver who drives with a blood alcohol concentration of .15 or higher at the time of arrest. There are 17 states without high BAC.
A device installed in an offender’s vehicle that prevents it from starting if the driver’s BAC is above a specified set limit. There are seven states without ignition interlock.
These laws pertain to offenders who have had one or more prior DUI/DWI convictions. Laws affecting the repeat intoxicated offender include: licensing sanctions, vehicle sanctions, addressing alcohol abuse, mandatory sentencing. There are 47 states without lower BAC for repeat offender.
Mandatory alcohol assessment and treatment: law that mandates that convicted DUI/DWI offenders undergo an assessment of alcohol abuse problems and participate in required treatment program. There are 11 states without mandatory alcohol assessment/treatment.
A law which mandates that convicted DUI/DWI offenders complete an alcohol education program before driving privileges can be reinstated. There are 13 states without mandatory alcohol education.
Mandatory blood alcohol testing of all drivers involved in serious injury crashes who survive. There are 11 states without mandatory BAC testing for drivers who survive.
A statute that mandates an individual who has been convicted of a second offense of DUI/DWI receive a jail term as part of the sanctions he/she receives. There are four states without mandatory jail 2nd offense.
Open container laws prohibit the possession of any open alcoholic beverage container and the consumption of any alcoholic beverage in the passenger area of a motor vehicle. Since every state has laws to prevent and punish impaired driving, open container laws can serve as an important tool in the fight against impaired driving. There are 12 states without open container law that is TEA-21 compliant.
Portable breath testing device used to determine BAC of suspected DUI/DWI offenders. There are 20 states without preliminary breath tester.
Law allowing police to stop and ticket a driver for non-use of safety belt without requiring that the driver commit or be cited for another offense. There are 28 states without primary belt laws.
Repeat offenders are those offenders who have two or more drunk driving offenses. In order to comply with TEA-21, the statute must include the following four penalties:
Usually enforced by the state’s alcohol beverage commission (ABC), these laws empower the ABC to rescind the license of any business that knowingly sells alcohol to an underage individual. All 50 states have selling alcohol to youth laws.
An enforcement program that allows officers to stop all or predetermined vehicles to check for sobriety of the drivers. There are ten states without sobriety checkpoints
Social Host liability: statute or case law that imposes potential liability on social hosts as a result of their serving alcohol to obviously intoxicated persons or minors who subsequently are involved in crashes causing death or injury to third-parties. There are 19 states without social host laws.
Seizure of the vehicle operated by an offender at the time the alcohol-related offense was committed. There are 24 states without vehicle confiscation.
Seizure and impoundment of the vehicle operated by a DUI/DWI offender for a predetermined period of time. There are 24 states without vehicle impound.
Seizure and sale of the vehicle operated by an offender at the time the alcohol-related offense was committed. There are 31 states without vehicle sanctions while suspended.
Statutes which allow a homicide charge to be brought against an individual who kills another person through the operation of a motor vehicle, either intentionally or negligently. There are four states without vehicular homicide.
An amendment to the Constitution of the U.S. or a state, that guarantees a crime victim the right to be notified of, present at, and heard at, all stages of the criminal justice process at which the defendant has such rights. These rights should also include the right to restitution and the right to be notified of an inmate’s escape or release from prison. There are 18 states without Victim Rights constitutional amendments.
A statute which makes it illegal for a person younger than 21 years of age to attempt to purchase alcohol. There are 14 states without youth attempt at purchase.
Laws that make it an offense for an individual younger than 21 years of age to purchase alcohol and provide for significant penalties including driver’s license suspension. All 50 states have laws regarding youth purchase of alcohol.
Law that makes it illegal for drivers under the age of 21 to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level of .02 or more. All 50 states have zero tolerance.
A statute, case law or policy that prohibits plea bargaining or reducing an alcohol-related offense to a non-alcohol related offense. There are 34 states without anti-plea bargaining.
Habitual Traffic Offender Laws provide for special punishment to persons who have shown a disregard for the traffic laws. Persons are subjected to either special or increased sanctions if their driving record indicates that they have committed numerous traffic law violations for either serious or minor traffic law offenses or a combination of them. There are 23 states without habitual traffic offender.
A statute which requires or authorizes hospital personnel to report blood alcohol test results of drivers involved in crashes to local law enforcement where the results are available as a result of treatment. There are 45 states without hospital BAC reporting.
A requirement for beer kegs and other large beer containers to be tagged with identification tags and recording the purchaser’s name, address and location where the keg is to be used in order to track the source, if minors are served. There are 25 states without keg registration.
Statutes which create mandatory testing for all drivers killed in vehicle crashes. There are 14 states without mandatory BAC testing for drivers who are killed.
States that require establishments that serve or sell alcohol to train their employees to detect and not serve those who are underage or already impaired. There are 38 states without mandatory server training.
Statutes that provide for increased penalties for refusing to take a breath test, more strict than those penalties for an individual who takes and fails a breath test. There are 14 states without penalties for test refusal greater than test failure.
A law allowing license plates to be impounded and destroyed. In some cases, special license plates may be made to allow a confiscated vehicle to be driven by family members. There are 31 states without plate sanctions.
A law making it an offense for individuals under 21 years of age to consume alcohol or to have any amount of alcohol in their bodies. There are 14 states without youth consumption of alcohol laws.