least restrictive DUI

According to the rating system, the 10 most lenient U.S. states when it comes to DUI penalties are these states.

A new study has ranked all U.S. states based on their DUI laws and penalties in order to reveal those that are the strictest and those that are most lenient when it comes to driving under the influence.

While South Dakota was identified as the state with the most lenient laws and legislation, Wyoming and New Mexico followed closely behind.

The cost of driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol can vary greatly depending on where you are in the U.S., new research from Siegfried & Jensen reveals.

By analyzing each state’s statistics on impaired driving fatalities as well as impaired driving injuries and comparing that info to their individual laws and penalties, the study ranked each state on a scale of 1 to 100 to show which have the most severe DUI consequences.

Minnesota was found to have the highest percentage of repeat DUI offenders in the nation and Minnesotans who find themselves facing a second DUI charge will face some major penalties, including a maximum penalty of a year in jail and fines up to $3,000. As compared to other states in the nation, Minnesota also received the highest score when it comes to penalties for both jail time (4.9) and associated fines for a second DUI charge (2.9).

South Dakota (20), Wyoming (25), New Mexico (35), North Dakota (37) and Maryland (39) were ranked as the five most lenient states.


The ranking is based on the following metrics and points pertaining to alcohol-impaired driving:

DUI Crashes & Arrests (30 points)

Fatalities per 100k population

Injuries per 100k population

DUI Arrests per 100k drivers

Blood Alcohol Content (8 points)

BAC lower threshold

BAC threshold for increased penalty

DUI Jail Time (10 points)

1st DUI Minimum Jail Time

2nd DUI Minimum Jail Time

3rd DUI Minimum Jail Time

DUI fine (10 points)

1st DUI Minimum Fine

2nd DUI Minimum Fine

3rd DUI Minimum Fine

License suspension (10 points)

1st DUI License Suspension

2nd DUI License Suspension

3rd DUI License Suspension

Further DUI Penalties (17 points)

# of DUIs a felony

Ignition interlocks

License plate impoundment

Vehicle confiscation

Supplementary DUI Laws (15 points)

Open Container Laws

Repeat Offender Laws

Alcohol Exclusion Laws Limiting Treatment

Each metric was assigned a numeric weight, with the total weight of all metrics adding up to 100.

The states received a score on each of the metrics based on their impaired crash statistics, BAC limits, DUI, fines, penalties and relevant legislation. States with the highest scores were deemed strictest, while states with the lowest scores — most lenient.

Numeric factors (fatalities, jail times, fines, penalties) were scored proportionally, whereby a higher/lower value was assigned a higher/lower score. Legislation factors were scored on a yes/no basis, whereby a state got maximum points for having the relevant law and 0 points for not having it.

About Siegfried & Jensen

Siegfried & Jensen is a personal injury law firm that has been helping the people of Utah and its surrounding states since it launched in 1990. The firm specializes in automobile and semi-truck accidents and injuries, such as bicycle accidents, motorcycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, drunk driving accidents and accidental death.

Load comments