Crime

Florida ranks No. 21 among states tough on drunken drivers

Which states have taken the toughest line to crack down on DUI? WalletHub compared the enforcement rules in all 50 states and D.C. to find out.

Florida is relatively tough on drunken driving as it ranks as the 21st-least strict state for DUIs with no minimum sentence and a third drunken driving charge resulting in a felony.

Florida also continues to consider a DUI on a person's driving record for 10 full years.

Florida does not impound a DUI vehicle and its mandatory interlock ignition period is six months. The minimum fine for a first offense is $500 and it's $1,000 at least for a second offense in Florida.

The average insurance rate increase for a Florida driver convicted of DUI is 40 percent.

The five strictest states are: 1, Arizona; 2, Alaska; 3, Connecticut; 4, West Virginia; 5, Kansas.

The five most lenient: 47, Maryland; 48, North Dakota; 49, Pennsylvania; 50, District of Columbia; and 51, South Dakota.

Nationwide, first-time offenders should expect to spend on average a minimum 1 day in jail, while those who are at their second offense should expect at least 21 days in jail.

Arizona has the longest minimum jail term for first time offenders (a minimum of 10 days), while West Virginia has the longest minimum sentence for second-time offenders (180 days).

In 37 states, including Florida, alcohol abuse assessment and/or treatment is mandatory, and in 39, local law enforcement regularly sets up sobriety checkpoints.

On average expect to have your license suspended for at least three months after being stopped for a DUI – even before trial – as most states “administratively” suspend licenses after arrest. Georgia will suspend a license for the longest period (up to 12 months), while seven states do not have administrative license suspensions.

After a first arrest with a blood alcohol content of .08 or more, an “ignition interlock device” is mandatory in 24 states. In another 14 states, this device is mandatory after a first offense only if BAC is above .15. In seven states, these devices are mandatory only after a second offense, and in six states the device is never required.

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