Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Melanie Musson is the fourth generation in her family to work in the insurance industry. She grew up with insurance talk as part of her everyday conversation and has studied to gain an in-depth knowledge of state-specific insurance laws and dynamics as well as a broad understanding of how insurance fits into every person’s life, from budgets to coverage levels. Through her years working in th...

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Reviewed by Melanie Musson
Published Insurance Expert Melanie Musson

UPDATED: Feb 10, 2022

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Just What's Essential

  • Driving while intoxicated (DWI) and driving under the influence (DUI) are sometimes used interchangeably, while other times DWI refers to alcohol-related charges and DUI refers to drug allegations
  • The term(s) used for driving while impaired vary by state, as do the penalties and the blood alcohol content level (Although the national maximum blood alcohol level is 0.08)
  • Insurance rates can increase by as much as double the amount after a single DUI, although the average increase is approximately 58%

You likely have some questions if you have a DUI or a DWI (or another similar term) infraction on your driving record. What are the meanings of a DUI and a DWI? Do you need high-risk car insurance with a DWI or a DUI? What is an OWI?

A DUI is the result of reckless endangerment and failing a sobriety test. Read this article for everything you need to know about a DWI versus a DUI, impaired driving versus a DUI, an OWI versus a DUI, and more.

Before we dive into this overview of the difference between a DUI and a DWI and how each can affect your rates, why not take a moment to save on your insurance by comparison shopping? Enter your ZIP code into the tool on this page to obtain free quotes from companies in your area right now.

What is a DWI or a DUI, and will it impact your insurance rates?

We know that all the terms relative to driving while intoxicated (DWI) can become confusing. DWI vs DUI.  Is it a DWI, a DUI, or an OWI? Are the terms merely different ways of stating the same thing? Don’t worry — we have the answers.

Driving while intoxicated is abbreviated as DWI and generally refers to driving while under the influence of alcohol. In contrast, a DUI refers to “driving under the influence” and can indicate driving under the influence of alcohol or any other chemical substance (including drugs for which you have a prescription). Finally, OWI stands for “operating while intoxicated.”

While there are subtle differences among the terms, in most cases, the governing phrase is dependent on where you live (The table in the next section notes the correct term for the designation state).

These are some additional, less common terms:

  • OUI – Operating under the influence
  • OVUII – Operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant
  • ADWI – Aggravated driving while intoxicated
  • OVI – Operating a vehicle under the influence
  • DUII – Driving under the influence of intoxicants
  • DAI – Driving after imbibing

We’ll talk more about blood alcohol levels later, but in short, if you’re caught driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of 0.08, you’ll be charged with a DUI (or whatever term applies in your state). Don’t assume that means you’re safe if you’ve had a drink and get behind the wheel with a lower BAC.

You could still be charged with a DUI if you fail a sobriety test with a lower BAC. Depending on your age and where you live, even a BAC of 0.01 could mean a formal DUI charge (This usually applies to drivers who are under the legal drinking age). In some states, a DUI and a DWI are considered separate charges with different penalties. A DWI is typically considered more severe than a DUI in those instances.

When it involves your insurance rates, the short answer is that a DUI, a DWI, and an OWI, etcetera can and will affect your rates. On average, your rates could increase by 58% with a single offense. In the following sections, we’ll elaborate as to how your rates can be affected by a DUI and a DWI.

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DWI vs DUI.  How do DUIs and DWIs affect your insurance rates?

As noted previously, DUIs and DWIs can significantly impact your insurance rates. In most cases, if you’re charged with a DUI offense, you’ll face several penalties that can include anything from a suspension of your driver’s license and fines to community service and jail time. Once you’re able to drive again, the DUI infraction will be listed on your record. And, as you might expect, it automatically classifies you as a high-risk driver.

Not only will your rates increase (review the table in the next section for details), but you may also find it difficult to purchase coverage, as some auto insurance companies refuse to sell coverage to high-risk drivers. If you find that you’re unable to purchase car insurance coverage after multiple attempts, you can contact the Automobile Insurance Plan Service Office (AIPSO).

The AIPSO works with states to offer high-risk insurance plans to ensure that you can obtain the coverage you need. However, be prepared for increased minimum coverage limits and even higher rates with a high-risk insurance plan.

How much will your rate increase?

As mentioned earlier, the national average alteration in your rates with a single DUI is an increase of 58%. Take a look at this table for average rate changes from some major insurance companies across the country.

Average Change in Rates Based on a Clean Driving Record and a Driving Record With a DUI by Insurance Company
Insurance CompanyAverage Monthly Rate with a Clean Driving RecordAverage Annual Rate with a Clean Driving Record Average Monthly Rate with One DUIAverage Annual Rate with One DUI
USAA$161.14$1,933.68$292.17$3,506.03
State Farm$235.10$2,821.18$378.60$4,543.20
Progressive$282.76$3,393.09$393.23$4,718.75
Travelers$287.31$3,447.69$406.32$4,875.87
Farmers$288.38$3,460.60$478.45$5,741.40
Allstate$318.33$3,819.90$521.73$6,260.73
Liberty Mutual$397.86$4,774.30$634.46$7,613.48
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If you have a DUI and are looking for affordable car insurance, Progressive may be worth considering, as the company has the lowest average increase at 39%. By contrast, Farmers increases rates by an average of 67% after a single DUI offense. But depending on your situation and where you reside, your rates could even double after a DUI infraction.

How long will a DWI vs DUI impact your insurance rate?

Typically, your insurance rates will be impacted by a DUI offense for anywhere between three and five years if you commit no further traffic infractions during that timeframe. Once your DUI offense falls off your record, you should see lower rates at your next policy renewal. If you had a high-risk plan through AIPSO or a similar organization, you may be able to purchase standard coverage once the DUI is removed from your insurance record.

What is the blood alcohol limit for getting a DUI?

The blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit, which refers to the maximum legal amount of alcohol that can be in your system to drive legally, is 0.08 at the federal level. However, individual states may have different DUI or DWI BAC levels. Keep reading to find out what the BAC level is in your state.

How do DWI vs DUI drunk driving laws differ by state?

Drunk driving and resulting DUIs, DWIs, etcetera are not federally defined or handled. The responsibility for setting limits (within the federal 0.08 BAC level) and any ensuing legal consequences is managed at the state level, which indicates that different states have different BAC levels, different charges, and different penalties. View the table below to discover what we mean and to determine your state’s process.

DUI/DWI/OWI Facts and Laws by State
StateBAC LimitFormal Name for OffenseCriminal Status by OffenseLookback Period/Duration the Offense Remains on Your Record1st Offense – Possible Penalties
Alabama0.08Driving Under the Influence (DUI)1st-3rd misdemeanors, 4th+ in 5 years class C felony5 years-Automatic License Suspension (ALS): mandatory 90 days
-Imprisonment: Up to 1 yr in municipal or county jail (no minimum)
-Fines: $500-$2,000 +$100 for Impaired Drivers Trust Fund
-Other: Mandatory DUI school
Alaska0.08Driving Under the Influence (DUI) / Operating Under the Influence (OUI)1st-2nd class A misdemeanors, 3rd+ in 10 years class C felony15 years-ALS: 90 days
-Imprisonment: mandatory minimum of 72 consecutive hours
-Fines: f $1,500 min +$200 license reinstatement fee
-Other: SR-22 liability insurance required for 5 years, possible attendance at ASAP endorsed treatment program; mandatory interlock 1 year
Arizona0.08Driving Under the Influence (DUI)1st-2nd class 1 misdemeanor, 3rd+ class 4 felony7 years-ALS: 90-360 days
-Imprisonment: Minimum of 1 to 10 days
-Fine: Minimum $250
Arkansas0.08Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)4th+ within 5 years is a felony. (otherwise unclassified)5 years-ALS: 6 months
-Imprisonment: 24 hours - 1 year, or community service
-Fine: $150-$1000
-Other: For license reinstatement, must complete approved treatment or education program and a Victim Impact Panel +$150 reinstatement fee; interlock device equal to license suspension time
California0.08Driving Under the Influence (DUI)Non-injury DUI are misdemeanors. 4th+ felony if offender sentenced to incarceration in state prison.10 years-ALS: 4 months
-Imprisonment: 96 hours to 6 months, including 48 continuous hours
-Fines: $390-$1000
-Other: $125 license reinstatement fee ($100 under 21 yr. old suspended under Zero Tolerance Law) +CA Ins Proof Certificate (SR 22/SR 1P) +DUI program for license reinstatement
Colorado0.05 - DWAI
0.08 - DUI
Driving Under the Influence (DUI)1st-3rd misdemeanors, 4th+ class 4 felony.no official period-ALS: 9 months
-Imprisonment: 5 days-1 year
-Fines: $600-$1000
-Other: 24-48 hours public service
Connecticut0.08Driving Under the Influence (DUI)1st misdemeanor, 2+ within 10 years felonies.10 years-ALS: 45 days +1 year with ignition interlock device (IID)
-Imprisonment: Either 1) up to 6 months w/mandatory 2-day min or 2) up to six months suspended with probation requiring 100 hours community service
-Fines: $500-$1000
Delaware0.08Driving Under the Influence (DUI)1st-2nd unclassified misdemeanors, 3rd class G felony, 4th-5th class E felonies, 6th class D felony, 7th class C felony.10 years for 2nd offense, unlimited/lifetime for 3rd+-ALS: 12 months
-Imprisonment: No minimum
-Fines: $500
-Other: IID Installed for 12-23 months on one vehicle registered in offenders name after serving 30 days of revocation period and enrollment in a rehabilitation program.
Florida0.08Driving Under the Influence (DUI)1st-2nd misdemeanors, 3rd+ within 10 years is a 3rd-degree felony.10 years for 3rd offense, unlimited/lifetime for 4th+-ALS: 180 days min up to 1-year
-Imprisonment: 8hrs minimum, but not more than 6 months; with high BAC or minor in the car, not more than 9 months; for a first conviction, the total period of probation and incarceration may not exceed 1 year

-Fines: $500-$1000; High BAC or minor in the car, $1000-$2000
-Other: Car impounded for 10 days unless the family has no other transportation; mandatory 50 hours community service or additional fine of $10 for each hour of CS required
Georgia0.08Driving Under the Influence (DUI)1st-2nd misdemeanors, 3rd high and aggravated misdemeanor, 4th+ felony10 years-ALS: 120 days minimum up to 1-year
-Imprisonment: 10 days - 12 months, can all be suspended at judge's discretion unless HBAC, then all but 24 hours can be suspended
-Fines: $300-$1000
-Other 20-40 hours community service
Hawaii0.08Driving Under the Influence (DUI) / Operating a Vehicle Under the Influence of an Intoxicant (OVUII)1st-3rd petty misdemeanors, 4th+ class C felony5 years-ALS: 1-year
-Imprisonment: 48 hours-5 days
-Fines: $150-$1000 +$25 to neurotrauma special fund +$25 to trauma system special fund if court-ordered
-Other: 14-hour min rehab program; may require 72 hours community service; IID for 1 year
Idaho0.08Driving Under the Influence (DUI)1st-2nd misdemeanors, 2nd or subsequent with BAC > 0.20 felony, 3rd+ felony. DUI with bodily harm or disfigurement is a felony.10 years for DUI, 5 years for HBAC-ALS: 90-180 days
-Imprisonment: no minimum, but up to 6 months
-Fines: no minimum, but up to $1000
Illinois0.08Driving Under the Influence (DUI)1st-2nd class A misdemeanor, 3rd-4th class 2 felony, 5th class 1 felony, 6th+ class X felony10 years-ALS: 1-year
-Imprisonment: no minimum, but up to 1 year
-Fines: $500 to $2500
-Other: before driving privileges restored, must complete substance evaluation and treatment program +high-risk auto insurance for 3 years.
Indiana0.08Operating While Intoxicated (OWI)1st class C misdemeanor, 1st High BAC class A misdemeanor; subsequent convictions within 5 years class D felony5 years-ALS: 30 days - 2 years OR probation with rehabilitation course
-Imprisonment: no minimum, but up to 1 year
-Fines: $500 to $5000
-Other: may be required to: attend victim impact panel, submit to urine testing and other terms of probation
Iowa0.08Operating While Intoxicated (OWI)1st serious misdemeanor, 2nd aggravated misdemeanor, 3rd+ class D felony12 years-ALS: 180 days but may apply for a temporary restricted license; if the crash occurred or BAC > .10, must install IID
-Imprisonment: 48 hours up to 1 year; min 48 hours may be served in OWI program with law enforcement security
-Fines: $625 up to $1250 OR community service
-Other: must complete substance abuse evaluation and treatment program and might be assigned a reality education substance abuse prevention program
Kansas0.08Driving Under the Influence (DUI)1st class B non-person misdemeanor, 2nd class A non-person misdemeanor, 3rd+ non-person felony10 years-ALS: 30-day suspension then 330-day restriction
-Imprisonment: 48 hours mandatory OR 100 hours community service
-Fines: $500-$1000
-Other: must complete substance abuse evaluation and treatment program; the vehicle can be impounded for up to 1 year
Kentucky0.08Driving Under the Influence (DUI)1st class B misdemeanor, 2nd-3rd within 5 years class A misdemeanors, 4th+ class D felony10 years-ALS: 30-120 days
-Imprisonment: 2-30 days
-Fines: $200-$500 Other: 90 days of alcohol or substance abuse program; possible 48 hours-30 days of community labor
Louisiana0.08Driving Under the Influence (DUI)1st-2nd not classified, 3rd either a misdemeanor or felony, 4th felony10 years-ALS: 1 year/hBAC 2 years
-Imprisonment: 48 hours in jail + up to 6 months OR fine; up to 2 years probation
-Fines: $300-$1000 +$100 reinstatement fee
-Other: 30 hours reeducation, 32+ hours community service, half must be street garbage pickup
Maine0.08Operating Under the Influence (OUI)1st-2nd class D crime, 3rd+ within 10 years class C crimes10 years-ALS: 150 days min w/ or w/o aggravating factors
-Imprisonment: none; 48 hours min with aggravating factors
-Fines: $500
Maryland0.08Driving Under the Influence (DUI)all misdemeanors5 years-ALS: 6 months
-Imprisonment: no minimum, but up to 1 year
-Fines: no minimum, but up to $1000
-Other: 12 points on license
Massachusetts0.08Operating Under the Influence (OUI)1st-2nd unclassified, 3rd+ feloniesunlimited/lifetime-ALS: 1 year after the date of conviction; may apply for work/education provisional license after 3 months
-Imprisonment: no minimum, but up to 2.5 years
-Fines: $500-$5000
-Other: May be granted two-year parole with a 2-week treatment program
Michigan0.08Operating While Intoxicated (OWI)1st-2nd unclassified, 3rd+ felonies7 years for 2nd offense, unlimited/lifetime for 3rd+-ALS: mandatory 6 months; may be eligible for a restricted license after 30 days
-Imprisonment: 5 days - 1 year consecutive jail time OR 30-90 community service
-Fines: $100-$500
-Other: 6 points on record; possible IID
Minnesota0.08Driving While Impaired (DWI)4th-degree offense w/no aggravating factors is a misdemeanor; 3rd-degree offense w/one aggravating factor is a gross misdemeanor; 2nd-degree offense w/two aggravating factors is a gross misdemeanor; 1st-degree offense w/3+ aggravating factors is a felony (Aggravating Factors: 1) any prior drunken driving offense 2) driving with BAC > 0.19 3) driving w/passenger <16 yo if the passenger is more than 36 months younger than driver10 years-ALS: revoked for 90 days (180 days if under 21)
-Imprisonment: no minimum, but up to 90 days
-Fines: $1000
Mississippi0.08Driving Under the Influence (DUI)1st-2nd misdemeanors, 3rd+ felonies with 4th automatic felony carrying 2-10 yrs. in prison5 years-ALS: 90 days +completion of alcohol safety program unless received IID license
-Imprisonment: no minimum. 48 hours OR attend victim impact panel
-Fines: $250-$1000
-Other: complete alcohol safety program within 1 year
Missouri0.08Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)1st intoxication offense class B misdemeanor, first per se offense class C misdemeanor, 2nd class A misdemeanors, 3rd class D felony, 4th+ class C felony5 years-ALS: 30-day suspension, may be eligible for restricted driving privilege
-Imprisonment: no minimum
-Fines: no minimum
Montana0.08Driving Under the Influence (DUI)1st-3rd misdemeanors, 4th+ felonies10 years for 2nd offense, unlimited/lifetime for 3rd+-ALS: 6-month suspension
-Imprisonment: 24 hours-6 months
-Fines: $600-$1000 +$200 reinstatement fee
-Other: 10 license points for life; must participate in ACT phases (assessment, course, treatment); may be ordered to use IID
Nebraska0.08Driving Under the Influence (DUI)1st-3rd w/in 15 years class W misdemeanors, 4th w/in 15 years class IIIA felony, 5th+ w/in 15 years class III felonies, Injury related DUI class IIIA felony. If a driver with prior felony conviction with BAC >0.15 is caught driving with BAC >0.02, class IIIA misdemeanor in addition to any other penalties.15 years-ALS: 2 months minimum; may be served with IID upon court order. If given probation or suspended sentence: 60 day DL revocation
-Imprisonment: 7-60 days probation/suspended sentence: 10 days in jail or 240 hours community service
-Fines: no minimum, but up to $500
-Other: SR-22 for three years
Nevada0.08Driving Under the Influence (DUI)1st-2nd misdemeanors, 3rd+ in 7 years category B felonies7 years-ALS: 90 days; eligible for a restricted license after half of revocation period
-Imprisonment: 2 days - 6 months OR 96 hours community service
-Fines: $400-$1000
-Other: SR-22 for three years; pay $150 for DUI school; may be ordered to attend a treatment program
New Hampshire0.08Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)1st class B misdemeanor, 2nd-3rd non-injury Class A misdemeanors, 4th+non-injury felony, DUI with serious bodily injury class B felony10 years-ALS: 9 months - 6 years, 6 months can be suspended if enrolled in 20 hours of Impaired Driver Intervention Program
-Imprisonment: no minimum
-Fines: $500 min
New Jersey0.08Driving Under the Influence (DUI)drunken driving is a "violation" not a "crime"10 years-ALS: BAC 0.08-0.99: 3 months; BAC 0.10-0.14: 7 months-1 year; BAC 0.15+: 7 months - 1year, IID during suspension and 6 months - 1 year following restoration
-Imprisonment: minimum 12 hrs. BAC 0.08+: up to 30 days
-Fines: BAC 0.08-0.99: $250-$400; BAC 0.10-0.14: $300-$500; BAC 0.15+: $300-$500; BAC 0.08+ $3505 in fees and surcharges
-Other: 12-48 hours Intoxicated Driver Resource Center (IDRC)
New Mexico0.08Driving While Impaired (DWI)1st-3rd not classified, a 4th-5th fourth-degree felony, 6th+ third-degree felonyunlimited/lifetime-ALS: 6 months - 1year (if under 21, 1 year)
-Imprisonment: no minimum, but up to 90 days; High BAC additional 2 days jail mandatory
-Fines: No minimum
-Other: DWI school, evaluation, IID for 1 year, community service
New York0.05 - DWAI
0.08 - DUI
Driving While Intoxicated (DWI); High BAC Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated (ADWI)DWAI:1st traffic violation, 2nd+ misdemeanors; DWI: 1st misdemeanor, 2nd in 10 years class E felony, 3rd+ in 10 years class D felony10 years for 2nd offense, 15 years for 3rd+-ALS: revoked for at least 6 months; ADWI: 1-year min
-Imprisonment: no minimum, but up to 1 year; ADWI: up to 1 year
-Fines: $500-$1000; ADWI: $1000-$2500
North Carolina0.08Driving While Impaired (DWI)1st-3rd classified as level 1-5 based on sentence length, 4th+ class F felony7 years-ALS: 60-day suspension, 1-year revocation
-Imprisonment: 1-day minimum.
-Fines: no minimum
North Dakota0.08Driving Under the Influence (DUI)1st and 2nd offense within 7 years are class B misdemeanors. 3rd offense within 7 years is a Class A misdemeanor. 4th and subsequent offenses within 15 years are Class C felonies.7 years-ALS: 91 days minimum Imprisonment: no minimum
-Fines: $500 minimum
Ohio0.08Operating a Vehicle Under the Influence (OVI)1st-2nd first degree misdemeanors, 3rd misdemeanor, 4th in 6 years fourth-degree felony, + in any time period third-degree felony10 years-ALS: 6 months minimum, but up to 3 years; 15 days before eligible for restricted driving privileges with IID
-Imprisonment: 3 days jail or 3 days DIP - 6 months (If the court grants unrestricted driving privilege with IID, mandatory jail time suspended.)
-Fines: $250-$1075; license reinstatement fee $475
-Other: 6 points on driving record; up to 5 years probation, optional treatment order, optional restricted plates
Oklahoma0.08Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)1st misdemeanor, 2nd+ in 10 years felonies10 years-ALS: 1 month up to 6 months
-Imprisonment: 5 days - 1 year
-Fines: no minimum, but up to $1000
-Other: IID required if BAC 0.15+ for 18 months
Oregon0.08Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants (DUII)1st-3rd class A misdemeanors, 4th+ class C felonies10 years-ALS: 1-year
-Imprisonment: 2 days - 1 year OR 80 hours community service
-Fines: min $1000 for BAC; min $2000 for HBAC; up to $10000 if the child in car
-Other: drug and alcohol program, participation in victim impact panel, IID for 1 year after license suspension
Pennsylvania0.08Driving After Imbibing (DAI)1st-2nd misdemeanors, 3rd+ second degree misdemeanors10 years-ALS: no minimum Imprisonment: no minimum, but up to 6 months probation
-Fines: $300
-Other: alcohol hwy safety school, treatment when ordered
Rhode Island0.08Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)1st-2nd non-injury misdemeanors, 3rd+ non-injury felony. DUI w/serious bodily injury is a felony.5 years-ALS: 60 days - 18 months
-Imprisonment: no minimum, but up to 1 year or 10-60 hours community service
-Fines: $100-$500 +$500 to hwy assessment fund
-Other: possible attendance to a treatment program; SR-22 insurance
South Carolina0.08Driving Under the Influence (DUI)1st misdemeanor, 2nd in 10 years class C misdemeanor, 3rd in 10 years class A misdemeanor, 4th+ in 10 years class F felonies.10 years-ALS: 6 months
-Imprisonment: 48 hours - 30 days
-Fines: $400 minimum ($992 with assessments and surcharges)
South Dakota0.08Driving Under the Influence (DUI)1st-2nd class 1 misdemeanors, 3rd in 10 years class 6 felony, 4th in 10 years class 5 felony, 5th+ class 4 felonies10 years-ALS: 30 days - 1-year
-Imprisonment: no minimum, but up to 1 year
-Fines: $2,000 minimum
Tennessee0.08Driving Under the Influence (DUI)1st-3rd class A misdemeanors, 4th+ in 10 years class E felony10 years-ALS: 1-year
-Imprisonment: 48 hours - 11 months; HBAC: min 7 consecutive days
-Fines: $350-$1500
-Other: DUI school required, the court may require IID and/or addiction treatment
Texas0.08Driving While Intoxicated (DWI)1st class B misdemeanor, 2nd in 5 years class A misdemeanor, 3rd+ third-degree feloniesunlimited/lifetime for sentencing; 5 years for 2nd+ when determining the need for IID-ALS: 90 days - 1 year, may be eligible for hardship permit
-Imprisonment: 72 hours - 6 months
-Fines: no minimum, but up to $2000 +conviction based surcharge of $1000 for three consecutive years; if HBAC, the surcharge is $1500 for three consecutive years
-Other: 24-100 hours community service; required evaluation, DUI education, and victim impact panel; possible IID
Utah0.05 Driving Under the Influence (DUI)1st-2nd class B misdemeanors, 3rd+ in 10 years third-degree felonies10 years-ALS: 120 days; alcohol restricted driving privilege 2 years
-Imprisonment: min 48 consecutive hours OR 48 hours community service OR home confinement
-Fines: $1,310 min
-Other: IID 18 months
Vermont0.08Driving Under the Influence (DUI)1st-2nd misdemeanors, 3rd+ feloniesunlimited/lifetime-ALS: 90 days
-Imprisonment: no minimum, but up to 2 years
-Fines: no minimum, but up to $700
-Other: Alcohol and Driving Education Program required
Virginia0.08Driving Under the Influence (DUI)1st-2nd class 1 misdemeanors, 3rd+ in 10 years class 6 felony10 years-ALS: 1 year, restricted permit possible
-Imprisonment: up to 1 year; if BAC 0.15-0.19, mandatory 5 days; if BAC .20+, mandatory 20 days
-Fines: $250 mandatory minimum
-Other: VA Alcohol Safety Action Program (VASAP) required; IID required if BAC 0.15+
Washington0.08Driving Under the Influence (DUI)1st-4th gross misdemeanor, 5th+ class B felony7 years-ALS: 90 days
-Imprisonment: 24 consecutive hours - 365 days OR 15 days electronic home monitoring
-Fines: $865.50-$5000
-Other: IID 1 year, addiction education or treatment as ordered
West Virginia0.08Driving Under the Influence (DUI)1st-2nd misdemeanors, 3rd+ in 10 years felonies10 years-ALS: 15 days
-Imprisonment: no minimum, but up to 6 months
-Fines: $100-$500
-Other: IID possible
Wisconsin0.08Operating While Intoxicated (OWI)1st municipal offense, 2nd-3rd misdemeanors, 4th in 5 years and 5th-6th anytime class H felony, 7th-9th class G felony, 10th+ class F felony10 years-ALS: 6-9 months. If 2nd in 10 years: occupational license can be applied for in 45 days. If 2nd in 11+ years: occupational license can apply immediately.
-Imprisonment: none, unless passenger under 16 in the vehicle: 5 days - 6 months
-Fines: $150-$300 +$365 OWI surcharge
-Other: IID required for HBAC, alcohol assessment required, 6 points on license
Wyoming0.08Driving Under the Influence (DUI)1st-3rd non-injury misdemeanor, 4th+ non-injury in 10 years felony, serious injury DUI is felony10 years-ALS: 90 days
-Imprisonment: no minimum, but up to 6 months
-Fines: no minimum, but up to $750
-Other: Substance Abuse Assessment required; IID required for 6 months if HBAC
Washington DC0.08Driving Under the Influence (DUI)all are misdemeanors15 years-ALS: 6 months
-Imprisonment: No minimum, but up to 90 days. if BAC .20-.25: mandatory 5 days. If BAC .25+: mandatory 10 days
-Fines: up to $300
-Other: Alcohol Diversion Program possible if BAC <.16
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We only listed possible penalties for the first offense, but a second, third, or even fourth offense has more severe consequences. 

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DWI vs. DUI: The Bottom Line

Driving after you’ve had a couple of drinks may not seem like a big deal, but if you’re caught, it comes with serious consequences. In addition to a significant increase in insurance rates, you’ll face penalties that include anything from a fine and temporary suspension of your driver’s license to jail time.

You’re also putting yourself and anyone else around you in danger when you choose to drink (or use some other chemical substance) and drive. According to Responsibility.org, nearly 29% of vehicle fatalities in the U.S. resulted from alcohol impairment, and over a million people were arrested for driving under the influence.

Whether or not you have a DWI offense or a DUI infraction on your record, one way to save on your rates is to compare quotes from at least three companies. You can get started by entering your ZIP code into our comparison tool to obtain free quotes from top companies.