Banner-Evaluation of Minnesota's High-BAC Law

Appendix A

Summary of States’ Enhanced Penalties for First-Offense High-BAC Offenders 21 Years or Older

As of January 1, 2002


State

High Br/ BAC

Illegal Per Se BAC

Enhanced Penalty for High-BAC First Offenders vs. Penalty for Standard First DWI

Statute or Rule

Relied on High BAC to Qualify for 410 Funds FY ’99-‘01

Arizona

.15

.08

If high BAC, mandatory jail 30 consecutive days; all but 10 consecutive days may be suspended if screening/treatment program completed. Mandatory 10 consecutive days for standard 1st offense; all but 24 consecutive hours may be suspended if complete screening/treatment. Jurisdictions may provide work release program after 48 consecutive hours in jail for high-BAC offenders vs. 24 consecutive hours for other offenders. Jurisdictions also may provide home monitoring program after 15 consecutive days in jail for high-BAC vs. 24 consecutive hours. Maximum 6 months (with 30 consecutive days) vs. 6 months (10 consecutive days)

Mandatory minimum fine $250 and $250 assessment vs. $250.

Upon conviction, 12-month administrative ignition interlock required (or court may require) for high-BAC offenders after license suspension ends or conviction, whichever is later vs. no requirement.

statute

1999, 2000, 2001

Arkansas

.15

.08

For administrative license suspension, high-BAC offenders receive 180 days suspension or 30 days suspension followed by 150 days restricted driving privileges vs. 120 days suspension with restricted license. Restricted license can be available to all 1st offenders. Court can order ignition interlock.

statute

2000, 2001

California

.20

.08

Court may consider BAC ³ .20 as a special factor in imposing enhanced sanctions and determining whether to grant probation and may give high BAC “heightened consideration” in ordering an ignition interlock up to 3 years.

In counties with licensed alcohol education/

counseling program, offenders placed on probation with high BAC must participate in program for at least 6 months vs. 3 months.

statute

 

Colorado

.15

 


.20

.10

For state’s mandatory treatment/screening program for all offenders, assessment tool recommends Level I if BAC ³. 15; judge, however, has discretion.

If BAC ³ .20: mandatory 90 days jail (10 days if participate in alcohol education/treatment program) vs. 5 days unless participate in program.

$500-1500 fine vs. $300-1,000.

60-120 days (mandatory 60) community service vs. 48-96 hours (mandatory 48).

Administrative licensing action for BAC > .20: completion of alcohol education or treatment program required for license reinstatement.

If driving under the influence (DWI) charge is reduced to the lesser charge of driving while impaired, and if BAC ³ .20, then “because of such aggravating factor,” sanctions imposed must be for (greater) DWI offense.

policy

 


statute

 

Connecticut

.16

.10

120 days administrative driver license suspension vs. 90 days, but all offenders may obtain restricted license after 30 days.

Under state’s diversion program, completion of pre-trial rehabilitation/alcohol education results in dismissal. If BAC ³ .16, offender attends more sessions at higher cost than other offenders.

statute

 

Delaware

.16

 


.20

.10

BAC ³ .16: not automatically eligible, but can apply, for “First Offense Election Process” (dismissal of criminal charges upon completion of education/treatment program).

BAC ³ .20: DMV conducts “character review” (references and interview) prior to reinstating license.

statute

 

 

policy

 

Florida

.20

.08

Fine $500- $1,000 vs. $250 -$500.

Maximum 9 months jail vs. 6 months.

Judge cannot accept guilty plea to lesser offense.

statute

1999, 2000, 2001

Georgia

.15

.08

Court cannot accept nolo contendere plea if violate illegal per se law and BAC ³ .15.

statute

 

Idaho

.20

.08

Mandatory minimum 10 days jail (beginning with 48 consecutive hours) vs. no mandatory minimum; maximum 1 year vs. 6 months.

Fine up to $2,000 vs. $1,000.

Mandatory minimum 1 year driver license court suspension after release from confinement vs. mandatory minimum 30 days suspension followed by restricted license for 60-150 days.

statute

1999, 2000, 2001

Illinois

.15/
.20

.08

BAC one of several criteria for assignment to “risk category” for completion of treatment program for license reinstatement: BAC < .15 = minimal risk (10 hours education); .15-.19 BAC = moderate risk (10 hours education and 12 hours early intervention); BAC ³ .20 = significant risk (10 hours education and 20 hours treatment). High risk multiple offenders must receive ³ 75 hours of treatment for reinstatement.

rule

1999, 2000, 2001

Indiana

.15

.08

BAC ³ .15 is Class A vs. Class C misdemeanor.

Maximum fine $5000 vs. $500.

Maximum jail 1 year vs. 60 days.

statute

 

Iowa

.15

.10

High-BAC offenders excluded from deferred judgment or sentence generally available to 1st offenders.

Mandatory minimum 48 hours jail vs. no mandatory jail.

Mandatory minimum $500 fine. For other offenders, minimum is $500, or $1,000 if personal injury or property damage crash. However, court may order unpaid community service in lieu of fine.

statute

1999, 2000, 2001

Kentucky

.18

.08

BAC ³ .18 is one of several “aggravating circumstances”; enhanced penalty is mandatory minimum 4 days jail, which “shall not be suspended, probated, conditionally discharged, or subject to any other form of early release.” Must also be detained 4 hours after arrest. Other 1st offenders must receive one of the following: $200-$500 fine, 48 hours-30 days jail or community labor, or 48 hours-30 days community service.

statute

2001

Louisiana

.15

.10

Mandatory 48 hours jail prior to probation. For other 1st offenders, in lieu of minimum 10 days jail, may participate in substance abuse/driver improvement program and 1) serve 2 days jail, or 2) perform 4 days community service.

statute

2000, 2001

Maine

.15

.08

Mandatory minimum 48 hours jail prior to probation alternatives vs. no mandatory jail.

statute

 

Minnesota

.20

.10

Effective 1/1/2001, DWI offenses are categorized into three degrees based on the number of aggravating factors present, which include a prior DWI offense, BAC > .20, and driving with passenger < 16 years old and > 36 months younger than driver. Criminal penalties if high BAC only aggravating factor, i.e., second degree DWI, include maximum jail 1 year vs. 90 days, mandatory minimum fine $900 vs. $210, maximum fine $3,000 vs. $700. If BAC > .20 court also may impose additional penalty assessment of $1,000.

In addition, court may stay sentence except license revocation if offender submits to level of care recommended in required chemical use assessment report. Court must order high-BAC offenders person to submit to recommended level of care.

Mandatory “hold for court”: unless maximum bail is imposed after arrest, high-BAC offender released from jail only if agree to abstain from alcohol with daily electronic alcohol monitoring.

Mandatory administrative pre-conviction license revocation 180 days (30 days hard revocation) vs. 90 days (15 days hard); mandatory post-conviction license revocation 60 days (30 days hard revocation) vs. 30 days (15 days hard).

Administrative plate impoundment equal to license revocation period if BAC ³ .20.

statute

1999, 2000, 2001

Missouri

.15

.08

Upon conviction, the court must order offender to complete substance abuse program. For persons with administrative per se violations, driving privileges cannot be restored until successfully complete program. For cause, court may modify but may not waive this requirement if BAC > .15

statute

 

Montana

.18

.10

Court may restrict driving to vehicle with ignition interlock device, if device is reasonably available, for BAC ³ .18.

statute

 

Nevada

.18

.10

Offenders with BAC ³ .18 must be evaluated for alcohol/drug abuse prior to sentencing, with $100 fee. Also serve minimum 2 days jail or 48 hours community service. Other 1st offenders may receive suspended sentence if participate in treatment program but must serve 1 day jail or 48 hours community service.

statute

1999, 2000, 2001

New Hampshire

.16

.08

Class A misdemeanor vs. violation.

Up to 1 year jail vs. no jail.

Mandatory minimum fine $500 vs. $350; maximum $2,000 vs. $1,000.

Mandatory minimum 1 year license revocation vs. 90 days.

Administrative revocation of registration of vehicle registered to offender revoked for same period as license revocation; hardship registration available vs. no revocation.

May receive conditional discharge, which may include up to 50 hours community service.

statute

1999, 2000, 2001

New Mexico

.16

.08

Mandatory minimum 48 consecutive hours jail vs. no mandatory jail.

statute

1999, 2000

North Carolina

.15



.16

.08

Person convicted with BAC ³ .15 must complete substance abuse assessment and treatment program, if indicated, to reinstate license.

BAC ³ .16 considered gross impairment and an aggravating factor in sentencing; level of punishment is determined by weighting aggravating and mitigating factors. Also, to obtain restricted license after hard suspension, ignition interlock must be installed for one year, and driving with BAC ³ .04 prohibited.

statute

1999, 2000, 2001

Ohio

.17

.10

Mandatory jail time doubled from 3 consecutive days (may attend 3 consecutive days driver’s intervention program in lieu of jail) to 6 days (may attend program for 3 days in lieu of 3 days jail but must serve 3 days jail).

statute

2000, 2001

Oklahoma

.15

.08

In addition to other penalties for all offenders, offenders convicted of driving with BAC ³ .15 receive mandatory minimum 28 days inpatient treatment, followed by minimum 1 year of supervision, periodic testing, and aftercare at defendant’s expense, 480 hours of community service following aftercare, and minimum 30 days ignition interlock device. This shall not “preclude the defendant being charged or punished under other DWI statutes.” Note: For any type of DWI offense, probation before judgment available. Deferred judgment also available upon guilty plea if complete alcohol/drug program.

statute

 

Rhode Island

.15

.10

In contrast to .10 ≤ BAC <.15, offenders with BAC ³ .15 receive $500 fine vs. $100-$300 fine, 20-60 hours public community restitution and/or imprisonment for up to 1 year vs. 10-60 hours public community restitution and/or imprisonment for up to 1 year. Note: .08 < BAC < .10 is a civil offense.

statute

 

South Dakota

.17

.10

Courts must require pre-sentencing alcohol evaluations vs. no such requirement

statute

 

Tennessee

.20

.10

Mandatory minimum 7 consecutive days of jail vs. 48 consecutive hours. It appears that in certain counties with more than 100,000 residents, court may allow 200 hours community service in lieu of jail term.

statute

1999, 2000, 2001

Utah

.16

.08

As an alternative to imprisonment or community service, an offender may be allowed to participate in home confinement electronic monitoring program; alcohol testing may be part of program. Court also may order alcohol or drug treatment and may require ignition interlock as condition of probation. For each of these sanctions court must give reasons on record if not imposed/ordered if offender had BAC > .16.

statute

 

Virginia

.20

.08

Mandatory minimum jail: 5 days if BAC .20-.25; 10 days if BAC > .25; no mandatory minimum if BAC < .20.

1st offender may attend Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program (VASAP) to obtain restricted license. BAC ³ .20 is one of several criteria used to indicate longer and more intensive education.

statute

 

rule

1999, 2000

           

Washington

.15

.08

Mandatory minimum 2 days jail or 30 days electronic home monitoring vs. 24 hours or 15 days for standard offense.

Ignition interlock device (after license suspension or revocation period) not less than 1 year vs. court discretion.

Mandatory minimum fine $925 vs. $685.

Mandatory court driver license suspension/

revocation 1 year vs. 90 days.

Deferred prosecution program for all 1st offenders results in issuance of 5-year probationary license and dismissal of charge upon completion of 2-year treatment program. However, court must order ignition interlock if BAC ³ .15.

statute

1999, 2000, 2001

Wisconsin

.17

.20/

.26

.10

Fine penalties for persons convicted of 3rd, 4th, and 5th DWI are doubled if BAC .17-.199, tripled if BAC .20-.249, and quadrupled if BAC ³ .25. The law does not include enhanced penalties for high-BAC 1st offenders.

Wisconsin law also provides that if BAC is known (for first or subsequent offenses), the “court shall consider that level as a factor in sentencing.”

statute