Oklahoma’s drunk driving laws are ranked 13th toughest

A new WalletHub.com study shows Oklahoma ranks 13th in the nation in terms of tough laws against drunk driving.

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.

Here are some of the rankings (1 = Strictest).

  1. Arizona
  2. Alaska
  3. Connecticut
  4. West Virginia
  5. Kansas
  6. Nebraska
  7. Utah
  8. Virginia
  9. Georgia
  10. Washington
  11. Delaware
  12. Tennessee
  13. Oklahoma
  14. Louisiana
  15. Colorado
  16. Texas
  17. Arkansas
  18. Missouri
  19. Idaho
  20. New Jersey
  21. Ohio
  22. Vermont
  23. Kentucky
  24. Wisconsin
  25. Montana
  26. Maryland
  27. North Dakota
  28. Pennsylvania
  29. District of Columbia
  30. South Dakota

Oklahoma Drunk Driving Laws

Minimum jail time (first offense) – 5 days

Minimum jail time (second offense) – 1 day

When a DUI is an automatic felony – second offense

How long old DUIs factor into penalties – 10 years

Administrative license suspension – 6 months

Drunk driving takes a terrible toll on the nation’s roads and highways every year.

Also known as “driving under the influence” (DUI) or “driving while intoxicated” (DWI), alcohol-impaired driving was the cause of 31 percent of motor vehicle fatalities in 2012 , according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

In addition to the loss of human life, the government estimates that drunk driving costs Americans nearly $60 billion per year in economic losses.

There is good news, though. Since the 1980s when states first began to crack down on drunk driving, the rate of impaired driving and the number of accidents caused by drunk drivers has dropped considerably. This has meant many saved lives, as drunk driving fatalities declined 52 percent from 1982 to 2013.

Some of this change can be attributed to evolving social attitudes, but new, tougher penalties for those caught driving under the influence have also had an impact, especially in reducing the number of repeat violators. For example, almost half the states now require all convicted DUI offenders to install an ignition interlock device in any vehicles they will be driving. These devices analyze the driver’s breath and won’t permit the car to start if alcohol is detected. The federal government estimates that these devices have reduced re-arrest rates of DUI offenders by 67 percent.

  • 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 prison.
  • 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, 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 3 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 7 states do not have administrative license suspensions.
  • After a first arrest with a blood alcohol content (BAC) 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 7 states, these devices are mandatory only after a second offense, and in 6 states the device is never required.
  • Red states are stricter on DUIs, with an average ranking of 23.0, compared to 28.2 for blue states