Washington DC Named as One of the Country’s Most Lenient State for DUI’s

Washington DC is the second most lenient state as far as enforcement and prevention of DUI is concerned, according to a recent review of DUI laws conducted by an online publication.

The state by state investigation on DUI penalties carried out by WalletHub.com was seeking to find out which states strictly enforce DUI laws as well as the most lenient.

Washington DC ranked 50th on WalletHub’s list, with South Dakota taking the first position as the most lenient state for DUI’s.  Maryland wasn’t doing better either. It came in at number 47 on the list while Virginia featured in the top ten (at number 8) as one of the strictest states when it comes to DUI punishments.

Apart showing laxity in enhancing the DUI laws, Washington DC also performed poorly when it came to punishing those nabbed driving under the influence. WalletHub found that DC only ranked 31st in regards to the harshness of DUI penalties. Virginia had the 9th harshest DUI penalties while Maryland ranked 50th on the list.

These may be just numbers, but WalletHub put a lot of research to come up with such conclusions. It considered a number of variables, among them the time DUI offenders spend in jail, how long a license is suspended due to a DUI offense and whether having an ignition interlock is a mandatory requirement. The study also included the number of sobriety checkpoints in each state.

The overall ratings were computed using the variables collected, with Arizona emerging as the strictest state in the country.

As expected, there are a couple of differences in the way the policies are enforced in each state hence the disparity in scores. In Virginia, for instance, a driver is deemed to have committed a DUI offense if the blood alcohol content is beyond .08. On the other hand,  in Maryland, a DUI cannot be regarded as an automatic felony, a fact that has a negative impact the fight against driving under the influence.

In Washington DC, ignition interlocking system is not mandatory and there are no fines for first-time offenders.  WalletHub advocates for strict enforcement of DUI laws in all states particularly when you consider that drunken driving costs Americans an average of $60 billion each year.

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