State Law Chart for Blood Alcohol Content and Level

A person’s blood alcohol content (sometimes called blood alcohol concentration and commonly referred to as “BAC”) is a common metric used by law and medicine to determine alcohol intoxication. BAC is expressed as a percentage of alcohol found in the bloodstream. A 0.08% reading means that one eighth of one percent of a person’s blood is composed of alcohol. Penalties for a DUI or DWI offense vary and also become more severe when a driver is a repeat offender.

Understanding Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) and Blood Alcohol Levels (BAL)

A person stopped under suspicion for drunk driving may refuse to take a sobriety or chemical test. If you volunteer to do so, each state has certain minimal levels for which a drunk driving offense is presumed by the result. For example, if the blood alcohol level of a driver in New York is 0.08 or above, the driver is presumed to be intoxicated and driving while impaired. While the BAC is generally 0.08% or higher for drivers who are of the legal drinking age, there are zero tolerance laws for drivers below the legal drinking age which reduce the required BAC to zero or near zero.

Implied Consent and Administrative License Revocation (ALR)

If a person refuses to take a sobriety test, most states allow an officer to make an arrest and immediately seize the driver’s vehicle and results in the automatic suspension of the operator’s driver’s license.  This occurs even if the driver is later shown not to have been guilty of a DUI or DWI offense. This is because the refusal to submit to the test raises a presumption of guilt (what does the driver have to hide by taking a test?)

Most states that have ALR laws also recognize the “implied consent” of every driver to a test of breath, blood or urine when requested by a law enforcement official if suspected of drunk driving. The concept is that driving an automobile is a privilege to use the public roadways and, in order to ensure public safety, every driver consents to reasonable safety measures.

BAC-BAL / Implied Consent, ALR Suspension State Laws Chart

State Per Se BAC Implied Consent Law First ALR Suspension
Alabama 0.08 Yes 90 days
Alaska 0.08 Yes 90 days
Arizona 0.08 Yes 90 days
Arkansas 0.08 Yes 120 days
California 0.08 Yes 4 months
Colorado 0.08 Yes 3 months
Connecticut 0.08 Yes 90 days
Delaware 0.08 Yes 3 months
District of Columbia 0.08 Yes 2-90 days
Florida 0.08 Yes 6 months
Georgia 0.08 Yes 1 year
Hawaii 0.08 Yes 3 months
Idaho 0.08 Yes 90 days
Illinois 0.08 Yes 3 months
Indiana 0.08 Yes 180 days
Iowa 0.08 Yes 180 days
Kansas 0.08 Yes 30 days
Kentucky 0.08 Yes no
Louisiana 0.08 Yes 90 days
Maine 0.08 Yes 90 days
Maryland 0.08 Yes 45 days
Massachusetts 0.08 Yes 90 days
Michigan 0.08 Yes no
Minnesota 0.08 Yes 90 days
Mississippi 0.08 Yes 90 days
Missouri 0.08 Yes 30 days
Montana 0.08 Yes no
Nebraska 0.08 Yes 90 days
Nevada 0.08 Yes 90 days
New Hampshire 0.08 Yes 6 months
New Jersey 0.08 Yes no
New Mexico 0.08 Yes 90 days
New York 0.08 Yes variable3
North Carolina 0.08 Yes 30 days
North Dakota 0.08 Yes 91 days
Ohio 0.08 Yes 90 days
Oklahoma 0.08 Yes 180 days
Oregon 0.08 Yes 90 days
Pennsylvania 0.08 Yes no
Rhode Island 0.08 Yes no
South Carolina 0.08 Yes no
South Dakota 0.08 Yes no
Tennessee 0.08 Yes no
Texas 0.08 Yes 90 days
Utah 0.08 Yes 90 days
Vermont 0.08 Yes 90 days
Virginia 0.08 Yes 7 days
Washington 0.08 Yes 90 days
West Virginia 0.08 Yes 6 months
Wisconsin 0.08 Yes 6 months
Wyoming 0.08 Yes 90 days

Michael M Wechsler, Esq.

Michael M. Wechsler is an experienced attorney, founder of TheLaw.com and former SVP of Zedge.net. He has published hundreds of articles online covering a variety of legal topics and regularly provides free legal advice at The Law Forums.

Michael M Wechsler, Esq. – has written posts on TheLaw.com Guide.