There are several states that have made significant changes to existing law regarding driving under the influence of alcohol. These may be positive or negative changes from the viewpoint of anyone charged with DUI, depending on that person's situation and the state making the change. Here is a brief rundown of those changes, by state:
The changes in Maine include the option to install an ignition interlock device, or IID, so that driving privileges may be reinstated earlier. This law applies to those with at least two convictions, but no more than three. The changes went into effect in July 2010, so these new laws only apply to persons convicted of DUI after that date. If your conviction came before July 2010, the old laws, penalties, and restrictions still apply.
This state is joining the ranks of those refusing to tolerate a refusal to submit for testing if the officer suspects DUI was involved in an accident. Now, Wisconsin adds additional charges and punishments for those who refuse to be tested, much like the Implied Consent and Refusal to Submit policies enacted by other states already. Right now, the law only applies to arrests stemming from accidents that resulted in moderate to severe bodily injury or death.
Although many states are reducing or eliminating punishments and/or penalties for DUI, Virginia is one of a few that are increasing the sentence requirements. Now, if you are convicted of DUI in the state of Virginia, but choose to drive while your license is suspended, you will lose your vehicle to state impoundment. The impoundment will last for at least 90 days.
This state is also changing how the law treats someone who is over the legal limit while operating certain vehicles. The changes amend that someone driving a school bus now faces Class 1 misdemeanor charges for DUI arrest.
In the wake of the passing of Ricci's Law in New Jersey, stricter laws are now being enforced for those convicted of DUI. Now, this state is one of several that require the installation of an IID for anyone who earns back the right to drive on state roadways. The device must be installed and maintained for the entire duration of the restricted driving privilege restriction.
Another state that changes what happens to those who do not want an IID installed to their vehicle during the period of restricted driving privilege, Minnesota refuses driving rights for these individuals altogether. Instead of offering some sort of restriction to compensate for those who do not want the device for whatever reason, the state imposed a no driving policy, ranging from 12 months to 6 years, depending on the case.