Consequences of drunk driving vary by state, but generally include punishments such as license suspension, jail time, rehab, community service, fines and penalties, according to Nolo. A first-offense drunk driving charge is classified as a misdemeanor in all states, as of 2015, unless the driver injured or killed someone.
The majority of states require a jail sentence of at least a few days even for a first-offender, explains Nolo. A drunk-driving offender stands a good chance of losing his licenses for at least 90 days. Repeat drunk-driving offenders, minors and those with an open bottle of alcohol in their car can increase the severity of punishments after a drunk-driving conviction.
Every state considers motorists driving an automobile with a blood-alcohol content of 0.08 percent or above a crime, notes The Governors Highway Safety Association. As of November 2015, 42 states and the District of Columbia limit or suspend driving privileges on a first conviction. Twenty states mandate disabling interlock devices that check a convicted driver's breath before he can turn on the ignition in his car. Some states also have alcohol exclusion laws on the books that deny insurance payments to treat injuries of someone who sustained those injuries while driving drunk.