Source: WalletHub

If you’re thinking about loading up your “go” cup and taking a  road trip this summer, my advice is to head north to Maryland or, if you’re in a pinch, south to North Carolina. The penalties against drunk driving aren’t nearly as severe there as they are in Virginia.

According to WalletHub, Virginia ranks 8th in a list of states based on the harshness of penalties meted to drunk drivers. Maryland is 47th (woo hoo! pop me another Budweiser!), while North Carolina is 27th (yeah, baby, I’ll take another swig of Ripple). It would be big mistake, however, to head west. West Virginia has the 4th toughest laws in the nation.

Oh, if your road trip culminates in Washington, D.C., you’re in good shape. D.C. has the 2nd most lax drunk driving penalties in the country. Hmmm…. D.C…. Congress… Minimal penalties for drunk driving… Coincidence? I don’t think so.


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  1. larryg Avatar

    I don’t know what the trend line is for DUI but I think it’s improved as we’ve treated it more like the crime it is rather than an “accident” like we used to.

    ” Since 1982, drunk driving fatalities on our nation’s roadways have decreased 52%, while total traffic fatalities have declined nearly 24%”

    The more serious problem now is phones. It’s an epidemic. It’s like people cannot talk on the phone, or worse text, UNLESS they are in their car!

    who knew we needed to talk and text so much!

    ” Driving deaths due to cell phone use underreported: study
    A new study reveals that the number of deaths from car crashes in which the driver was talking or texting on a cell phone are underreported. The study reviewed 180 fatal crashes in which cell phone use was a suspected cause and found that only half of the cases were reported with distracted driving as the cause.”

    Now days you have to be extra vigilant on two lane roads as folks just come right across – phone on the steering wheel.. or you come up behind someone going 20 mph lower than the speed limit and they are fiddling with phone.

    I’m for penalties just as harsh as DUI , myself.

    yes – there are many ways to be distracted but the phone is becoming an epidemic – and the people doing it have attitudes like people who used to drink and drive had – before they got the fear of god put into them by tougher laws.

    next – left lane lopers.. otherwise known as passive-aggressive driving behavior.. needs some attention… the sign says “keep right except to pass” but you’d swear it says ” keep left as long as you want even if you have 5 po’ed people behind you”.

    1. Since 1982, drunk driving fatalities on our nation’s roadways have decreased 52%, while total traffic fatalities have declined nearly 24%

      But how much of this is due to criminalization and how much is due to 30 years of vehicle safety improvements and roadway improvements? Let’s not confuse correlation with causation here.

      1. Cville Resident Avatar
        Cville Resident

        I agree about correlation/causation.

        However, on a personal level, I can definitely say that the criminalization has had an effect. I definitely remember a time when nobody thought twice about driving after a few beers/drinks. This was in the 80s/early 90s.

        But now, I can’t recall the last time I saw someone leave a party and hop behind the wheel after a few cold ones. People are much more cognizant of DUIs nowadays.

  2. LifeOnTheFallLine Avatar

    Great. You get corporate sponsorship and immediately respond by trying to kill your readers.

  3. larryg Avatar

    whether someone is drinking or driving distracted – it’s no joke when there is an accident and people are hurt or killed as a result.

    Some accidents are really dumb anyhow but some verge on criminal irresponsibility, behavior and we ought to make that distinction.

    but the RATE – HAS declined:

    “Law enforcement made 25,719 impaired-driving arrests statewide last year, down from a two-decade high of 41,951 in 2006, according to a report by the Department of Public Safety. Criminal convictions for impaired driving charges fell to 19,036, also a 20-year low.”

  4. charlie Avatar

    Wasn’t Virginia the first state to adopt the .08?

  5. News Flash – Aubrey Lane announced that Beltway HOT lanes will no longer enforce drunk driving laws.

    Citing a lack of volume Virginia’s Secretary of Transportation today said the Beltway HOT lanes would no longer enforce DUI laws. “We hope this change will encourage beer bingers and gin guzzlers to pay the exorbitant rates we charge for travel on the HOT lanes.” said Lane. Lane also announced that Virginia has issued 20 licenses for high speed “Beer Thru” stores along the HOT lanes. “Drivers who forget their booze at home won’t even have to stop to get sloshed” explained Lane.

    In related news Gov. Terry McAuliffe was offering a book of 100 “get out of jail free” passes to the CEO of any company that agrees to relocate its headquarters to Virginia. “If any CEO doesn’t want all these passes he or she can probably sell a couple to the McDonnells” McAullife said. “Hell, I might buy a few myself … you know … just in case” he quipped.

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