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What happens when you get a DUI in Wyoming?

Here's what you need to know...
  • The most common way to receive a DUI in Wyoming is to fail a BAC test
  • The legal BAC limit in Wyoming is 0.08 percent for drivers 21 and over, and 0.02 percent for drivers under 21
  • DUI penalties in Wyoming include fines, driver’s license suspension, and possible jail time for aggravating circumstances
  • Reinstating your Wyoming license after a DUI requires SR-22 insurance
  • Shopping around helps you find the cheapest auto insurance after a Wyoming DUI

A DUI conviction has consequences that can follow you forever. You can get fined, lose your driver’s license, and even go to jail.

What’s more, it stays on your criminal record forever.

Auto insurance companies place you in a higher risk class. Future employers, landlords, or business associates might use it to make a negative judgment on your character.

It’s important to understand DUI laws before getting behind the wheel. What happens after a DUI varies by state. Wyoming, for instance, is known for having strict DUI laws. The following explains what happens when you get a DUI in Wyoming.

If you live in Wyoming and are concerned about getting a DUI, start comparing auto insurance rates to cover you better. Enter your ZIP code above!

Wyoming DUI Laws

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The most common way to receive a DUI in Wyoming is to fail a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test. Police officers check your BAC when they suspect you of DUI. Your age determines how much alcohol you can have in your blood before you’re considered to be intoxicated.

– BAC Levels

If you’re 21 or over, Wyoming’s BAC threshold is 0.08 percent. In other words, if alcohol comprises more than eight-tenths of a percent of your bloodstream, you’re legally impaired in Wyoming. 0.08 percent is the same as the national level.

The amount you must drink to reach 0.08 percent varies based on your age and gender.

A 200-pound male reaches legal intoxication after roughly four or five drinks, whereas it can take a 120-pound female as few as two drinks.

But these are rough estimates. It’s always better to err on the side of safety.

Wyoming has a zero-tolerance policy for drunk driving under 21. If you’re underage, any alcohol detected in your bloodstream can be grounds for a DUI charge. The legal threshold is 0.02 percent. That’s less than one full drink for an average-sized person.

– Driving with Open Containers of Alcohol

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It used to be that as long as they weren’t over the legal limit, Wyoming drivers could drink behind the wheel. That all changed in 2002.

In 2002, Wyoming joined most other states and outlawed driving with an open container.

You can be charged with an open container violation in Wyoming even if you haven’t taken a sip of the drink. So it’s best to wait until you reach your destination to imbibe.

– Breathalyzer Tests

Law enforcement in Wyoming follows a standard protocol if they pull you over and suspect you of DUI. First, they administer a Breathalyzer test. You’re probably familiar with these. You blow into a portable machine that measures your BAC.

Wyoming is an implied consent state. By signing for your driver’s license, you agree you’ll consent to a Breathalyzer if an officer has probable cause to suspect you of DUI.

An officer cannot physically force you to take the test unless you cause a fatal accident or one with severe injuries. But if you refuse, you can have your license suspended whether you’re ultimately convicted of DUI or not.

– Ignition Interlock Device

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Wyoming drivers convicted of a DUI with a BAC of 0.15 percent or above have special rules to have their driver’s license reinstated. For one, they have an ignition interlock device installed on their vehicle.

An ignition interlock device prevents your vehicle from starting when you’re intoxicated. It has a portable Breathalyzer attached. You have to blow into it each time you start your car.

Imagine how embarrassing this is when you’re on a date or driving with other people. But even if you’re a first-time DUI offender, there’s no way around this rule if your BAC was 0.15 percent or above.

– Drug and Alcohol Assessment

Another stipulation for license reinstatement after a DUI in Wyoming involves a drug and alcohol assessment. You have to have one regardless if it’s your first offense and regardless what your BAC was.

The assessment must be administered by a certified drug and alcohol abuse counselor. Also, you have to pay the costs out of pocket. Your driver’s license will remain suspended until you complete this step.

DUI Penalties in Wyoming

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A DUI conviction in Wyoming carries severe penalties. They increase in severity if you’re a repeat offender.

– First Offense

A first-time DUI in Wyoming is classified as a misdemeanor crime. Penalties include the following:

  • Possible fine of up to $750
  • Up to six months in jail. Jail time isn’t mandatory but can be assessed if there are aggravating circumstances in your DUI
  • Driver’s license suspension for 90 days
  • Ignition interlock device (if your BAC was 0.15 percent or greater)
  • Possible limited driving privileges during suspension, such as to and from work or school

– Second Offense

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A second DUI offense within five years is also a misdemeanor, but it carries stiffer penalties than a first offense:

  • $250 minimum fine, up to $750
  • Seven days minimum in jail, with up to six months possible
  • Driver’s license suspension for one year
  • Ignition interlock device for one year, regardless of BAC
  • No limited driving privileges during suspension

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– Third Offense

A third DUI conviction is also a misdemeanor, but the penalties get even more severe:

  • Minimum fine of $750, up to $3,000
  • Minimum jail sentence of one month, up to six months
  • Driver’s license suspension for three years
  • Ignition interlock device for two years, regardless of BAC
  • No limited driving privileges during suspension

– Fourth or Subsequent Offense

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Your fourth DUI in five years is a felony. The penalties are substantial:

  • Up to a $10,000 fine
  • Up to seven years in jail
  • Driver’s license revocation for three years
  • Ignition interlock device for five years to life
  • No limited driving privileges during revocation

Points System

States use points systems to keep unsafe drivers off the road. Moving violations have corresponding point values. Something minor, such as speeding, might be worth only one or two points.

A major moving violation, such as DUI, is worth substantially more points.

These points accumulate on your license as you rack up violations. Once you exceed a certain number of points, the state can suspend your driving privileges.

Unlike most states, Wyoming has no formal points system. The state doesn’t differentiate between moving violations based on severity. Regarding points on license, reckless driving counts the same as speeding five miles over the limit.

Wyoming’s rule is simple: four moving violations in a 12-month period results in driver’s license suspension for 90 days. Each additional violation in the same period gets you 90 more days of suspension.

Though point values are the same, fines vary based on the severity of the offense. You’ll pay much more for a reckless driving conviction than for minor speeding or for rolling through a stop sign.

Revocation and Suspension

AdobeStock_107947394-1600x1600 (2)Perhaps the most inconvenient DUI penalty is the suspension or revocation of your driver’s license. Some confusion exists as to the difference between a suspended and a revoked license.

– Suspended License

A suspended license means your driver’s license is temporarily inactive. You cannot drive legally while your license is in this status.

But once you become eligible to reinstate your license, you can do so without starting the licensing process over again. Typically, reinstatement involves paying a fine and completing paperwork.

You can have your license suspended for several reasons:

  • Multiple moving violations
  • Unpaid traffic tickets
  • First-offense DUI

– Revoked License

Revocation means that your driver’s license is canceled. It is no longer good and cannot be reinstated. To drive again after having your license revoked, you must apply for a brand new license.

You’ll have to take the driver’s test again, just like a 16-year-old.

Assuming you pass, you’ll receive a new license rather than having your old one reinstated. License revocation may occur in these situations:

  • Multiple convictions of serious driving offenses, such as DUI or reckless driving
  • Medical conditions that make driving unsafe, such as epilepsy

License Reinstatement

To reinstate your license after a DUI, Wyoming requires that you pay all fines and court costs associated with your DUI. You’ll have a reinstatement fee, as well. You also have to carry SR-22 insurance for three years.

An SR-22 is a form insurance companies file with the state on behalf of high-risk drivers and serves as a way for the state to keep an eye on you and make sure you’re carrying insurance at all times.

You cannot file this form on your own. The insurance company has to do it for you. In exchange for doing so, they’ll likely charge you higher premiums.

Getting Insurance After a DUI

A DUI has lingering effects on your car insurance. First, you’ll have to find a company that insures drivers with DUI convictions.

Insurance for DUIs typically means getting high-risk insurance, which, of course, comes with higher premiums. Premiums can vary wildly for high-risk drivers.

So it’s important to shop around between companies that insure DUI-convicted drivers to find the best rates.

Some insurance companies offer discounts for high-risk drivers who use preventative tools. The most common of these tools is an ignition interlock device. Even if the state doesn’t require you to install one, doing so might be financially beneficial if you receive an insurance discount.

Over time, your premiums will return to normal if you exhibit good driving behavior. The most important thing, of course, is to avoid additional DUIs. You can also lower your premiums by not receiving moving violations or getting into at-fault accidents.

A DUI is a serious crime, and it can affect your life in a negative way. Wyoming takes the crime very seriously. Thoroughly understanding the laws can prevent you from getting charged or convicted.

If you were recently charged with a DUI and need better auto insurance, compare at least three to four policies today to find the best insurance for you! Enter your ZIP code below!

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