Most states have expanded their drunk driving statutes to provide for harsher punishment when drunk driving has resulted in injury to another. Where a person causes injury to another while driving drunk, the person may be charged with a felony, punishable by a term in state prison. In an even more severe expansion of criminal laws, some states now incorporate their murder or manslaughter statutes with their DUI laws where drunk driving results in the death of another. Moreover, in some states, a person may be charged with assault with a deadly weapon for driving a car while intoxicated. In such an instance, the deadly weapon is the car.
All states treat first DUI offenses as misdemeanors. However, in the majority of states, a person’s third offense (or third “strike”) is treated as a felony.