Alcohol seems to be everywhere you turn, and unfortunately, so are drunk driving accidents. Every year, 1.5 million people are arrested for drunk driving. Those living in the state of Indiana, in particular, need to be well-versed in the laws and potential consequences of a DUI (or OWI) arrest. And if you require an Indianapolis DUI attorney, make sure to contact us right away. Here are a few key points about DUI laws in Indiana.
BAC limits may vary, but they’re strict
In the state of Indiana, it’s a criminal offense to drive with a BAC of 0.08% or above. However, commercial drivers and minors are subject to even stricter regulations. It’s illegal for commercial vehicle operators to drive with a BAC of 0.04% or above. For minors under age 21, having a BAC of 0.01% or above is a crime. Don’t risk the chance of being arrested for a DUI (or OWI, it’s typically called here). If you’ve had anything to drink, don’t get behind the wheel.
You do have to submit to testing
Indiana has implied consznt laws, which means that it’s a criminal offense to refuse a breath, blood, or urine test. If you refuse to submit to testing, your license will automatically be suspended or revoked. The first time you refuse, your suspension may last for one year. The second or any subsequent times you refuse, your license will likely be revoked for two years. While the punishment for refusal isn’t as extreme as what you might face with a DUI/OWI conviction, refusing to take these tests usually makes matters much worse.
There are several factors that determine jail time
Being convicted of a DUI or OWI can carry harsh punishments. If you’re sentenced to jail time, factors at play will likely include your prior driving record (including any previous arrests or convictions for DUIs/OWIs/DWIs); your BAC level at the time of the incident (i.e., a BAC of 0.15 or above will usually be treated more harshly); whether or not there was a collision, and if so, whether the other person involved was injured; who your judge is and where the trial is held; whether or not you had a passenger or child in your car at the time of the incident; and whether the court determines you’ve taken responsibility for your actions. A reputable DUI attorney will fight on your behalf to ensure you are treated fairly in a court of law.
Multiple DUI/OWI convictions have steep punishments
A first DUI/OWI conviction may actually come with some pretty harsh penalties. For instance, you could face a fine of up to $500 (or up to $5,000, if your BAC was above 0.15%) and potentially up to a year in jail. But if you’re deemed a habitual substance offender, you could be forced to pay a $10,000 fine, spend up to three years in jail (and potentially up to eight additional years just because you’ve offended before), have your license suspended for up to 10 years, be sentenced to 360 hours of community service, and undergo alcohol/drug abuse treatment, among other things. Although it will help to have a qualified DUI attorney on your side, these crimes will catch up with you. Ultimately, the price you pay will likely not be worth getting behind the wheel while intoxicated.
If you have been arrested for drinking and driving, you need a DUI attorney to fight on your behalf. For more information on how Hayes Ruemmele can help, contact us today.