Indianapolis DUI Penalties

Indianapolis DUI Penalties for Drunk Drivers

Driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while intoxicated (DWI) fall under OWI laws in Indiana. OWI is operating while intoxicated. Indiana has three levels of OWI. The penalties for the 3 levels are different. Here is a breakdown of the 3 levels:

  • Class C Misdemeanor
  • Class A Misdemeanor
  • Felony OWI

Class C Misdemeanor is an OWI with a BAC of .08-.14.

Class A Misdemeanor is an OWI with a BAC of .15 or higher.

The most common way for an DUI to be charged as a felony is if you have a prior DUI in the last seven (7) years.

There are other ways it can be a felony, (1) if there are passengers under 18-years-old, (2) if there is serious bodily injury as part of the driving incident, and (3) if there is a death.

Indianapolis DUI Penalties

What Are the Indianapolis DUI Penalties?

OWI offenses carry several different punishments. The four types of punishments are:

  • Jail time
  • Fines
  • License Suspension
  • Ignition Interlock Device (IID)

Each level of OWI carries the potential for all four. Here is a summary of each level. Remember, nothing is a guarantee. The judge may agree to a lesser penalty. Alternatively, the judge may order the maximum penalty.



Class C Misdemeanor

An OWI with a BAC lower than .15 is a Class C Misdemeanor. The penalties depend on if you’ve had similar offenses before. For a first offense, you may get up to 60 days in jail, pay a fine of $500 and have your license suspended for up to one years.

Judges rarely order jail time for a first offense. A good DUI defense attorney knows this. Keep in mind, there are other fees you must pay. There is a court fee. There is also a $200 drug and alcohol fee.

Subsequent offenses have higher penalties. Jail time becomes mandatory. Fines are the same. Your license is suspended for at least 1 year. You may be able to drive with an ignition interlock device.

Class A Misdemeanor

An OWI with a BAC over .15 is a Class A Misdemeanor. The penalties are much higher than a Class C OWI.

For a first offense, you get up to 1 year in jail. The fines are up to $5,000. The license suspension is similar to a Class C misdemeanor.

Keep in mind that there is a Felony OWI in Indiana. We explain that here in detail.

Felony OWI

You can be charged with a felony for OWI depending on your prior record, the people in your vehicle, if anyone was injured in an accident, or anyone dies in an accident.  Jail time is dependent upon the facts.  There may be mandatory minimum periods of incarceration. Fines can be as high as $10,000.

Contact a DUI Defense Attorney

If you have been charged with OWI in Indianapolis, you need an Indianapolis DUI attorney. OWI offenses stay on your record forever. They are not expunged. They do not expire. It is important to trust your case to a skilled and experienced lawyer. They know the laws. They know the science.  They are not afraid to go to trial. Talk with someone who knows the Indianapolis DUI Penalties.  Call the Rathburn Law Office P.C. to schedule a Free Consultation.