Indiana laws call driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) “operating a vehicle while intoxicated” (OWI). They deem it as illegal and foresee both administrative and criminal penalties for it.
The penalties for DUI vary according to the driver’s age, criminal history, and blood alcohol concentration. They are quite serious, so anyone facing charges should consider working with a DUI lawyer. Indianapolis authorities set up DUI checkpoints regularly to discourage drinking and driving.
They are often present on Thompson Road, Madison Avenue, I65 or I70. Those caught with a high blood alcohol concentration risk a license suspension, a fine, or even jail time. For more information, please read about DUI penalties in the Indiana Code, Title 9, Article 30, Chapter 5.
Before we review them, it is important to keep in mind that the stakes are much higher. Unless they escape conviction with the help of a DUI lawyer, Indianapolis drivers stand to lose more. Some people depend on their driving license for work or commute and may lose their job. Others need to drive their children to school or visit their sick parents.
Moreover, all drivers convicted of DUI will pay more on their auto insurance. After only one OWI offense, drivers will need to carry high-risk insurance for 3 years. It goes without saying that insurance premiums increase with the risk degree of the insured.
By comparison, working with a DUI lawyer in Indianapolis seems a much cheaper alternative. For those who are not yet convinced, an overview of the DUI penalties they risk may help.
Penalties for DUI and How a DUI Lawyer in Indianapolis, IN Can Help
Indianapolis, IN authorities will not hesitate to charge anyone who shows signs of alcohol impairment. However, if the BAC is lower than the threshold the law establishes, they will need concrete evidence. The BAC records are the only evidence necessary for charging drivers when their BAC exceeds 0.08%.
The BAC limit drops to 0.04% for commercial drivers and to 0.02% for drivers under 21. Drivers under 21 found with a BAC between 0.02% and 0.08% will face Class C infraction charges. The alternative is a fine of up to $500.
All drivers found intoxicated risk losing their license for up to 180 days on their first offense. Repeat offenders can lose their driving privileges for good. With the help of an experienced DUI lawyer, Indianapolis drivers may succeed and keep their license.
They can file for a hardship license that will allow them to drive to work and back. The court will most likely ask them to install an ignition interlock device on their car. It requires the driver to blow into it in order to detect their BAC level. If it detects alcohol, the car will not start.
Commercial drivers cannot benefit from special allowances. If they get caught driving with a BAC higher than 0.04%, they lose their license for 1 year. The period can go up the 3 years for drivers carrying hazardous materials.
Refusing BAC testing is often not an option. The “implied consent” law foresees 1 year of license suspension for first-time offenders. Repeat offenders will lose their license for 2 years. Depending on BAC and criminal driving records, intoxicated drivers risk severe criminal penalties.
- BAC between 0.08% and 0.15% – The offense qualifies as a Class C misdemeanor. The penalties go up to 60 days in prison and a $500 fine.
- BAC of 0.15% or higher – The action qualifies as a Class A misdemeanor. They risk spending up to 1 year in prison. The fine can reach $5,000.
The charges and penalties can get even more severe in the presence of aggravating factors, such as:
- Having minor passengers on board
- Having prior DUI convictions
- Causing bodily injuries or death
The maximum penalties for DUI in Indianapolis come with Level 4 felony charges. They can reach 12 years of jail time and a $10,000 fine. They add up for cases involving multiple persons injured. A criminal lawyer in Indianapolis often makes the difference between freedom and jail sentences.
Let an Experienced DUI Lawyer in Indianapolis Defend Your Interests! Call Rathburn Law Office!
Are you facing DUI charges? A conviction could mess up your life and reputation. You need an experienced and reputable DUI lawyer in Indianapolis to defend you. At Rathburn Law Office, we can help. Call 317-671-8965 or fill in the contact form, and let us find a way to avoid those harsh penalties for DUI![/cta]