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Indiana DUI Laws


Indiana DUI Laws state that operating while intoxicated or driving under influence means one and the same thing and that a person can be prosecuted in either of these instances:

if an arresting officer sees that your driving patterns indicate that of an intoxicated individual or if the blood alcohol content in your system is 0.08% or higher. The state imposes more severe standards for minors under 21.

If you are under 21 and you’ve exceeded the 0.02% threshold, then you will be subject to an OWI offense. For commercial vehicle drivers, a BAC of 0.04% or more will signal an OWI offense.

OWI offenses in Indiana are normally considered as misdemeanor offenses. However, repeat offenses will result to increased penalties. A DUI conviction will stay on your record for 5 years.

Upon arrest, the police officer will request you to take the BAC test to determine the alcohol content in your system. Refusing to take the said test will not be held against you, but it can be used as evidence in court during your hearing. As with most of the states in the country, a criminal court case and an Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles case will be filed against you. To protect your driving rights you should hire a skilled DUI defense lawyer to help you with the proceedings.

If the courts find you guilty of DUI, then the following penalties and fines apply:

1. First DUI conviction – class C misdemeanor charge, jail time of 30 to 60 days, fines up to $500;
2. Second DUI conviction – class D felony, jail time of 5 days minimum up to 3 years, fines up to $10,000; and
3. Third DUI conviction – class D felony, jail time of 10 days minimum up to 3 years, fines up to $10,000.

Aside from these penalties and fines, you will also be possibly imposed with: court-ordered community service, attend a victim impact panel, undergo substance abuse education, submit to urine testing, and install an ignition interlock device on all your vehicles.

The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles also separately issues a driver’s license suspension as follows:

First offense – up to 180 days
Second offense – 6 months to 1 year
Third offense – up to 10 years

However, Indiana DUI laws offer an option for first-time OWI offers to defer the charges against them by voluntarily undergoing a comprehensive alcohol evaluation and treatment program. This option is a one-time offer uniquely for Indiana state DUI laws.