In Indiana, the legal system doesn’t take very kindly to those who choose to drive OWI, otherwise known as operating (a motor vehicle) while intoxicated. As a matter of fact, there are very stiff penalties assigned to those who choose to break the OWI laws and are caught, arrested and convicted. Here is a rundown of the things you need to know before deciding to get behind the wheel of a car after a night out on the town.
When you get arrested for OWI the first time, you can expect to be sentenced to jail for anywhere from 60 days to one year with no mandatory minimum sentence. In addition, you will be expected to pay fines in addition to the cost of your legal representation. These can total anywhere from $500 to $5,000. And last, but certainly not least, you will face an ujp to 2 year suspension of your driving privileges.
After your second arrest and conviction for OWI, your jail sentence can be expanded to up to three years with a mandatory stay of at least 5 days. In addition to mandatory minimum jail time, you can expect heftier financial penalties up to $10,000 and a forfeiture of driving penalties for up to two years, with a 180 day mandatory minimum.
When you reach your 3rd offense, you can expect your penalties to be significantly more severe. For example, you should expect to spend at least ten days in jail at the minimum with a sentence of up to three years. You will also pay fines up to $10,000 and a forfeiture of your driving privileges for a mandatory minimum of 1 year with a potential for up to 10 years. You will also have an IDD Device installed on your vehicle that prevents you from being able to start the car without having to submit to a breathalyzer test.
Any subsequent arrests and convictions will mandate that your case be upgraded to a felony, which will carry a much more severe set of penalties.
Many people are under the mistaken impression that in order to be convicted for OWI in Indiana, your BAC or blood alcohol content must meet or exceed the state maximum levels. For those under 21, this limit is set at .02. For those over 21, the limit is .08. Commercial drivers have a higher standard to meet at .04. These levels are designed to limit the amount of alcohol that can be consumed before operating a motor vehicle, whether or not the amount impairs the driver. However, if the driver is impaired and tests with less than the legal amount of alcohol in their bloodstream, they can still be charged with OWI.
Learn more about Indiana Arrests for OWI here. It can help you avoid the unpleasant consequences of being arrested and convicted of OWI or anywhere else, for that matter, saving you a ton of time and money.
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