In Indiana, the terms DUI, DWI, or OWI mean the same thing: drunk driving. Specificially, Indiana DUI laws refer to drunk driving as OWI, Operating While Intoxicated. If you were arrested for an Indiana OWI, an officer believed that you were operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol and/or drug(s). law enforcement officer believed that your motor skills, mental faculties and reaction times were so impaired that you were unable to operate that motor vehicle safely. Driving with a blood alcohol content of .08% or greater is considered per se, or automatically, driving under the influence of alcohol. Below we have outlined the most important information for you to inform yourself about OWI in Indiana.
Indiana OWI Penalties
IMPORTANT: INDIANA DOES NOT TAKE REPEAT OWI OFFENDERS LIGHTLY. A 2ND INDIANA OWI ARREST IS A CLASS “D” FELONY AND YOU COULD BE FACING FINES ALL THE WAY UP TO $10,000!
If you are convicted of a first-time Indiana OWI, and your blood alcohol content (BAC) is between .08% and .14%, you can expect to pay fines up to $500 and be subject to various penalties. Additional penalties can include serving a maximum 60-day jail sentence, a 2 year driver’s license suspension, performing community service, and in some instances, installing an ignition interlock device on your vehicle. Drivers found to be driving with a BAC in excess of 0.15% – expect much harsher penalties than if you had a lower BAC – including fines up to $5000 and up to 1 year in jail!
If this is your 2nd Indiana OWI arrest within five years of your previous offense, you’re looking at felony charges. If you’re found guilty, your driver’s license will be suspended for a minimum of 180 days. Additionally, you can be sentenced anywhere from to 5 days to 3 years in jail.
Most states typically have a DMV hearing to determine licensing, whereas Indiana does not. The court will recommend to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles that your license be suspended if it finds probable cause for your OWI arrest and if you blew above .08%. Unfortunately, Indiana law was written to pressure you to plead guilty if you want a fast and simple solution to license suspension. Speak to your Indiana OWI attorney about what your options are and how to face the Indiana BMV.
Indiana OWI Lawyers
A OWI arrest is not a OWI conviction. Indiana OWI attorneys defend OWI offenses and drunk driving cases in Indiana. A good Indiana OWI attorney or criminal defense attorney will be able to assist you with the two separate cases. OWI attorneys will be able to offer you OWI defense strategies. They will be able to handle both the criminal OWI charges and the case with Indiana BMV.
General Indiana OWI Information
Another penalty that is often overlooked is your driver’s insurance. you’re convicted of an Indiana OWI, you will have to get what is called SR-22 Insurance. Your Indiana OWI attorney can discuss what SR-22 is and what it will potentially cost you.