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Penalties for DUI/OWI in Indiana

by | Apr 22, 2021 | Criminal Defense, Drunk Driving |

Indiana Code § 9-30-5-1 establishes the criminal offense of Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated, which refers to driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Many people commonly refer to this offense as DUI. Throughout this blog post, then, we will use the terms DUI and OWI to refer to this offense.

Drivers commit DUI when they operate motor vehicles while they have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of 0.08% or more or while they have a Schedule I or II controlled substance, or its metabolite in their systems. The level of charge that you will face for an OWI can depend on your past history of DUI convictions, how old those convictions are, and, in the case of an alcohol-related DUI, your BAC at the time of your arrest. Under Indiana law, the level of your OWI charge determines the penalties that you will face.

Class C Misdemeanor DUI

If you drive while under the influence of a Schedule I or II controlled substance or when you have a BAC that measures between 0.08% and 0.15%, you can face Class C misdemeanor DUI charges. For a Class C misdemeanor conviction, you may receive a jail sentence of zero to 60 days, a fine of up to $500, and a suspension of your driver’s license for up to one year (depending on whether you failed or refused to take a chemical test).

Class A Misdemeanor DUI

If you drive with a BAC that measures 0.15% or more, you can face Class A misdemeanor DUI charges. If you have a Schedule I or II controlled substance in your system., or a BAC of between 0.08% and 0.15%, you also can face Class A misdemeanor charges if your actions endanger another person. Penalties for a Class A misdemeanor DUI conviction can include a jail sentence of up to one year, a fine of up to $5,000, and a license suspension.

Level 6 Felony DUI

You commit a Level 6 felony DUI in all the following situations:

  • You have a previous DUI conviction within seven years of your current DUI charge;
  • You are 21 years of age, you drive while under the influence of drugs, you have a BAC of 0.15% or more, or your actions endanger another person, and one of your passengers was under the age of 18

If you are convicted of a Level 6 felony DUI, you could serve six months to 2 ½ years in jail, with an advisory sentence of one year. Your fine can be up to $1,000 for this level of conviction and you will have a license suspension.

Level 5 Felony DUI

You commit a Level 5 felony DUI if you have a past conviction for OWI causing death, catastrophic injury, or serious bodily injury. You also commit a Level 5 felony if you cause serious bodily injury to another while driving with a BAC of 0.08% or more, while under the influence of drugs, or while intoxicated. Level 5 felony convictions can result in a sentence of incarceration ranging from one to six years, with a three-year advisory sentence, a fine of up to $10,000, and a license suspension.

Level 4 Felony DUI

If you have a previous DUI conviction within five years of the current DUI charge and you cause serious bodily injury to another while driving with a BAC of 0.08% or more, while under the influence of drugs, or while intoxicated, you commit a Level 4 felony DUI. You can also face these charges if you cause the death or catastrophic injury of another person while committing a DUI. Aside from a fine of up to $10,000, you could face two to 12 years in prison, with an advisory sentence of six years, and a license suspension.

Other Penalties for DUI

In addition to the penalties listed above, you also can face the following penalties for a DUI conviction when you have one prior conviction:

  • Incarceration for at least five days or performance of at least 240 hours of community service
  • Undergo a drug and alcohol assessment and complete a treatment program if appropriate

If you have two previous OWI convictions, the minimum term of incarceration increases to ten days (or 480 days of community service) and completion of a drug and alcohol assessment and a treatment program, if appropriate. The court may not suspend these terms of incarceration, and they must consist of at least 48 hours of consecutive incarceration and must be completed within six months of your sentencing date.

Don’t Hesitate to Call Us Today for the Representation that You Need

As you can see, the penalties for even a first-time DUI can be harsh. These penalties can have a negative effect on your personal and professional life. Our goal is to help you reach the best outcome possible, based on the facts of your case. Contact Arnold Law Office today at 765-962-3344 or 866-958-5995 to schedule an appointment to meet with Jeffrey T. Arnold about your case.