Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is drunk driving. More than one million American drivers are arrested every year for driving under the influence of narcotics or alcohol. The cost in lives for DUI-involved accidents is high, with 29 people dying every day. In Indiana, 83 people were killed in DUI-involved accidents in 2018.
What is a DUI in Indiana?
A DUI in Indiana is based on a finding that an individual is Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) under the law. That could mean that the driver is under the influence of a substance that is affecting his or her ability to safely operate the vehicle. More generally speaking, though, the level of intoxication (0.08%) is the limit. The limit for a commercial license is 0.04%, and it’s 0.02% for drivers under the age of 21.
What Happens if a Police Officer Pulls You Over?
When a police officer pulls you over, there’s more to the process than just talking to the police. Here’s a quick rundown on what happens.
- The Police Officer will conduct a search of the vehicle and will also pat you down.
- He or she will put handcuffs on you and take you to the Police Station.
- A tow truck will pick up and impound your vehicle at your expense.
- The Police Officer will ask you to take a certified breath, blood, or urine test.
- If you refuse, they will revoke your license for 12 months.
- If you take it and the results show a 0.08%, the suspension is for 30 days.
- From there, you must post bail.
The initial process is straightforward, but your experience could be further complicated if you cannot produce proof of insurance. The process and penalty phase could also vary depending on whether it’s a first offense and if it involves an accident or injury in the case.
What are the Penalties?
Beyond your bail and other costs, fines, costs, and other fees can quickly exceed $5,000 for the first offense. Here’s a quick overview of the initial and ongoing costs, as well as jail time and probation.
Even with a first offense, the court fees and costs are often more than $300, with up to 12 months of jail time, a fine of up to $5,000, a suspended license for up to two years (with possible limited-use scenarios for work), probation, a substance abuse course, an attendance requirement for the victim impact panel, as well as other terms. They may also require an ignition interlock device and a license reinstatement fee of $225 for a hardship or limited-use license.
A second offense could mean up to three years in jail, a community service requirement, files of up to $10,000, a suspended license for up to two years, and other terms. The conditions and penalties that were part of the first-offense conviction can still be put back in place for a second offense. The court can order additional penalties depending on the evidence and circumstances directly related to the case.
They could order three years of jail time as a result of the third incident of impaired driving. In addition to the penalties that were ordered under the first and second offense, the court can order a suspended license for up to ten years. The court could charge a three-time offender as a “habitual substance offender” and hand down a sentence that includes an additional eight years in jail.
After the entire term of imprisonment is complete, the terms of probation would then apply. For those offenders with two previous convictions, an incident that involves death or injury could mean the permanent loss of a driver’s license as well as other penalties.
How Do You Get Your Driving License Back After a DUI?
When the period of suspension is passed, you can view your driver’s record to determine your status. Depending on what you find, you may need to contact the court to determine and verify if any other outstanding requirements are still in place.
- If a course, panel, fees, community services, or other directives are in place as part of the conviction and penalties, the court will need to sign off on the requirements before you can pursue reinstatement of your driver’s license.
- Once you’ve fulfilled all the requirements, your insurance provider must submit proof of insurance to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV). You’re required to maintain high-risk insurance for three years.
- You must pay all reinstatement fees (typically $225) by logging into your account, using an access code, or mailing in the reinstatement coupon.
- Check your Official Driver Record (ODR) to verify compliance.
Depending on the penalties that were part of your conviction process, you may experience a back-and-forth process to certify that all your requirements are fulfilled. The DMV cannot verify that the requirements are met without sign-off from the court.
The police officer may have taken your driver’s license as part of your arrest and court proceedings. So, you may need to visit the BMV branch to order your new driver’s license, or you can explore online options.
What’s the Next Step?
Contact the Indiana DUI attorneys at Church, Langdon, Lopp, Banet Law to speak with an experienced DUI lawyer. They will go over your charges and offer recommendations for your strongest defense options. They can guide you through the entire process, from talking to the police, asking the right questions, and handling the jail and bail scenarios.
They will help you mount a vigorous defense with the goal of avoiding or mitigating the worst-possible penalties. Having an attorney represent you in court really does make a difference in your outcome. It’s more than just you not having to go through this experience alone. The DUI Experts can frame the DUI case and vigorously defend you.
Call today at (812) 370-89345 to set up a free initial consultation with the DUI Experts.