Indiana DUIs and DWIs
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Indiana DUI penalties are given to drivers charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OWI). Note that in addition to the DUI driver’s license suspension administered by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV), drivers may also be subjected to certain court-imposed sanctions, as DUI offenses are treated as criminal violations. However, even if motorists may be unable to avoid a conviction on their driving records, they can still plea for reduced fines and penalties with the help of a good DUI lawyer. Review the Indiana drunk driving laws and the consequences that may arise from receiving a violation by reading the following sections.
Indiana DUI Citations and Convictions
Drivers who receive an Indiana DUI ticket are at risk for multiple penalties. After stopping a motorist suspected to be in violation of IN impaired driving laws, police officers administer a chemical test to determine the blood alcohol content (BAC) in the driver’s system. Drivers who fail the test may be penalized with a suspended license for up to 180 days. Drivers who refuse to undergo testing, on the other hand, may have their credentials suspended for up to two years. Motorists who are convicted of a DUI violation in court will also be penalized with additional sanctions, separate from the administrative penalties outlined above.
Indiana DUI Violations and Penalties
When administering DUI penalties in Indiana, the BMV and presiding courts take into consideration factors such as the driver’s age, the status of his or her record and their BAC level at the time of their arrest. For example, habitual offenders incur much more severe consequences due to their tendency to violate IN drunk driving laws.
First DUI Offense
Motorists who commit an Indiana DUI offense for the first time are generally penalized with license suspensions of up to two years and maximum fines of $5,000. First DUI convictions may also result in one-year jail sentences and mandatory participation in a substance abuse education course and victim impact panel.
Second DUI Offense
Second Indiana DUI violations lead to enhanced penalties, such as fines of up to $10,000 and jail sentences of five days to three years. Second convictions may also result in community service sentences. Court-imposed driver’s license suspensions are given for the duration of 180 days to two years. Additionally, if a second violation is committed within the same 10-year period as the first, the BMV will suspend a driver’s license for up to 10 years.
Third DUI Offense
Third DUI violations reported within 10 years of the first two result in both and administrative and court-ordered license suspension of 10 years respectively. Third DWI convictions in Indiana also lead to maximum fines of $10,000, jail sentences of up to three years and specific community service penalties. Motorists will also be required to attend a victim impact panel and a substance abuse program.
Indiana DUI Attorneys
Drivers who are facing Indiana DUI charges often seek the assistance of an experienced DUI lawyer due to the severity of the penalties that may be imposed in such cases. Even if you are unable to avoid a conviction on your driver’s record, a good drunk driving attorney can help you receive reduced fines and penalties. Apart from advising you on how to plea, your lawyer can also help you fill out and submit the necessary paperwork and meet the requirements set forth by the presiding court. To ensure you hire a DUI lawyer in Indiana that will meet your specific needs, you are encouraged to consult with several candidates and inquire about their credentials and past success rate.
Indiana Open Container Laws
Drivers will also be in violation of Indiana drunk driving laws if they are found in possession of or consuming an alcohol beverage that has been opened while operating a motor vehicle. To reduce the risk of committing a DUI offense, motorists must abide by the open container law in IN and store any open alcoholic drinks in a separate area of the vehicle that cannot be easily accessed while the vehicle is in motion.
Reinstating a Suspended Drivers License in Indiana
The process of reinstating a suspended license in Indiana can be completed only after meeting the restoration requirements set forth by both the court that convicted the driver and the state BMV. Motorists who qualify to reinstate a credential suspended as a result of a DUI conviction will receive a BMV Reinstatement Requirements Notice. This official notification outlines the conditions that must be met to finalize the procedure and the methods available to pay the restoration fee.
To successfully reinstate a DUI suspended license, drivers will typically be required to meet the following requirements:
- Meet any court-set conditions, such as paying the fine and completing a jail sentence.
- Wait out the suspension period.
- Enroll in a substance abuse education program (if required).
- Submit proof of a valid car liability insurance coverage (if required).
- Pay the applicable reinstatement fees.
Note: Based on the specific circumstances surrounding the DUI offense, the reinstatement requirements may vary. Therefore, drivers are encouraged to contact the IN BMV to inquire about the restoration criteria specific to their case.
Indiana Alcohol Awareness Classes
One of the consequences that arises from a conviction of a DUI violation is enrolling in a mandatory DUI traffic school program. Motorists will have to pay for the classes themselves, if ordered to attend them as part of their court-ordered penalties. This DUI course outlines the detrimental effects of substance abuse and reintroduces offenders to DUI laws.
Indiana SR-22 Insurance
Drivers who violate Indiana DUI laws are generally required to submit proof of future financial responsibility in the form of the SR-22 certificate of insurance. The SR-22 form serves as evidence that the driver is covered by the minimum DUI insurance amounts and that the insurance will be maintained for three to five years. Motorists with a suspended license are typically required to submit the SR-22 form when reinstating their credentials and during the application process for a limited driving license. Note that DUI insurance companies file the proof of financial responsibility electronically with the state BMV after receiving an official request from the driver.
Indiana Laws That Pertain to DUI/DWI
To determine whether or not a driver is effectively committing a DUI offense in IN, law enforcement officials administer the BAC test after stopping the suspected offender. The legal BAC limit for adult motorists is currently set at .08 percent. If you are younger than 21 years of age, however, you may be charged with DUI even if your BAC level is as low as .02 percent.
Note: Commercial operators are prohibited from driving their vehicles if they are intoxicated with a BAC level of .04 or higher, since they must abide by stricter BAC rules due to the nature of their job.
Specialized Driving Privileges in Indiana
Drivers who are completing an Indiana DUI driver’s license suspension will be unable to resume their normal driving activities until they complete the driving license reinstatement process. However, motorists with suspended licenses may be eligible to apply for specialized driving privileges, which will allow them to operate their vehicles under limited circumstances. Drivers whose credentials were affected by a DUI conviction can apply for limited driving privileges with the court that handled their case. If eligible, motorists will be required to install an ignition interlock device (IID) on their vehicles and maintain the SR-22 proof of insurance with the state BMV.
Note: Contact a local BMV location or the court that processed your case to inquire about your eligibility for specialized driving privileges.