Maine DUIs and DWIs
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Tough penalties will be issued to drivers in Maine who have been charged with a DUI, including steep fines, jail sentences, loss of driving privileges for a specific period of time and more. Though demerit points are not usually added to an offender’s driving record when he or she is initially charged with a DUI offense, points will be added later on if the driver is convicted of the crime in court. Both the state Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) and the court have the right to impose severe DUI penalties on drivers who have been caught operating a vehicle under the influence. If you are wondering what happens if you get a DUI in ME, review the following sections.
DUI Citations and Convictions in Maine
Driving under the influence is considered a criminal offense in Maine, which typically results in the issuance of a DUI ticket and harsh penalties. The Maine BMV has the authority to suspended a driving license based solely on the initial charges without the driver needing to be convicted of the crime. Additionally, if you are convicted of a DUI by the presiding court, the punishments will be even more serious, resulting in steep fines and even jail time.
Maine DUI Violations and Penalties
Motorists may incur severe DUI penalties in Maine if they faili or refuse to undergo chemical testing. The seriousness of the consequences generally depend on several factors, such as the driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level at the time of testing, the age of the offender, the number of prior misdemeanors on his or her driving transcript and more. For example, if motorists have a BAC of .15 percent or more while driving, it may lead to even tougher punishments and longer jail sentences.
First DUI Offense
Drivers faced with a DUI conviction for the first time due to a BAC level of .08 percent or higher will be penalized with a minimum of a $500 fine and a license suspension for at least 150 days. Motorists without previous DUI offenses on their record will also be obliged to enroll into an alcohol education and treatment program.
Second DUI Offense
A second DUI conviction will lead to harsher penalties, including:
- A fine of at least $700, or $900 for drivers who refuse to submit to a chemical testing.
- A three-year license suspension.
- Mandatory participation in an alcohol/drugs treatment program.
- A minimum of seven days in prison (12 days for test refusal).
Third DUI Offense
Motorists with a third DUI conviction on their driving report will incur:
- A jail sentence of at least 30 days.
- A minimum fine of $1,100.
- A driving license suspension for at least six years without the possibility to apply for a work license.
- Will be required to enroll into an alcohol and drug education and treatment program.
Note: Motorists in violation of drunk driving laws in Maine may be able to particiate in an ignition interlock program to reduce the suspension period given by the state BMV.
Maine DUI Attorneys
Drivers who have been charged with DUI in Maine, and are at risk of incurring stiff penalties, should consider hiring an attorney who is an expert in DUI cases. A good DUI lawyer will be well-acquainted with state and local DUI laws, which will help motorists fight their traffic citation, as well as provide guidance and advice. Even if your lawyer may not be able to help you avoid a conviction completely, he or she may still be able to negotiate to reduce your fines and other penalties on your behalf.
Maine Open Container Laws
You will also be in violation of drunk driving laws in Maine if you are caught driving a motor vehicle with an open alcoholic beverage. Harsh drunk driving charges will apply both to drivers and passengers if they consume or possess an open alcoholic beverage in or near the passenger area. Note that certain situations are considered exceptions to the rule, but open container laws are still strict in the state.
Reinstating a Suspended Drivers License in Maine
Both the state BMV and the presiding court may suspend the license of a driver who was charged with a DUI, as a penalty for the committed offense. If you have a suspended license, then you will need to apply for reinstatement when you have met the eligibility requirements. To reinstate your credential after being charged with a DUI, you will need to complete an alcohol treatment program and arrange payment for a license reinstatement fee. In addition to this, you must submit proof of vehicle liability insurance if this is your second or subsequent misdemeanor. Note that the completion of other steps, such as installing an ignition interlock device (IID), may be required as well.
Maine Alcohol Awareness Classes
The purpose of Maine DUI courses is to provide relevant information about state drinking and driving laws and help drivers learn about the detrimental effects of alcohol and drugs on safe driving habits. Failure to complete a mandatory alcohol education and treatment program may prevent drivers from restoring their driving license. The successful completion of a DUI traffic school program, on the other hand, generally proves to be beneficial for motorists, as it helps them become more aware of the negative consequences of drinking while intoxicated (DWI).
Maine SR-22 Insurance
You will not be able to finalize the process of reinstating your suspended unless you present proof of car liability insurance. Proof of this type of insurance is usually submitted in the form of an SR-22 certificate. For detailed information about SR-22 insurance, contact a nearby ME BMV location to ensure that you are in compliance with Maine driving laws.
Maine Laws That Pertain to DUI/DWI
Per Maine drunk driving laws, motorists will incur severe punishments if they have been apprehended for operating a vehicle with a BAC level over the legal limit. Drivers 21 years of age or older will face arrest and may be sanctioned by the ME BMV and the court if they are caught driving with a BAC of .08 percent or higher. ME DUI laws are even harsher for motorists younger than 21 years of age, as it is illegal for them to consume any amount of alcohol while or before driving. Additionally, under the Implied Consent rule, drivers will receive a license suspension of up to six years if they refuse to take a chemical test.
Hardship License in Maine
If you wish to continue operating a vehicle after having you license suspended, you will need to verify whether you qualify for a hardship or work license. While motorists with a first or second DUI conviction may apply for this credential, third-time offenders will not be eligible. To request a work license, drivers will need to complete the proper application form (the Work-Restricted Driver’s License Petition form) and mail it to Maine BMV. Remember, this type of restricted license will only allow you to drive to and from work, school or a medical institute.