Lawmakers across the country are focusing more on drinking and driving. While the legal limit for intoxication has decreased, penalties for driving under the influence are increasing. Police forces are stepping up their enforcement of DUI laws. Indiana is no exception to the trend of cracking down on drinking and driving. Drivers in Indiana should be aware of the state's laws on DUI and the potential penalties they face for conviction of DUI charges.
Blood Alcohol Concentration
Indiana law prohibits people from operating motor vehicles while impaired by alcohol. If a driver's blood alcohol concentration is at least 0.08 percent but less than 0.15 percent, the offense is a Class C Misdemeanor. Driving under the influence of a Schedule I or II substance, such as marijuana, methamphetamine or cocaine is also a Class C Misdemeanor.
Driving with a BAC of 0.15 percent or greater is a Class A Misdemeanor. Driving under the influence and endangering a person is also a Class A misdemeanor.
People who have a previous DUI conviction within the past five years and are arrested for suspicion of DUI again will be charged with a Class D Felony.
Indiana DUI Penalties
The penalties for a DUI conviction in Indiana can be severe. Punishments for a first DUI conviction include:
- Court costs and fees in excess of $300
- A jail sentence of up to one year
- A fine of up to $5,000
- A possible two-year driver's licenses suspension, or enrollment in a substance abuse education program accompanied by a 30 day license suspension and a 180 day probation period during which a person may only drive for work
- Possible court-ordered use of ignition interlock
- Possible court-ordered attendance at a victim impact panel
- Possible court-ordered random urine analysis testing for drug or alcohol use
- Any other terms of probation the court believes is appropriate
Indiana has a "zero tolerance" policy for driving and alcohol use by those who are under 21 years old. A person who is under 21 years old who has a BAC of 0.02 percent or greater can be charged with DUI. A conviction for underage DUI results in a $500 fine and a possible one-year driver's license suspension.
Talk to a Lawyer
Indiana authorities take drinking and driving very seriously. They prosecute drivers charged with DUI offenses to the fullest extent possible. If you are facing DUI charges, seek out the assistance of a veteran DUI defense attorney who can zealously advocate for your rights.