If a person is accused of operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OWI-DUI), he or she can face serious penalties and may be worried about what to do next. There is helpful information available about the penalties in Indiana and potential defenses the individual can consider.
Penalties for OWI
In Indiana, the penalties for OWI depend on the driver’s blood alcohol concentration, the ages of any passengers who were in the vehicle at the time and whether the driver had any prior convictions. A first OWI may result in 60 days in jail and a fine of up to $500. A subsequent OWI may result in incarceration for six months to two and half years and a fine of up to $10,000.
In addition, if the OWI results in another person’s injury or death that is counted as a separate offense and the individual could be charged with several felonies.
The individual’s driver’s license may also be suspended or revoked up to 180 days. Sometimes, this period of time is longer if the driver has had more than one OWI.
There are defenses to OWI that the individual can consider. These may include an improper stop by law enforcement, demonstrating that the field sobriety test was not administered properly and law enforcement did not have sufficient probable cause for arrest, showing that there was an error in the administration of a blood, breath or urine test ,or other intervening factors.
An experienced criminal defense attorney can review the charges and provide advice about next steps.