If you have been charged with an Indiana OWI or operating while intoxicated charge the prosecution will attempt to either prove that your driving was impaired, regardless of your intoxication level, or you violated the Indiana per se law, which means your BAC or blood alcohol concentration was above the illegal limit of 0.08%.
[caption id="" align="alignright" width="193" caption="The Indiana State House (Photo credit: netmonkey)"][/caption]
If the state has evidence that your BAC was above the illegal limit and it was considered high (0.15% or above), the state may require you to serve time in jail, even if this was your first OWI offense.
Penalties for high BAC in Indiana
If you are charged for an OWI with a BAC between 0.08% to 0.14% you can be charged with a Class C Misdemeanor and penalties can include probation up to one year, fines of $500, jail time from 0 to 60 days and a license suspension.
What about OWI penalties for drivers with a high BAC? Drivers who have a high BAC (0.15% or higher) at the time of their OWI arrest can be charged with a Class A Misdemeanor which means they must pay fines up to $5,000, spend 0 to 365 days in jail and face a lengthier license suspensions.
Process for gathering blood alcohol information
What happens after drunk driving arrest? Unlike other states, police officers have the right to choose whether you will be required to take a blood, breath or urine tests. If you have been arrested for drunk driving the officer will request that you take a BAC test and they will choose the test. You will also not have the legal right to consult with your OWI lawyer. At the time of the OWI arrest, the police officer will confiscate your license.
If you refused or failed the chemical test you will have your license suspended through an administrative license suspension. This suspension is for one year if you refused the test. Drivers who failed the blood alcohol concentration test may choose a 90 day license suspension or a 30 days license suspension and a 180 day probationary license.
Talk to a DUI lawyer about whether or not it makes sense to challenge the administrative license suspension by requesting a hearing. Drivers will not be awarded a hardship license if they refused a chemical test. If you failed the test you may be allowed to request a hardship license.
Keep in mind, all administrative license suspension penalties are separate from penalties from an OWI conviction, and drivers may face the administrative license suspension regardless of whether or not they are convicted of drunk driving.
Driving on a suspended license in Indiana
Are you considering a quick trip to the store but you do not have a valid drivers license? It is not worth it. If you are caught operating a vehicle in the state of Indiana with a suspended license you will be charged with a new misdemeanor crime. This could mean you will face additional fines, more penalties, possible jail time and a lengthier license suspension.
Talk to an Indiana drunk driving lawyer if you have been arrested for drunk driving, especially if your BAC was above 0.15% or higher.