All states have severe penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs. State laws, however, can vary. If you have been arrested for operating under the influence in Maine (OUI) there are very specific things you should understand about your Maine OUI arrest. Below we discuss the top 5 Maine OUI questions.
- What is operating under the influence in Maine?
Drivers in the state of Maine can be arrested for a Maine OUI if they are operating under the influence of intoxicants or while having an alcohol level of 0.08% grams or more of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood or 210 liters of breath. “Operate” specifically relates to the intent to operate and the “taking of a substantial step that is firmly corroborative with intent.” State v. Henderson , 416 A.2d 1261, 1263. (Me. 1980)
- What if my blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is below the legal limit?
Some drivers believe they cannot be arrested for a Maine OUI if their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is below the legal limit of 0.08%. In fact, drivers can be arrested for a Maine OUI if they are under the influence, which specifically means “if their mental or physical faculties are ‘impaired however slightly’ or ‘to any extent’ by intoxicants.” State v. Worster , 611 A.2d 979, 981 (Me. 1992); State v. Bento , 600 A.2d 1094,1096 (Me. 1991).
- What is considered an intoxicant?
Drivers also question whether they can be arrested for a Maine OUI if they are using prescription medications. Their theory goes something like this: I was prescribed this medication for my doctor how can I be under the influence?
The state does not care why your ability to operate a vehicle is impaired. In fact, many medications specifically state that they should not be taken while operating any type of machinery or while driving a car. Make sure to talk to your doctor if you have questions about your prescription medications.
- What if I refuse a chemical test after I am arrested for a Maine OUI?
States have decided to clamp down on drivers who refuse chemical tests, including the State of Maine. If you are arrested for a Maine OUI the State of Maine requires you to submit to a chemical test. Drivers who choose not to take a blood, breath, or urine test when there is probable cause to believe they have operated a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicants can face immediate administrative penalties, including a license suspension.
- When should I refuse a chemical test?
Some legal experts suggest drivers who potentially have a BAC above the legal limit should refuse the chemical test. Although the driver may still be charged and found guilty of a Maine OUI, refusing the test can eliminate substantial admissible evidence against the driver.
Refusing a test, however, should not be done without fully understanding the Maine OUI penalties you will face. For example, a first time test refusal will result in a 275 day administrative license suspension, and a second test refusal will result in an 18 month license suspension.
Drivers arrested and convicted of a Maine OUI will face severe fines and penalties. Do not drink and drive in the State of Maine.
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