What are the Penalties for a DUI in Indiana?

March 15, 2021 | DUI Accidents,Personal Injury

Most people understand that operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is against the law.  DUI charges are one of the offenses that can affect so many aspects of a person’s life, particularly because they could be stripped of their ability to drive in the future. Our vehicles and our license to drive are pretty much our lifelines to our daily activities, including our ability to get to and from work. Here, we want to discuss the Indiana penalties for DUI.

What is the Legal Blood Alcohol Limit in Indiana?

Just like most other places around the country, the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit in this state is 0.08%. However, it is important to understand that, while this may be the legal limit, it is entirely possible for a person to be arrested for impaired driving even below that BAC. If a police officer believes that a person is impaired by a substance, they can arrest them. Additionally, a person can receive a DUI if they have a metabolite (or a byproduct) of a Schedule I or II drug in their system.

Penalties for DUI in Indiana

If a person is operating their vehicle with a BAC ranging from .08% to .14% or a Schedule I or II drug in their system, then they will be charged with a Class C misdemeanor offense. Additionally, if a person is charged while driving intoxicated without an attached BAC, they will also face the same offense.

  • This is punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.

Under Indiana’s DUI laws, a person found operating a vehicle with a BAC of .15% or higher, or if they operate a vehicle in a way that endangers another person, they will face a Class A misdemeanor offense.

  • This is punishable by up to one year in jail and a $5,000 fine.

In addition to those criminal penalties mentioned, there are also various administrative penalties that a person will face in the aftermath of a DUI arrest. The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) will suspend the driver’s license of any person who is arrested for driving under the influence and fails to take a chemical test (usually a blood alcohol breath test or blood test). They will also suspend the license of any person who fails a chemical test. The suspension periods are as follows:

  • 180 days after a failed test, or
  • One year for refusing to submit to a test

In the aftermath of an administrative suspension of a driver’s license, the BMV will consider reinstating a person’s driving privileges if the criminal charges are dismissed or if the offender is found not guilty and did not refuse to submit to a chemical test when they were initially charged.

Are There Special Driving Privileges?

If a person has had their license suspended for failing a chemical test pursuant to an arrest, they may be able to obtain specialized driving privileges in order to operate their vehicle during the suspension period. In order to obtain these privileges, the offender will have to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in their vehicle. These are specialized driving privileges could be granted for 180 days to 2.5 years.

However, if a person lost their license for refusing to submit to a chemical test when they were arrested, they will not be eligible to drive during the suspension period.

If you have been seriously injured by someone driving under the influence, contact our Indiana car accident attorney today.