DUI in Indiana

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A DUI in Indiana, locally known as an OWI (Operating While Intoxicated) falls under one of two cases: drinking and causing an accident while driving or driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) over .08 per cent.

In Indiana, the possible chargeable drunk driving offenses include:

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, other controlled substance, or any combination of these
  • Driving with detectable quantities of a controlled substance in the blood stream
  • driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or greater (class C misdemeanor)
  • driving with a BAC of .15 or greater (class A misdemeanor)
  • If under the age of 21, driving with a BAC of .02 or greater

Unique Chemical Testing Law in Indiana

While most states give the charged individual the opportunity to take a breath test or urine test at the time of arrest, if you’re pulled over for a DUI in Indiana, the arresting officer will make the decision as to which type of test will be administered.  You have no option in selecting the test you take, nor can you consult an attorney before taking the test.

If you or someone you love has been charged with a DUI, consult with a DUI Lawyer near you to discuss your case and defenses.

Penalties for DUI in Indiana


Court Fines Potential Jail Time License Suspension
1st Conviction $300-5,000 Up to 1 year 30 days
2nd Conviction Up to $10,000
5 days - 3 years 6 months - 2 years
3rd Conviction Court determined 10 days - 3 years 1 year - 10 years

At the time of your arrest, your license will be taken by the officer.  However, you are not officially suspended from driving. A first offense in Indiana leads to probation, fines, a suspension of your driver’s license, and possibly jail time (especially if your BAC was over .15 per cent).

A second offense includes higher fines, probation, public restitution, jail times, and a license suspension of six months to two years.

Your third offense may result in up to three years of jail time, probation, a license suspension of ten years, and alcohol/drug rehabilitation classes.

A DUI in Indiana counts as a subsequent offense if it occurs within five years of the previous DUI.  If you have three DUIs within 10 years, Indiana will consider you a habitual traffic violator and you may receive up to an additional eight years in jail.

If you think you are facing a DUI conviction, it is best to consult with an attorney who can advise you on your situation.

Administrative Suspensions

In addition to your court penalties, the Indiana DMV may impose an administrative license suspension on you.  If you fail your chemical test, you’ll lose your license for 180 days.  If you refuse to take the test, it’s a year.

There are several different suspensions in Indiana.  If it’s your first offense, you can choose either a three month suspension or a 30-day suspension followed by a 180 day probation period.  If you refuse the chemical test, your license will be suspended for 90 days.

Repeat offenders find themselves facing a year suspension, and if you are classified as a habitual offender, you may lose your license for ten years or more—a life suspension is even possible.  Also, Indiana does take into account minor traffic violations like speeding.  A DUI plus 10 or more traffic violations can result in a five year suspension or more.

If you or someone you love has been charged with a DUI, consult with a DUI Lawyer near you to discuss your case and defenses.
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