There are several terms used in the state of Maine to characterize the operation of a motor vehicle by a driver impaired by the use of alcohol or drugs. DUI (driving under the influence), OUI (operating under the influence), and OWI (operating while intoxicated) refer to similar driving offenses.
A Maine driver can be arrested for the following drunk driving offenses:
A driver can be convicted of OWI if it can be proven that he or she was physically or mentally impaired (even to the slightest extent) while driving. Proof can include results from field sobriety tests performed by the arresting officer. Alternatively, if chemical tests return results of a BAC of .08 or greater, a driver can be convicted under 'per se' laws. Under per se laws, latin for "by itself", a person can be convicted based solely on his or her blood alcohol content (BAC) levels determined through chemical testing.
A person can also be charged with impaired driving if they refuse a breathalyzer or blood test. Their refusal is seen as an admission of guilt by the courts and can incur considerable penalties.
|Court Fines||Potential Jail Time||License Suspension|
|1st Conviction||$500||Up to 90 days
||Minimum 90 days|
|2nd Conviction||$700||7 days - 18 months
||Minimum 18 months
|3rd Conviction||$1,100||30 days - 4 years
|4th Conviction||$2,100||6 months - 6 years||6 years|
If you are worried or unsure about a possible DUI conviction, consult with an attorney who can advise you on your particular circumstances.
The above table outlines common penalties for DUI, OWI, or OUI offenses. If 'aggravating factors' are involved, penalties may increase. These factors include having a minor in the car at the time of offense, speeding or reckless driving, having a BAC of .15 or greater, running from the police, and being under the age of 21.
The court may also mandate attendance in an education program after a conviction where aggravating factors were involved. There are two possible programs: the Driver Education Evaluation Program and the Weekend Intervention Program. These programs will conduct evaluations and if necessary will assign treatment if it is thought an alcohol problem exists.
Anytime someone is taken in for an OWI, OUI, or DUI in Maine, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles automatically sends them a suspension notice for their license. You have only 10 days to appeal the automatic suspension. Handling this in Maine can be somewhat tricky, so it is important that you first contact a skilled lawyer to help.
Under Maine state law, any licensed person operating a motor vehicle automatically gives his or her consent to an approved test (blood, breath, or urine) for the purposes of showing intoxication. Test refusal, as mentioned earlier, will result in penalties such as jail time and fines.
Chemical tests must be administered by a licensed person using approved methods or results will not be admissable in court. Blood tests must be carried out by a doctor, doctor's assistant, nurse, or other person certified by the Department of Human Services.
If you are worried about a DUI conviction, talking to a DUI attorney can help.