Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) for Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) in Indiana:

  • Standard BAC: .08% or above
  • Zero Tolerance BAC: .02% or above
  • Professional Drivers: .04% or above
  • High BAC: .15% or above

Implied Consent and Chemical Test Refusal: If you refuse to allow the Indiana police officer who pulls you over to take a chemical test (blood, urine, or breath) to determine your BAC, your license will be suspended for one year. It does not matter whether or not you are subsequently convicted of OWI.

An Indiana lawyer whose specialty is Indiana OWI law can help you understand the pleading and court process that will ensue after you have been arrested for OWI. It is important to discuss an OWI with an Indiana OWI attorney, who may be able to find a way to lessen your punishment.

OWI Arrest - Civil Case

Potential Penalties:

  • License Suspension:
    • First OWI Conviction: Maximum of 2 years.
    • Second OWI Conviction: At minimum, your license will be suspended for 180 days, and it may be suspended up to a maximum of 2 years.
  • Monetary Fines:
    • First OWI Conviction: Up to $500. But, if you had a BAC of .15% or higher, then up to $5,000. You will also have to pay at least $300 in court fees.
    • Second OWI Conviction: Up to $10,000.
  • Community Service: The court may require you to complete community service following an OWI, but community service is not mandatory in Indiana.
  • Probation:
    • First OWI Offense: Up to 2 years of probation.
    • Second OWI Offense: Up to 2 years.
  • Motor Vehicle Impound: No. This is not an option in Indiana.
  • Ignition Interlock: An Indiana court may, but does not have to, require that you equip your car with an ignition interlock device.
  • Prison Time:
    • First OWI: Between 30 days minimum to as many as 60 days. If you had a BAC of .15% of above, then 1 year.
    • Second OWI: You must serve a minimum of 5 days in prison, and a maximum of 3 years.

OWI Arrest - Criminal Charges

If, following your arrest for DUI, you are criminally charged, you should contact an Indiana OWI attorney for advice. Being charged with OWI can be very stressful and have long term consequences for you. Having a lawyer to advise you can make the situation more manageable.

  • Potential Criminal Charges: Your first OWI offense is a Class C misdemeanor. But, your second OWI offense is a Class D felony. Offenses which involve serious bodily injury or death are also classified as felonies.

Reinstating Your License After OWI Conviction: First, check your Official Driver Record for the Reinstatement Requirements box, which will display the date when you are eligible to reinstate your license. Second, if one of the requirements for reinstatement says that you must submit proof of insurance, you must have your insurance company submit an SR-50 Proof of Insurance Required form. Third, pay the fee noted in the Reinstatement Requirements box. Once all of these requirements are met, your license will be reinstated.

Effect of OWI on Car Insurance: You are required to carry high risk liability insurance for three years after you have been convicted of OWI. Your insurance carrier must file an SR-50 form with the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV). High risk liability insurance is generally much more expensive than normal car insurance. If you already have an insurance carrier for auto insurance, there is a possibility that your carrier will cease to cover you after you are convicted of OWI.

Effect of OWI on Driving Record: An OWI stays on your Indiana driving record indefinitely.

Under 21 and OWI: Indiana’s Zero Tolerance law applies to drivers under the age of 21. If you are under age 21, have a BAC of .02% or greater, and are driving a motor vehicle, your license will be suspended for one year.

Indiana Resources

Indiana BMV

Indiana Department of Transportation

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