What You Need to Know About OUI
In Maine, driving under the influence of alcohol is also known as operating under the influence (OUI). Simply stated, if you are found to have a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or above, you could be arrested and charged with OUI. Your license will also be suspended so you will not be able to drive until your case is resolved. Maine also operates under the zero tolerance law, meaning that if someone is under 21 and was found driving with even a trace of alcohol in their system, they will be arrested for OUI.
A conviction could cost you up to $7,000, so it is important that you do everything in your power to get the charges against you dropped. Our experienced OUI Lawyers in Maine can help you deal with all the consequences effectively. Look through the information below to learn more.
In Portland, the DUI penalties you could face following a conviction include fines, jail time, a suspended license, substance abuse counseling, ignition interlock device installation, and more. The specifics of these penalties will vary depending on the aggravating circumstances involved, such as an accident, extreme BAC, or leaving the scene.
When faced with an accusation of driving under the influence, you will probably have many questions going through your mind. You need to be aware of what to expect so that you have the best chance of defending yourself. Following the initial traffic stop, you will be brought into custody where the booking process will take place. After this there will be a preliminary hearing. This is important because it is here where the judge will decide if there is enough evidence to take the case to trial.
According to the U.S. Coast Guard, alcohol consumption is more dangerous on water than on land. Boating under the influence will include the factors of water motion and glare as well as the fact that boating operators generally have less experience than motor vehicle drivers. Those convicted of BUI will be subject to the same penalties as someone accused of DUI.
When a driver has a commercial driver's license (CDL), they are subject to different rules and regulations. Rather than the legal limit being 0.08%, they will instead be able to be subject to a much lower standard of 0.04% if they're driving a commercial motor vehicle. If they are driving a car, the .08% standard applies.. This is extremely serious as it means that they could lose their license and with it their ability to support themselves and their family.
When a driver has a passenger in their car who is under 21 and they are accused of DUI, their penalties will be enhanced. They will be facing at least 48 hours behind bars, have their license suspended for 90 days, and be fined at least $500. Child endangerment charges could also bring up issues of child neglect and you could potentially lose your children as well.
Challenging DUI Evidence
The results of your field sobriety test, blood test, or breath test could prove to be the largest portion of evidence against you. Therefore, if our OUI attorneys in Maine are able to challenge this evidence, the case against you could be substantially weakened. We will examine the accuracy of the tests in order to discover if there were any errors in the administration or interpretation of the test.
In Portland, only the Department of Motor Vehicles has the ability to suspend a driver's license. Due to this fact, you may be found not guilty of DUI in court, yet still have your license suspended by the DMV. The DMV hearing will take place at the office closest to where the offense took place and it is here where statements will be heard regarding the case.
DUI & Drugs
Driving under the influence of drugs, also known as drugged driving, can result in a DUI conviction. Illegal substances such as cocaine and marijuana significantly affect one's ability to drive, but these are not the only types of drugs which can constitute a DUI conviction. Some kinds of prescription medications can also result in DUI, meaning that the driver may be completely unaware that they are breaking the law.
If you were accused of causing an accident while driving under the influence of alcohol, you could be facing harsh consequences. When serious bodily injury or death occurs as the result, the crime will be enhanced to a higher level.
Expungement of DUI
Expungement is the process of clearing or sealing an individual's record. This benefit is not available to everyone, but it is worth attempting to avail of this so that your criminal record will not affect your future. You could be able to answer "no" when asked if you have ever been arrested or convicted.
With each subsequent DUI conviction, your penalties will be enhanced. If you have a CDL, you could lose your license for life following a multiple offense. If you have ever been convicted of DUI and are now facing a possible conviction, you need to fight aggressively to defend yourself.
DUI with Injury
If you were accused of causing an accident while driving under the influence of alcohol, you could be subject to stricter penalties. When the victim of the accident sustained a serious bodily injury rather than just property damage, you need to ensure that you have a strong representative on your side.
In Portland, a conviction of a third, fourth, or subsequent DUI is considered a felony DUI. Also, if you were accused of causing an accident which resulted in serious injury or a death, this will also be categorized as a felony.
Ignition Interlock Device
If you were accused and convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol, one of the penalties you could be facing includes an ignition interlock device. This device is installed on the dashboard or wheel of a car and it will not allow the engine to start until the driver has blown into the device and shown to not have alcohol in their body.
Leaving the Scene
When any accident occurs, it is against the law to leave the scene of the accident until you have exchanged contact information and sought medical attention if anyone was injured. If you were shown to be under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash, leaving the scene will only add to the penalties you could be facing.
Out of State DUI
If you were accused of DUI while in a state other than your own, you could be facing penalties in both states. For this reason, it is important to ensure that you have qualified assistance from someone who understands the complications which can arise from these types of cases.
Suspended Driver's License
Although it may seem like a suspended license is one of the least serious types of penalties you could be facing following a DUI conviction. However, it could greatly hinder your ability to get to work and support yourself and your family. In cases where the accused was in possession of a commercial driver's license, then they could risk permanently losing their driver's license.
Portland operates under the zero tolerance rule, which means that if a driver is under the age of 21 and is found to have any amount of alcohol in their blood, they could be accused and charged with DUI. This could greatly affect their future and have significant repercussions.
Unlawful Police Stops
If a police officer did not have reasonable cause to pull you over, yet you were arrested for drunk driving, this could cause your case to be dropped. One of your civil rights is protection against illegal search and seizures, and if this is occurred in your case, any evidence they believe they have against you may have to be dropped.
The most serious charge to be facing in relation to OUI is vehicular manslaughter. When an individual is killed because of drunk driver, there will be serious repercussions. Also known as vehicular homicide, the penalties in Maine up to twenty years in prison. Not only that, but you could be given heavy fines as well as lose your driver's license for an extended amount of time. Of course, there is also the possibility that the decedent's family will bring a civil lawsuit against you for wrongful death.