Maine OUI and License Suspension
Serving the Areas of Portland, Biddeford, Saco, Bangor and Augusta
People fear being charged with a DUI for a lot of reasons. For some, losing their ability to drive is a big concern. When you are charged with OUI in Maine, you may be faced with a suspended license even before your case has gone to trial. In fact, you can still lose your license even if your DUI charges are dropped if you fail to submit for a blood or breath test.
If you are arrested and convicted for drunk driving in the state of Maine, your ability to drive will be affected for some time. A DUI (driving under the influence) charge automatically results in a license suspension, and if you are convicted, the penalties and length of your suspension will depend upon the circumstances of the arrest and your driving record.
Maine DUI License Suspension Rules
A DUI, also known as a DWI or OUI can lead to many penalties that will hinder the day to day life of those sentenced. One of the penalties that can be dealt is a license suspension. In the state of Maine, those convicted for their first DUI can face 150 days of a license suspension. When aggravating factors are involved, the time can be increased by 275 days. A second DUI can lead to a 3 year suspension, a third offense and beyond would equal a license suspension of at least 6 years. A suspension removes the right of the individual to drive as well as to register their car or truck. Eventually, as long as the offender complies with all of his or her reinstatement requirements, a license reinstatement will be granted. For those that commit additional crimes after the fact, such as being caught driving on a suspended license, their suspension time period will increase significantly.
License Suspension for OUI Conviction
First DUI: Court-ordered suspension of 150 days; after a 7 to 10 day processing period, you may be eligible for a work license.
Second DUI (within 10 years): Court-ordered suspension of 3 years; your license could be reinstated after 9 months if an ignition interlock device is installed in every vehicle you drive.
Third DUI (within 10 years): Court-ordered suspension of 6 years with no possibility for a work license; your license could be reinstated after 3 years if you install ignition interlock devices.
Fourth DUI (within 10 years): Court ordered suspension of 8 years with no possibility of a work restricted license; your license can be reinstated after 6 years with the installation of an ignition interlock device.
Under the Age of 21 : Court-ordered suspension of 1 year if any measurable amount of alcohol is found in your body.
If you had a passenger under the age of 21 in your vehicle at the time of your arrest, the court will order that your license be suspended an additional 180 days. With every case there are different circumstances and rules.
License Suspension for Test Refusal
If you are stopped on the suspicion of drunk driving, the officer will ask you to submit to sobriety tests. You have the right to refuse taking field sobriety tests which test your impairment physically. You will likely also be asked to take a breath or blood test to measure your blood alcohol content. In Maine, you do not have a right to refuse to submit to a chemical test and if you do, you will be penalized with an automatic license suspension. If you have been stopped and refused to take a sobriety test, do not panic. There are no additional penalties for refusing to take field sobriety tests. However, if you refuse to take a chemical test, you face the following penalties, all of which will run consecutive to any license suspension imposed by the court:
First Refusal: Suspension of 275 days
Second Refusal: Suspension of 18 months
Third Refusal: Suspension of 4 years
Fourth Refusal: Suspension of 6 years
Regaining Driving Privileges after OUI
Having a suspended license can be harmful in a number of ways. Transportation is a necessity for many and without it, some people will be unable to get around town or to deal with various obligations that require a car. Cars are a basic part of daily life for many that rely on them to get to work or to pick up their children. Prior to a license being suspended, there are still actions that can be taken and our firm can help. the experienced attorneys at the Law Office of William T. Bly can request a DMV hearing on your behalf. Through this hearing, we will be able to cross-examine the officer on the issues of probable cause for arrest and whether the client was a .08% BrAC or greater at the time of driving. If our criminal defense lawyer wins the hearing, the license suspension will be rescinded and the client's driving privileges will be restored. The BMV hearing is one of the most important pieces to the defense puzzle as the cop has to testify at the hearing, under oath, and subject to cross-examination. We can obtain transcripts from the hearing and those transcripts can be used to undermine the State's case.
If we fail to prevail at the hearing and it is a first offense OUI where a test result was obtained, the client may be eligible to apply for a work-restricted driver's license. Often the ability to drive, if the DMV reinstates it, will be limited to areas such as work or school. A DUI conviction is already a costly thing and the loss of driving only adds to the toll that it can take on you personally. Gaining back these rights can be a substantial benefit and our firm may be able to help. For your best chance at keeping your license after your arrest, it is vital that you call a Maine DUI attorney immediately after an arrest.