Third Offense OUI in Maine
Legal Defense Serving the Portland, Augusta, Bangor, Saco, and Biddeford Areas
A DUI, also known as an OUI or DWI is considered a serious criminal offense under Maine Law Me. Rev. §29 2411. Driving with a blood alcohol content level above .08% is illegal in any circumstances. You can also be charged with OUI for driving while intoxicated by drugs. Though these types of arrests are very common, the penalties can be draconian, especially if you have previous drunk driving convictions.
In each and every criminal case, the police run a criminal history search one you. If you've been convicted of an OUI or DUI anywhere else in your lifetime, the State will use those convictions against you. In Maine, an OUI or DUI conviction never falls off of your record. However, if it is found that you have 2 prior DUI convictions in the last ten years, you will face greater penalties for your charge.
Penalties for a 3rd OUI Conviction in Maine
Under state law, having three drunk driving offenses in a 10 year window constitutes as grounds for a Class C crime. A first offense for driving while under the influence can leave those accused with harmful punishments. These repercussions are further increased with each incident after that. In a third offense, many of the same consequences will be inflicted, however, the extent of them will typically be increased. A third conviction can result in the following minimum penalties:
- Six years license suspension
- A mandatory minimum jail sentence of 30 days
- A mandatory minimum fine of $1,000.00
These are the minimum consequences and many people face even harsher consequences, including up to five years in prison, $5,000 in fines on top of other costs, an extended license suspension, loss of the right to register a vehicle and the possible mandatory use of an ignition interlock device. Those that have a second conviction or more within ten years can also lose the ability to seek a work-restricted license. A field sobriety test, blood test or breath test may be administered by an officer and those that refuse to take such tests can face an increase in penalties.
One of the most immediate consequences of an OUI is the BMV license suspension. Those found operating a vehicle with this BAC level over the limit will face having their license automatically suspended by the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles. Minors may face a license suspension if any measurable trace of alcohol is found in their system. Suspension can happen even prior to a case going to court and being resolved. If you are charged with multiple DUI charges in a 10 year period, the consequences get harsher and harsher with each arrest. You could be facing years in jail and thousands of dollars in fees.
Additional Maine OUI Charges
Maine OUI Aggravating Factors
If you are arrested for suspicion of OUI and you have previously been convicted of DUI twice in the past ten years, police will look closely at your case. If you have any additional factors that show an increase in culpability, you could face more serious penalties. These factors include:
Maine considers a BAC of .15% to be extremely intoxicated. Drivers with this level or more may face additional jail time, above and beyond the 30 day mandatory minimum.
If you were speeding before you were stopped by police, this can be considered proof that you were too intoxicated to drive. Going 30 mph or more over the limit can lead to increase jail sentences.
If you were arrested for OUI and there was a minor under the age of 21 in the vehicle with you, you'll face increased jail time as well as a possible child endangerment charge.
If your intoxicated driving is believed to have caused an accident that lead to serious injury or death, your charges could increase a class.
A Class C felony is issued for a having multiple DUI convictions within a ten year period, along with a conviction for a drunk driving accident that caused a serious injury. There are differing degrees of an injury that can be sustained in an accident and the penalties for causing a more serious injury will be greater than the typical DUI incident. They can include between six months in jail and five years in prison, up to $5,000 in fines, a license suspension of up to six years or more, installation of an interlock device which will further restrict the ability of an individual to drive if they are found to have alcohol in their system and a loss of the right to register a vehicle.
The reason for the increased severity in penalties is simple. Those who continue to drive drunk, are a danger to the safety of the community. If someone continues to drive drunk in Maine, the court will have no choice but to level serious punishment in order to prevent a greater crime.
A felony charge will also be listed on the criminal record of the person that is convicted. This type of conviction can damage the life of a suspect in many ways. The loss of liberty with jail, the inability to drive and the social impact of being deemed a criminal can all tear away at those found guilty, making it crucial to obtain a top notch legal defense.
If you have been charged with a OUI in Maine, call WTB LAW and speak to one of our OUI lawyers right away. You have many defense options available to you and our attorneys will be able to explain your options to you. Call us now to get started.