Maine OUI Laws Part 1
Most states have distinctive laws that break down how certain actions will or will not be accepted, and how each will be penalized according to state law if you are found guilty. Operating under the influence of drugs or alcohol (OUI) is harshly punished in this state. There are a few laws that talk about what will happen to anyone who is found guilty the first time and every time after that.
Some people want to believe that the first time should be no big deal, and therefore should not be too harshly punished. This is wrong thinking, and if the first time is not punished, it likely will not be the last for most people. Since Maine believes in strict penalties from the first time on, it is important to know what you are facing even for a first offense. It is vital to get in touch with an attorney who understands Maine OUI laws from the time you are arrested, or as early as possible, to take advantage of every opportunity to protect your rights.
For the first offense, do not be surprised if you see a $500 fine, minimum three-month suspension, and maybe even jail, depending on whether there are aggravating factors. Most of these are state-minimum penalties, and more can be added based on your individual case, damage/injuries, criminal history, and the judge in your case.
There are separate laws that govern a second offense; within ten years since the first. You will have a minimum mandatory 7 day jail term, three year loss of driving privileges, $700 fine, and the potential for having an IID (ignition interlock device) if you get even restricted driving privileges after nine months.
Three OUIs in a ten year period means you will be charged with a felony and minimum penalties include 30 days in jail, $1,100 fine, loss of driver's license for six years, and the potential for an IID after at least three years have passed. These are minimum penalties, and more can be added based on aggravating circumstances. The more damage and/or injury involved, the harsher the penalty will become for most drivers.
Finally, four OUI penalties within a ten-year period are a very serious crime in the state of Maine. Minimum penalties include six months in jail, $2,100 fine, six year license suspension with no right to petition for even restricted driving privileges, and an IID becomes a requirement when the driver's licensed is restored.
Finally, it is important to note that the license suspensions may not start until you are convicted. Your license will likely go under suspension prior to your appearance in court. An aggravated OUI results in hefty fines, jail time, and other penalties, apart from the OUI itself. Serious injuries, fatalities, refusing a sobriety test, evading law enforcement, having minors in the vehicle, and extremely elevated BAC are a few examples of aggravating circumstances.