In Maine, most first-time convictions for operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol (OUI) result in stiff fines and a suspension of your driving license. However, there are some circumstances that could land you behind bars for more than 48 hours, even if you've never been arrested for an OUI before. If you don't want an OUI stop to result in an arrest and a weekend in a cell, remember that these are things that you should avoid doing at all costs:
Have a BAC at or over 0.15%
In Maine, like all states, the standard for OUI is a 0.08% blood alcohol content (BAC). This is commonly measured by a police officer during a traffic stop, using a breathalyzer. If the results of the breathalyzer show that your BAC is above 0.08%, you will be cited for an OUI. If the results are lower than 0.08%, you still might get an OUI if it's determined that your driving was in any way impaired.
But what if you blow over a 0.08%?
Way over a 0.08%?
If the results of your breathalyzer show that your BAC is at or above 0.15%, or nearly double the standard for OUIs, then you will be subject to at least 48 hours in jail. Driving while so intoxicated is dangerous to other drivers, as well as yourself, and mandating jail time for these drivers is how the state of Maine tries to keep the roads safe.
Exceed the speed limit by 30mph or more
Another way to get a 48-hour tour of a jail cell with your OUI is to be caught speeding by 30 or more miles per hour while under the influence. Just like driving with a BAC of 0.15% or above, speeding while intoxicated is dangerous to everyone else on the road, as well, and the state of Maine mandates jail time for those who speed to try to keep our roads safe.
Elude, or even attempt to elude, a police officer
Yet another way of having an inexpensive stay-cation in a local holding cell is to try to elude a police officer that is trying to pull you over. Not only does trying to get away from a police officer never work, but, if you end up getting charged for OUI, you will be facing at least 48 hours in a jail cell for your “evasive maneuvers,” which can put other members of the public at risk.
Drive with a passenger under the age of 21
You can also get jail time for your first OUI if you're caught at the wheel, with someone under 21 in the car, as well. Impaired driving is not only dangerous to the driver of the car: It is equally dangerous to any passengers, as well. Passengers under 21, however, don't understand just how dangerous it is for them to be in the car. For this reason, the state of Maine has decided that the driver should get an extra penalty for driving under the influence when there are passengers under 21 in the car, as well. That penalty is 48 hours in the slammer.
Refuse a BAC test
We'll go over refusing a BAC test in a later blog post, but it's important to note here that one of the repercussions of refusing to have your BAC tested is jail time. Unlike the above scenarios, though, refusing to allow an officer to test your BAC results in not just 48 hours behind bars – it gets you a minimum of 96 hours. That's four whole days. Minimum.
All of these situations call for experience in the OUI process to minimize any potential jail time. Attorney William T. Bly has that experience. If you or someone you know is facing OUI charges that could result in jail time, call the office of William T. Bly at (207) 571-8146.