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Arrested for OUI in Biddeford?

Even though the law of operating under the influence (OUI) is the same across Maine, different district attorney offices in the state prosecute drunk driving or drugged driving cases in their own way. While the overarching theme is still the same, the details can change quite significantly. In some situations, those details can make a big difference in the outcome of your case and how your case moves through the justice system.

Here's how OUIs in Biddeford can be similar and how they can be different from cases in other parts of Maine.

The Law of OUI in Maine

Maine's law prohibiting operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is 29-A Maine Statute § 2411. That statute applies across the state of Maine, and prohibits driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) at or above the legal limit of 0.08%. It also allows police to make a judgment call and make an arrest if you appear to be driving impaired but are under the legal limit.

OUI Investigations in Maine

Police across Maine make use of similar policing techniques to detect people who are driving under the influence. These include:

  • Pretextual traffic stops, to get suspicious drivers to pull over to the side of the road for BAC testing even when they've only committed a minor driving infraction
  • Field sobriety tests
  • Mobile breath tests, commonly known as breathalyzers (very unusual to see this employed as they are inadmissible at trial)
  • Non-portable breath testing machines at police stations
  • Blood tests
  • Urine tests

Penalties of a Conviction for OUI

If the OUI investigation gathers strong evidence of an OUI crime, you could end up getting convicted on drunk driving or drugged driving charges. The penalties of an OUI conviction have been increasing over time as politicians try outdoing each other to cater to special interest groups that want to punish drunk drivers. As a result, the sanctions for an OUI conviction – even one that does not involve a crash or injuries – are shockingly high for the severity of the crime:

Number of OUI Offenses in Last 10 Years

Length of License Suspension

MINIMUM Jail Time

Minimum Fine

1st Offense

150 days

No minimum

$500

2nd Offense

3 years

7 days

$700

3rd Offense

6 years

30 days

$1,100

4th or Subsequent Offense (or more)

8 years

6 months

$2,100

These penalties increase if there are aggravating factors. For example:

  • If you refuse to take a chemical BAC test like a blood test or a breathalyzer, you will spend at least 96 hours in jail and 275 days will get added to the license suspension.
  • If you had a passenger under 21 years old in the car, there will be a minimum jail sentence of 48 hours and the license suspension will be 275 days longer.
  • If you try fleeing police, had a BAC of 0.15% or higher, or were driving more than 30 miles per hour over the speed limit, there is a minimum 48-hour jail sentence.

There can also be severe collateral consequences of an OUI conviction. Finding a job can get more difficult with the blemish on your criminal history, and keeping your current one while dealing with the license suspension can be tough.

Defending Against an OUI

There are several ways you can defend against an OUI charge in Maine. Raising whatever defense is available to you is essential if you want to avoid these serious penalties of a conviction:

  • There was no probable cause for the traffic stop. Police need to have probable cause to search for evidence or make an arrest. Because a traffic stop is a type of arrest, police need to have probable cause to believe that a crime is being committed. While they do not necessarily have to think that the crime is OUI, police have to suspect something. They cannot just pull people over for no reason. If they do, the evidence they find can be excluded from court.
  • BAC or field sobriety tests were improperly given. BAC tests are not foolproof. They have to be calibrated and administered properly. If they aren't, the readings they provide can be inaccurate and innocent people can get into legal trouble. Field sobriety tests are even less reliable. Police can even manipulate them so drivers are more likely to fail.

OUIs in Biddeford, Maine

If you were pulled over and arrested for OUI in Biddeford, you will be brought to the Biddeford Police Station at 39 Alfred Street. There, you will be “booked” into the police system with your personal information, like name and address, and basic details about your arrest.

If the alleged OUI offense was a minor one, you will likely be released on your own recognizance as soon as someone comes to pick you up – all you'll have to do is sign a form that states you promise to show up at future court dates and to refrain from the possession and use of alcohol.

If the alleged OUI offense was a serious one, you'll probably be held until your arraignment and then have to post bail to stay out of jail before your trial.

OUIs that start in Biddeford are heard by the District Court in Biddeford at 25 Adams Street. Because this courthouse is in the downtown area of Biddeford, parking is limited. You should plan to get there with time to spare before a required court appearance so you can find parking. Judges do not accept parking problems as a valid excuse for being late to court.  If you're late or you fail to appear for your court appearance, the court will likely issue a warrant for your arrest.

OUIs in Biddeford are prosecuted by the attorneys at the York County District Attorney's Office.

OUI Defense Lawyers at WTB Law Serve Biddeford

If you have been pulled over, arrested, and charged with drunk driving or drugged driving in Biddeford, you need skilled legal representation. The OUI defense lawyers at WTB Law are local and in tune with the ways things work in the area. Our main law office is at 50 Adams Street in Biddeford, making it incredibly convenient for people facing charges in the area.

Contact us online or call our law office at (207) 571-8146 to get the legal help you need.

Contact Us Today

What distinguishes our Firm from the numerous law firms throughout the state is that we genuinely care about the well-being of our clients. The staff and attorneys of WTB LAW ensure that every client receives hands-on and personalized attention throughout the life of their case.

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