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OUIs in Saco

While Maine law applies equally throughout the state, there are small differences in how the law is enforced depending on which county has jurisdiction over the alleged crime. These county-specific differences are nowhere more apparent than for an allegation of operating under the influence (OUI).

The OUI Law in Maine

29-A Maine Statute § 2411 is the statute in Maine that prohibits drunk driving and drugged driving. It includes provisions that prohibit operating a motor vehicle either while inebriated or while having a blood alcohol content (BAC) over the legal limit of 0.08%.

Police throughout the state enforce this law by gathering BAC evidence using breath, blood, or urine tests. These sometimes used in the form of mobile breathalyzers that police use during traffic stops, though there are also more precise breath testing machines at the police department. Police officers always use field sobriety tests to gain an impression of inebriation, especially when a driver's BAC is under the legal limit.

Potential Penalties of a Saco Maine OUI Conviction

While OUIs are probably the way many law-abiding people run afoul of the legal system, the penalties of a conviction are shockingly steep. The severity of a conviction come largely from the political clout that many drunk driving advocacy groups and lobbying groups have gotten across the country.

The penalties of an OUI conviction depend on whether there were any aggravating factors present during your arrest as well as whether you have any OUI convictions in the last 10 years.

The aggravating factors that can enhance the penalties include:

  1. Attempting to evade the police or refusing to pull over for a traffic stop;
  2. Speeding at least 30 miles per hour over the posted speed limit;
  3. Having a BAC of 0.15% or above;
  4. Having a passenger under 21 in the car; and
  5. Refusing to take a breathalyzer or a blood test.

The first four carry mandatory minimum jail sentences of 48 hours. The fourth also adds 275 days to any license suspension. The fifth adds 275 days to the license suspension while also carrying a minimum of 96 hours in jail.

Prior OUI convictions also matter:

 

License Suspension

Jail Time

Fines

1st Offense

150 days

Minimum of 0-96 hours

At least $500

2nd Offense

3 years

Minimum of 7 days

At least $700

3rd Offense

6 years

Minimum of 30 days

At least $1,100

4th or Subsequent Offense (or more)

8 years

Minimum of 6 months

At least $2,100

Defending Against an OUI Charge

Because the penalties of a conviction are so harsh, raising legal defenses to an allegation that you were driving drunk or while drugged is absolutely essential for your future. Because prosecutors have the burden of proving their case beyond a reasonable doubt, though, there are numerous legal defense options that you can utilize.

Obviously, the best defense strategy is going to depend on the specific facts of your case. However, some of the most common challenges include arguing the traffic stop was unconstitutional or that the tests were neither valid nor reliable.

Illegal Traffic Stop

Police can't just pull people over to the side of the road and search for signs of a crime for no reason whatsoever. They need to have reasonable suspicion that a crime or traffic violation has been committed.

If they don't have qualifying reasonable suspicion, all of the evidence they find – no matter how damning it is – can be excluded from your case because it was gathered in violation of your Fourth Amendment rights.

Unreliability of BAC or Field Sobriety Tests

Alcohol interacts with everyone in different ways, and law enforcement has struggled to cope with that fact. Determining whether someone is under the influence of alcohol or not is often just educated guesswork. For drugs, it's even less precise.

Field sobriety tests have been touted as a scientifically proven way for police to elicit signs that someone's motor skills are impaired. However, at their best, they are only accurate three out of every four times. At their worst, they can be manipulated by a police officer looking to create an OUI case.

Legal BAC limits and per se OUI violations are another way for law enforcement to draw out evidence of an OUI crime. However, the breath testing machines that police use can be miscalibrated or improperly administered, leading to false positives that land innocent people in trouble.

Showing that the testing procedure used in your case was poorly managed can be a strong defense to an OUI accusation.

The OUI Process in Saco, ME

If you get pulled over to the side of the road, arrested, and charged with OUI within the Saco city limits, you'll be brought to the Saco Police Station at 20 Storer Street to be booked and potentially held on bail.

Saco is in York County, Maine, so your first court appearance will be your arraignment at the Biddeford District Court, where you will announce how you intend to plead to the charges against you. This courthouse is located at 25 Adams Street, in Biddeford, Maine.

There is practically zero parking available so you'll need to arrive early.  There are few parallel parking spots available out front and the remaining spots are scattered about the streets of Biddeford.  These spots are metered so you'll need to watch the time you're in court or you'll come back to a ticket.  In cases where you've accumulated tickets, your car may be towed. If you do not want to attend the arraignment, your lawyer can represent you in York County without your physical presence.

WTB Law Defends Against OUI Charges in Saco

Saco Maine OUI defense lawyers at WTB Law strive to legally represent people in Saco against OUI allegations. With our strong advocacy and staunch defense, you can protect your future from groundless accusations and invoke your rights, like preserving your right to drive or avoiding the costly penalties of an OUI conviction.

Call Maine's experienced OUI defense lawyers at WTB Law at (207) 571-8146 or contact us online if you have been charged with drunk or drugged driving.

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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