If you've been convicted for driving a vehicle under the influence (OUI) in Maine, you're familiar with the legal process: The license suspension. The fines. The criminal record. The stress. You might have been to jail. You may even be familiar with newer developments in the law, such as Ignition Interlocking devices. You might have thought that getting charged for OUI was the worst thing that could possibly happen. You're wrong. If you get charged with OUI again, you will go through all of those things, all over again. Only this time, the fines, the jail time, and the other penalties will be even higher.
Like for many crimes, repeat offenders face higher penalties, depending on how many times they've been convicted in the past. Here's a quick breakdown of the penalties that someone convicted of OUI can face, according to how many times they've already violated Maine's drunk driving laws, based on the Maine OUI statute:
|In the past 10 years, this is your…||Class of Crime||License Suspension*||Jail Time**||Fines**||DEEP Participation***|
|1st Offense||D (Misdemeanor)||150 days||Minimum 0-96 hours****||Minimum $500||No|
|2nd Offense||D (Misdemeanor)||3 years||Minimum 7 days||Minimum $700||Yes|
|3rd Offense||C (Felony)||6 years||Minimum 30 days||Minimum $1,100||Yes|
|4th Offense (or more)||C (Felony)||8 years||Minimum 6 months||Minimum $2,100||Yes|
*The period of license suspension increases if the person convicted of an OUI was driving with a passenger who was under 21 at the time of arrest.
**Jail times and fines are always increased if you refuse to submit to an alcohol test.
***Courts can require those who are convicted of OUI to participate in Driver Education and Evaluation Programs (DEEP).
****First time offenders can face a minimum of 48 hours of jail time for having a blood alcohol content (BAC) of at or above 0.15%, or for driving 30mph over the speed limit, or for attempting to get away from the responding police officer, or for driving with a passenger under the age of 21. This can increase further, to 96 hours, for refusing to submit to an alcohol test.
Numerous additional factors can affect these penalties, as well, and this list does not include other potential legal or practical issues, such as your immigration or job status. The judge can also tack on additional penalties, as well – many of those listed above are mandatory minimum sentences, so the judge can use his or her discretion to add to them. In the end, every situation is unique.
Essentially, though, these penalties are the least you can face after being charged with an OUI. William T. Bly is an experienced OUI defense attorney, who can see to it that you get the best possible results after a criminal charge, such as an OUI. A majority of his case load is for OUI defense, so he is well rehearsed in the law and process, and is at the cutting edge of his field. If you or someone you know has been charged for OUI, call the office of William T. Bly at (207) 571-8146.