When a person is charged with OUI in Maine, two cases are open against them. The first one is the criminal case for committing the crime of OUI. The second is a case with the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) for having a BAC over the legal limit. The BMV case involves your license being suspended and you are only given 10 business days after your arrest to request this hearing. This is standard practice in most states but some many OUI offenders feel that it is too harsh to have to deal with this suspension as well as the OUI charge.
The Maine.gov website contains information about administrative hearings including a 13 page document of the rules and procedures that you need to follow in order to have a hearing with the Bureau of Motor Vehicles if you wish to stop this license suspension process. To the average person, this document is likely to be confusing and overwhelming. For this reason alone, many offenders may feel the need to hire an OUI attorney.
Without taking action, a person accused of OUI will lose their license for a minimum of 90 days. It can be even more if there are other factors involved such as chemical test refusal or the driver is underage. Unlike your criminal trial, you do not have to have this trial or use an attorney which means that if you cannot afford an attorney and do not understand how to handle the process on your own, you lose out.
Administrative license suspensions are a way to stop drivers from continuing to drive impaired until they can be criminally charged and sentenced for their actions. The problem is that many people who are arrested for OUI are not guilty of driving drunk. A good alternative option has not been proposed and it looks like OUI offenders in Maine will be dealing with these suspensions for the foreseeable future.