Despite the constant efforts of lawmakers, law enforcement officers and advocates alike, people continue to get behind the wheel of vehicles and drive while intoxicated. There are countless numbers of people who are injured in alcohol-related accidents every day all over the country. That being said, not every accident is caused by a drunk driver, and not everyone who is pulled over and arrested for driving under the influence is actually guilty of such an offense.
While drinking and driving continues to be one of the most common criminal offenses in Fort Wayne and across the entire country, the penalties for such offenses vary greatly by state. That means some states have much tougher laws than others. So how harsh are Indiana’s drunk driving penalties?
Like most states, the level of penalties will greatly depend on several factors, including whether or not it’s a person’s first offense, or if the driver is under 21 or not. Another factor that can play a role in determining penalties is whether or not the driver’s actions cause injury or death to another person. So let’s take a look at some of the possible penalties.
First time offenders in Indiana could be sentenced to jail for as little as 60 days but for as long as a year. They might also be ordered to pay a fine of $500 to $5,000 and have their license suspended for as long as two years. Second time offenders face jail time between five days and three years. Their fine increases to $10,000 and their license is suspended for a minimum of 180 days and for as much as a year. For those who have a third offense they will spend 10 days to three years in prison, pay a fine of as much as $10,000 and lose their license for a minimum of one year. However the suspension could last for as long as 10 years. Plus, third time offenders must install an ignition interlock device in their vehicles.
Meantime, if you are 21 or older then the blood alcohol content (BAC) limit for driving a vehicle is .08 percent. However, for those under the age of 21, the limit is .02 percent and commercial drivers have a BAC limit of .04 percent. Obviously, any kind of drunk driving conviction can have serious consequences. Besides the legal penalties, people face many other possible hardships if they are convicted of drinking and driving.
Anyone facing a DUI/OWI charge in Fort Wayne should not hesitate to contact an experienced DUI defense attorney. At The Bellinger Law Office we know how to handle these cases and we work them from every angle possible in order to ensure that you get the best legal outcome possible for your situation. Please contact us today at 260-248-2214 or click here to get in touch with us online.