Maine DUI Attorney
By Michael Tasner
Maine OUI Law
In the state of Maine, being under the influence refers to a person's mental and physical abilities being impaired to even a minuscule degree after consuming alcoholic beverages. Some of the evidence that is admissible in this type of case is the fact the driver refused chemical testing or that the person took a chemical test and exceed the maximum legal limit for blood alcohol concentration levels. An OUI arrest in Maine creates two separate cases for the offender. There is a criminal case where the offender faces criminal charges and the penalties associated with those charges. The second case an offender faces in Maine is the administrative case, where the person faces suspension of their driver's license by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. When someone is arrested for driving under the influence in Maine, the notice of suspension from the Bureau of Motor Vehicles usually arrives two to three weeks after the day that they are arrested. Because these two cases both require significant knowledge of the complex DUI laws, it is important that you contact a Maine DUI lawyer who can represent you in court and at your administrative hearing.
If an offender has no prior DUI convictions in any state within a ten year look-back period, the newest offense will be considered a first offense. Without any aggravating circumstances, a first OUI offense in Maine carries a minimum penalty of a mandatory 90 day license suspension and a $500 fine. There is no hardship license available for offenders within the first 60 days of the suspension. Penalties can be up to 364 days in jail, $2000 in fines, one year of probation, and a 90 day driver's license suspension. Aggravating circumstances such as a having a BAC above .15% or driving 30 miles per hour or more about the speed limit while committing a DUI offense makes the minimum mandatory jail sentence 48 hours. For refusal to submit to chemical testing, the mandatory minimum sentence is 96 hours in jail with a $600 fine and a 90 day driver's license suspension. The minimum suspension is one year for any driver under the age of 21 who has committed a DUI offense in Maine. All fines have substantial penalty assessments that significantly increase the amount that must be paid. Some judges routinely exceed these minimum sentences.
A second Maine DUI offense results in a 7 day mandatory minimum sentence for DUI and a 12 day mandatory minimum sentence for refusing to submit to chemical testing. The fines are $700 for driving under the influence and $900 for refusal to submit to chemical testing. The driver's license penalty is an 18-month license suspension with no hardship license available. For someone under the age of 21, the minimum suspension period is two years in length. During this suspension, the offender may not be able to register a vehicle. Some judges also order drug and alcohol treatment if they feel it is necessary in a particular case.
The penalties for a third offense are a mandatory minimum sentence of 30 days for DUI and a 40 day sentence for a refusal to submit to chemical testing. The fines are $1,100 for driving under the influence and $1,400 for refusing to submit to chemical testing. The driver's license punishment is a four-year license suspension without the possibility of getting a hardship licensee. Alcohol and drug treatment can also be ordered if the judge feels it is warranted. The maximum sentence for driving under the influence in Maine is five years in jail, a $5,000 fine, a four-year driver's license suspension and two years of probation that may be supervised by the court.
A fourth or subsequent offense has a mandatory minimum sentence of six months in jail for driving under the influence and a penalty of 6 months and 20 days in jail if there is a refusal to submit to chemical testing. The fine is $2,100 for driving under the influence and $2,500 for refusing to submit to chemical testing. The license suspension period is six years and alcohol and drug treatment can also be ordered by the judge on the case if it is warranted. The maximum sentence for driving under the influence in Maine is five years of jail time, a fine of $5,000, six years of license suspension, and a probation period of two years.
Someone who drives under the influence of alcohol and causes a serious bodily injury or death to another human being or has either a prior conviction for a felony OUI or OUI homicide faces charges of a strict liability felony. The minimum sentence for this offense is 6 months in jail, $2,100 in fines for driving under the influence and $2,500 for refusing to submit to chemical testing, and a 6 year license suspension period. If the offender had a passenger under the age of 21 in the vehicle while committing the OUI offense, there is an additional 275 day suspension added as a penalty in addition to the minimum jail time, financial penalties, and license suspension above. Because these penalties are so serious, hiring a Maine DUI attorney will be the most important thing you do before facing criminal proceedings.
Administrative DUI Penalties in Maine
The Bureau of Motor Vehicles is the state agency that can suspend your driving privileges for operating a vehicle under the influence. Your license can be suspended even if you win your criminal OUI case. Refusal to submit to chemical testing can result in a license suspension period of up to 6 years with the first refusal resulting in a 275 day suspension of the driver's license. The Secretary of States imposes suspension penalties on DUI offenders in accordance with the suspension periods outlined in the criminal laws. These suspensions run at the same time as suspensions ordered by the court as a part of the criminal penalties imposed. Losing your driving privileges and having a criminal record can tarnish your reputation and make it impossible for you to live a normal life. Contact a Maine DUI lawyer to find out how you can put together a solid case and defend yourself against OUI charges.
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