Operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol is never a safe choice, but many people choose to do it anyway. You may think that you haven’t had too much, you don’t feel drunk, or you just don’t have another way to get home. Either way, getting caught driving drunk has serious consequences. The laws regarding DUIs differ from state to state, so here are the important things to know about getting a DUI in Indiana.
1. The legal BAC limit is 0.08%.
If you’re over 21, your BAC must be above 0.08% for you to get charged with a DUI or OWI in Indiana. However, if you are underage, you can be charged with a DUI with a BAC of only 0.02% or higher.
2. For your first DUI, you will be subject to a high fine.
If you are convicted of drunk driving in Indiana and it is your first offense you will likely pay court costs and fees of $300 or more. You may also be fined up to $5,000. Your best bet for paying less in fines is to hire a criminal defense attorney to defend you. While this may seem costly, it can possibly save you money in the long run. Many lawyers may even offer a free consultation.
3. If your BAC is higher, you could face more serious consequences.
Regardless of whether or not it is your first offense, if your BAC is 0.15% or higher, it is considered a Class A misdemeanor in Indiana. This means you will pay a $5,000 fine, serve up to one year of probation, have up to a year of jail time and/or have your driver’s license suspended for up to two years. If you are faced with this situation, having the right attorney is key. A lawyer that offers a free consultation is a great place to start, this way you can get to know them a little bit before having them commit to your case.
4. You may get off a little easier if your BAC is borderline
If your BAC is slightly below 0.08%, your penalties for drunk driving may not be as severe. This is the case especially if it is your first offense. In fact, plea bargains are more likely when it is your first offense, your BAC is borderline, and no property damage or personal injury resulted from the incident. If this is your situation, it is still important to have a good defense attorney in your corner so that you can get the best possible outcome.
As you can see, a DUI in Indiana is not something to be taken lightly. But, with a good lawyer, you may be able to lessen your fines and other consequences. If your lawyer offers a free consultation, take advantage of it and communicate your situation to them so that they can formulate your best possible defense.