Indiana First Offender
You are OWI in Indiana if you had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or greater. The limit is 04% for commercial drivers license (CDL) holders and .02% for those under 21. The first offense is a misdemeanor.
Legal limit is .08, only .04 for commercial drivers license (CDL) holders and only .02 for those under 21. Subsequent offenses or those involving death or serious bodily injury are felonies. License suspensions range from 90 days to 5 years depending on offense. On second convictions there is mandatory jail time, and felony convictions on third or subsequent offenses are non-suspendible with minimum 6 months incarceration. Habitual Traffic Violator law for repeat offenders provides for license suspensions of 5 years, 10 years, or life.
An OWI carries a possible penalty of 60 days to one year in jail, with no mandatory minimum sentence.
A possible fine of $500 to $5,000, with no mandatory minimum.
A test of .08% BAC or higher will result in a 180 days administrative suspension of your driving privileges. The 180 day suspension may be reduced to as little as 30 days if your case is concluded.
You can obtain a hardship license after 30 days of the administrative suspension.
In Indiana, 1st offenders are eligible for deferment of charges provided they complete an alcohol evaluation and treatment program. Upon successful completion, charges are dismissed. An individual may participate only once in this program.
Alcohol Evaluation & Treatment
Court ordered, and a prerequisite for first offender deferent. Treatment options depend on the outcome of the evaluation.
You are required to submit to any chemical (blood, breath or urine) test offered by an officer. There is a one year license suspension if you refuse to submit to a chemical test.
As a condition of being granted a probationary license, you may be required to operate only vehicles equipped (at your own expense) with an ignition interlock, which prevents you from driving the car if you have any alcohol in your system.
Under 21, you are DUI if you had any alcohol at all in your system. Penalties listed for underage first offenders with a BAC greater than 0.02% but less that .08% are the same as those for first offender adults, except that your license will probably be suspended for a year rather than 180 days.
Your insurance rates will probably climb considerably, and your insurance carrier may drop you. The rates for family members and sometimes your employer can increase as well.
More Serious Charges
You may be charged with felony DUI (possibly leading to much greater penalties) if you are involved in a crash involving serious injury or death.