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Maine is very strict on DUI laws

  DUI Laws & Info  -   POSTED: 2007/01/09 22:59

You are OUI in Maine if your blood alcohol content is .08% or higher. Following your arrest, based on the police report and blood alcohol content (BAC) test results, the Secretary of State will immediately suspend your license.

Maine is very tough on Operating Under the Influence (OUI). You can be guilty found of OUI if you have a .08% or higher blood alcohol content (BAC) or are affected to the slightest degree by alcohol or drugs, including prescription drugs. Maine reports all convictions to the home state or province for reciprocal suspensions. The maximum penalty for a misdemeanor OUI is 364 days in jail, a $2,000 fine and loss of license. The maximum penalty for a felony OUI is 5 years in jail, a $5,000 fine and loss of license. There is a 14% surcharge on all fines plus other fees ranging from $40 to $130 upon conviction. The following penalties are minimums. Some courts exceed the minimum penalties upon conviction. Often the prosecutor will check with your home state to see if you have an OUI/DWI/DUI there. If you do, that will count as a prior offense. The minimum penalties for a 1st OUI within 10 years are $400 fine and 90 days suspension (60 days no work restricted license.) Aggravating factors (BAC of .15% or above, speeding 30+ mph over the limit or minor in the vehicle) carry a mandatory 2-day minimum jail sentence. There is a mandatory 4-day minimum sentence for refusing a BAC test if convicted of OUI. A 2nd offense has a mandatory 7-day jail (12 days if refusal), 18 month suspension w/o restricted license and $600 fine ($800 refusal.) A 3rd offense has a mandatory 30-day jail (40 days if refusal), 4 year suspension w/o restricted license and $1,000 fine ($800 refusal.) A 4th offense or any OUI causing serious bodily injury is a felony. It has a mandatory minimum 6-month jail (add 20 days if refusal), 6 year suspension w/o restricted license and $600 fine ($800 refusal.) There are additional suspensions of 9 months for refusing a test and having a minor in the vehicle. You can be suspended for these periods even if you are not convicted, before you ever go to court. You must complete an alcohol evaluation and treatment program to have driving privileges restored.

DWI First Offender Penalties

Jail

No jail time on a first offense with no aggravating factors. 48 hours on a first offense with aggravating factors. Aggravating factors include a BAC of .15 percent or more, or traveling 30 m.p.h. or more over the speed limit, or attempting to elude an officer of the law, or having a passenger under 21 years of age.

Fine

$400.

License Suspension

90 days. The law requires an additional 275 day suspension be imposed by the court or the Secretary of State if you were transporting a passenger under 21. Reinstatement Fee: $30.

Test Refusal

If you are found guilty of OUI based on the police officer's testimony, your refusal to take a test will be considered as an aggravating factor by the judge and another suspension of 90 days, as well as mandatory 96 hours jail time, will be tacked on. Refusal to be tested results in a loss of license for at least 275 days which is consecutive to any suspension imposed for an OUI conviction (see above).

Education

1st OUI offenders with aggravating factors must participate in an alcohol education program called the Driver Education Evaluation Program (DEEP). Maine also uses the Weekend Intervention Program (WIP).

Treatment

According to your assessment determination; when you have a problem which requires treatment, you will be referred to a community-based service provider approved by the Office of Substance Abuse. Cost varies and you must pay.

Alcohol Ignition Interlock

Can be used to reduce license suspension period. The device prevents you from driving your vehicle if you have any alcohol at all in your system.

Conditional Licenses

Reinstated licenses include the condition of not driving after drinking. After the first conviction, the license is conditional for one year. A conditional license can be suspended for one year, without a preliminary hearing, for operating with any amount of alcohol in the blood. A conditional license can be suspended for a period of two years for any refusal to submit to a blood-alcohol test, a penalty which will be added to any suspension previously handed down for an OUI conviction.

Under 21

If you are under 21 years of age, and are found operating a motor vehicle with any measurable amount of alcohol in your body, you will lose your license for one year. If you refuse a test, you will lose your license for at least 18 months. If you have a passenger under 21 years of age, an additional 180 day suspension will be imposed.

Drivers under 21 with a BAC of .08% or more can be prosecuted for the criminal offense of OUI, but the license suspension must be for one year.

Insurance

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.


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