Indiana is generally a friendly state, but not when it comes to the enforcement of drunk driving penalties.
In fact, the criminal and related sanctions meted out to a drunk driver are both multiple and onerous. A convicted offender is likely to remember them for a lifetime.
The basics of Indiana’s drunk driving laws
An initial point to note concerning behind-the-wheel intoxication in Indiana relates to designation. It’s acronym soup as far as drunk driving is concerned. State authorities formally use the shorthand moniker of OWI, which stands for operating while intoxicated. That term is synonymous with DWI (driving while intoxicated) and DUI (driving under the influence). They all mean the same thing.
And however they’re termed, they yield heavy consequences, which are summarized below.
Indiana criminal penalties for OWI conviction
An in-depth online overview of Indiana OWI duly notes that the specifics of a conviction will vary based on multiple factors. Those include the driver’s age, his or her blood-alcohol content level, whether passengers were in the car and whether prior convictions are on record.
The potential for weighty consequences attaches to even a first offense featuring the threshold BAC level of 0.08%. Conviction can bring up to a 60-day jail term and cumulative costs well into thousands of dollars.
Felony charges yielding far more adverse outcomes can be filed under other circumstances, such as these:
- charges tied to elevated BAC levels exceeding 0.15%
- multiple past OWI convictions
- the occurrence of serious injuries or deaths
- drunk vehicle operation with a minor in the car
Ancillary/administrative OWI penalties
A host of penalties in addition to criminal sanctions can also be levied in an Indiana OWI case. Those range broadly from license suspension and mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device to drug/alcohol assessment, spiked insurance premiums and more.
A proven criminal defense legal team can provide further information and diligent representation in an OWI case.