Indiana DUI Laws, Limits, and Penalties

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The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) penalizes drivers severely if caught driving intoxicated. Intoxication does not only refer to alcohol but also drugs. It can be over the counter drugs or illegal drugs. Regardless, you are caught driving above the legal blood alcohol concentration set by BMV, you will be arrested and your license suspended. The legal limit differs for minors, adults, and commercial drivers. However, the penalties are the same.

Indiana DUI Laws

Driving under the influence is referred to operating while intoxicated (OWI) in Indiana. You can be found guilty of this offense if you were tested for drugs or alcohol. To be considered above the legal limit, you must take the blood alcohol concentration test (BAC), or the chemical test as it is referred to sometimes.

Once it is determined you are above the legal limit, you will be placed under arrest, your car impounded, and your license suspended. If you refuse the BAC test, your license is automatically suspended until your court hearing. At the hearing, you will receive the length of your suspension.

Legal Limits

The legal limits in Indiana are categorized of three groups: minors, adults, and commercial drivers. For each, the BAC test percentage differs. A minor, younger than 21 years old,  with BAC of 0.02% or higher is considered intoxicated. For an adult, 21 years and older, with a BAC of 0.08% or higher is above the legal limit. A commercial driver must have 0.04% or higher to be above the legal limit.

Indiana DUI Laws & Penalties

The penalty for an OWI will increase for repeat offenders. A first-time offender will also receive harsh penalties. Penalties will include fines and suspension. The first type of penalty you will receive is administrative. The administrative penalty includes suspension. If you fail the BAC test, your penalty will be 180 days suspension. If you refuse to take the BAC test, you will get two years of suspension.

The other penalty includes fines. The fines will increase for repeat offenders. So, a 1st-time offender must pay:

  • Minimum $300 for fees and court costs
  • Maximum $5,000 for expenses
  • Maximum 1-year imprisonment
  • Two years license suspension
  • Submit to an alcohol and drug test
  • Must complete:
    • Substance abuse education course
    • A victim impact panel
  • Install an ignition interlock device in your car (if recommended by the court)

Repeated Offenders

If your BAC test had over 0.15% and you are a first-time or repeated offender, you will likely get a longer suspension and a huge fine to pay. With each conviction, your suspension is longer. Your license will be suspended for ten years on your 3rd offense.

If your BAC test was 0.08% or higher and you killed someone, you will be charged with a Class C felony and can be jailed for up to 8 years and fined up to $10,000.

You will lose your license for life if you have two OWI with 0.08% or higher within ten years and one resulted in the loss of life.

Reinstate your Indiana Driver’s License

You could reinstate your Indiana driver’s license if it were not suspended for life. To have it restored, you must pay all the fines, complete any programs the court instructs you to do. You may receive a provisional license that will allow you to drive until the restrictions are removed. Until then, you must not commit any infractions related to OWI or other offenses that will result in a suspension.