The Basics of OWI and OWI per se

In Indiana, the justice system comes down hard on those who choose to drink and drive. As a matter of fact, Indiana has some of the toughest OWI and OWI per se laws in the country. Here are a few things that you should know before you make the decision to get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol.

First Time Arrest and Conviction

The first time you are charged with and convicted of OWI in Indiana, you should expect to spend at least a couple of days in jail. While there is no minimum jail time associated with a first time conviction, many offenders are sentenced to at least 2 days behind bars. You will also have to pay fines up to $5,000 as well as lose your license for up to two years.

Subsequent Arrests and Convictions

Your second and third offenses are going to add time to your jail sentence, money to your fines and time to your drivers’ privilege suspension. You may also be required to spend some time in a drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility. In the case of a third offense, you may also have your car fitted with an ISS device that requires you to pass a breathalyzer test before your car will even start.

Misdemeanor vs. Felony

Your first three arrests and convictions for OWI and OWI per se will be classified as misdemeanor crimes, meaning that while the punishments are harsh, they still don’t carry the additional weight a felony does. However, your fourth and any subsequent OWI arrests and convictions will be classified as felonies and will add a much more significant penalty to your sentence. For example, you may have to spend a year in jail, pay upwards of $10,000 in fines, and lose your license permanently.

OWI vs. OWI Per Se

Many people are under the mistaken impression that in order to be convicted for OWI in Indiana, your BAC or blood alcohol content must meet or exceed the state maximum levels. For those under 21, this limit is set at .02. For those over 21, the limit is .08. Commercial drivers have a higher standard to meet at .04. These levels are designed to limit the amount of alcohol that can be consumed before operating a motor vehicle, whether or not the amount impairs the driver. However, if the driver is impaired and tests with less than the legal amount of alcohol in their bloodstream, they can still be charged with OWI.

If you refuse to submit to a field sobriety test, you can be charged and convicted of OWI based on the results of your blood or breath tests. If you test over the legal limits for the state of Indiana, then you can and will be charged and convicted, regardless of your impairment status. This is known as OWI per se.

Get the Latest News about Indiana Arrest Records for OWI here. It can help you avoid the unpleasant consequences of being arrested and convicted of OWI or anywhere else, for that matter, saving you a ton of time and money.

Arrest Records for OWI and OWI per se are public and easily deseminated.

Marchelle Lamaster

Jennifer Winget

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