More than 158,000 people have violated drunk driving laws in Maine within the past 30 years, according to the Portland Press Herald. Nearly 48,000 of these drivers received their DUIs within the past ten years. Maine law enforcement officials are doing their best to find and charge every intoxicated driver, levying multiple penalties on convicted individuals.
First OUI Conviction Penalties in Maine
In Maine, the crime of driving with blood-alcohol content exceeding 0.08 percent is called Operating Under the Influence, abbreviated OUI. Even before conviction, a driver arrested for OUI faces consequences. The driver license will be suspended immediately upon arrest, rendering the individual unable to drive prior to the Maine OUI court hearing.
Minimum penalties imposed for an initial OUI conviction with no aggravating factors are a 150-day driver license suspension and $500 fine. If aggravating factors were involved, the offender faces at least 48 hours in jail. Due to Maine’s implied consent law regarding chemical testing, refusing to submit to this testing followed by an initial OUI conviction leads to license suspension for at least 275 days, a minimum fine of $600, and at least 96 hours in jail.
When the driver license is eventually reinstated, it carries conditional status for one year. If the driver is pulled over with any BAC during this period, the license may be suspended for another year without a hearing. If the driver refuses to submit to BAC testing, the conditional license may be suspended for two years. Drivers involved in crashes with immediate or imminent fatalities face a three-year driver license suspension for failing to submit to BAC testing.
Underage OUI in Maine
Maine has separate laws for drivers younger than 21 found to have a measurable amount of alcohol within their systems. These drivers will lose their licenses for one year and if their BAC is 0.08 percent or higher, they also face OUI penalties imposed on adult drivers. Underage drivers who refuse chemical testing lose their licenses for a minimum of 18 months. Those who have passengers who are younger than 21 will have their license suspension periods increased by 180 days.
Alcohol affects driving abilities in different ways depending on weight, gender, and other factors. Any amount of alcohol can immediately impair judgment and driving ability, so it is best to designate a sober driver when drinking. Drivers of all ages should follow this advice to avoid the many consequences of a Maine OUI conviction or losing a driver’s license, when our legal help is obtained in enough time.
Taryn J. White is a legal research specialist and DUI law news reporter. Her current accomplishments include helping those facing any driving under the influence arrest charges, get free online assistance in learning how to fight a DUI case for the best possible outcome.