OUI in Maine
What is an OUI in Maine?
In Maine, the phrase 'operating under the influence' refers to all forms of impaired driving within state limits. An OUI typically results from the consumption of alcohol or other intoxicating substances before operating a vehicle. Like most US states, Maine has a designated blood alcohol limit for drivers within their judicial district, and motorists are prohibited from driving when they are inebriated. All motorists found violating the state's OUI laws are punishable per the Maine Motor Vehicles and Traffic Code and may be taken into custody or prosecuted according to the code's provisions.
The state's judicial arm enforces Maine OUI laws. Maine courts are tasked with prosecuting OUI offenders and issuing penalties to erring motorists depending on the severity of their crime. There is a variety of administrative or criminal penalties issued to offenders. They include fines, probation, jail time, and withdrawal of licenses or driving privileges. In addition, records of OUI offenses are typically included in the offender's Maine criminal record, depending on the severity of the charge.
What is the Difference Between an OUI and a DUI in Maine
According to code §2401 of Maine's driving laws, a DUI refers to driving under the influence of intoxicants, while OUI refers to the crime of operating under the influence of inebriating substances, including alcohol. Under Maine law, an OUI can be likened to a DWI which is more frequently used in other states. Both OUI and DWI can be used interchangeably since they both refer to the use of alcohol in charging intoxicated or drunk motorists. However, whether a motorist is charged with an OUI, DUI, or DWI, their penalties are determined by the severity of any consequent accidents.
Maine OUI Laws
According to Chapter 23:Title 29-A §2411 of the Maine Revised Statutes, a motorist is guilty of an OUI if they operate a vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicant while having an alcohol level above 0.08.
Under the law, offenders who have been charged with an OUI will be investigated for prior OUI offenses. Motorists confirmed to be inebriated may be arrested without a warrant, provided the arresting officer executes the arrest within a period they can obtain evidence of the offender's intoxication.
The State of Maine operates a zero-tolerance law that applies to motorists under 21 years of age. Motorists in this category will lose their license for a minimum of 18 months if they are found to have ingested any amount of alcohol or intoxicating substance before operating a vehicle. In this case, the 0.08 BAC does not apply.
Under Maine's implied consent law, driver's licenses are not a fundamental right, and the state can withdraw them. Hence, law enforcement officials are authorized to administer a chemical test on any motorist, provided there is probable cause. Where the motorist refuses to be tested, their licenses may be suspended.
OUI Penalties in Maine
In Maine, the penalties ascribed to each OUI offender will vary depending on the individual driving history and the nature of their offense.
Motorists with no prior offenses in the preceding 10-year period may be issued a fine of no less than $500, a court-ordered driver's license suspension, or incarcerated for a period of between 48 to 96 hours.
Offenders with at least one prior offense in the preceding 10-year period may be fined at least $700 and incarcerated for seven days. On the other hand, frequent offenders with two or more offenses in the preceding 10-year period will be deemed guilty of a Class C crime or a class B crime.
In Maine, Class B and Class C driving offenses are considered strict liability crimes as defined by Title 17-A, section 34, subsection 4-A of the state statutes. Offenders in this category are likely to have their licenses suspended for at least six years, incarcerated for at least six months, or issued a fine of $2100.
What Happens When You Get a DWI in Maine?
A DWI, or Driving While Intoxicated, is a criminal offense in Maine. It is defined as operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The difference between a DWI and a DUI (Driving Under the Influence) is that a DWI is for alcohol impairment, whereas a DUI can be for alcohol or drug impairment. In Maine, a first offense DWI is punishable by up to $1,000 in fines, a year in jail, or both. There is also a mandatory license suspension of 150 days. For subsequent offenses, the fines increase to up to $2,000, and the jail time increases to up to 2 years. There is also a longer license suspension period.
Persons who are convicted of a DWI in Maine will likely have to attend an alcohol education program and install an ignition interlock device on their vehicle. An ignition interlock device is a breathalyzer connected to the offender's car's ignition system. The offender will be required to blow into the device before starting their car. If the offender's blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is above the allowed limit, the car will not start.
What Happens When You Get an OUI for the First Time in Maine?
In Maine, a first-time OUI offense can result in various penalties. The specifics will depend on the circumstances of the case, but some of the potential consequences include fines, jail time, loss of driving privileges, and mandatory alcohol education or treatment.
For a first-time offender, the fines are typically relatively small. However, jail time is a real possibility and could range from a few days to several months. In addition, a first-time OUI conviction can lead to the loss of one's driver's license for some time. This penalty can be especially harsh if the individual relies on their car to get to work or school. Finally, those convicted of a first-time OUI are often required to participate in alcohol education or treatment. This can be a costly and time-consuming requirement, but it can also help to reduce the risk of future drunk driving incidents.
What is the Penalty for a Second OUI in Maine?
A second-time OUI offense in Maine refers to a driver who has been convicted of operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs for the second time. The penalties for a second-time OUI offense in Maine are fines, possible jail time, and a driver's license suspension.
Maine law imposes significant penalties for drivers convicted of a second-time OUI offense. The driver is fined $500-$1,000 and may be sentenced to up to 10 days in jail. In addition, the driver's license is suspended for six months. A second conviction also results in a required ignition interlock device (IID) on the offender's vehicle for one year. An IID is a device that prevents a car from starting if it detects that the driver has been drinking.
A second-time OUI offense is deemed a Class D crime in Maine.
What Happens After a Third OUI in Maine?
A motorist is deemed guilty of a third OUI offense in Maine when convicted of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs for the third time. The penalties associated with a third OUI conviction are significant, and can include imprisonment, fines, and license suspension.
A third time OUI offense is considered a Class C felony in Maine. This means that a motorist convicted of this offense can face up to five years imprisonment and a $5,000 fine. In addition, the motorist's driver's license will be suspended for six years.
It is important to note that the penalties for a third OUI conviction are not limited to imprisonment and fines. The motorist may also be ordered to complete a substance abuse evaluation and treatment program and may be subject to other restrictions or conditions as determined by the court.
Other consequences of a third-time OUI in Maine include an increase in automobile insurance rates and the potential for employment-related consequences. A felony conviction can also bar a person from voting, serving on a jury, or owning a gun.
How Long Does an OUI Stay on Your Record in Maine?
In Maine, an OUI offense stays on an offender's record for five years. After that time, the offense is considered to be expunged. While the offense is still on the offender's record, it can affect their ability to get a job, housing, or other opportunities. It's important to remember that even if the offense is expunged, the record of it still exists and can be accessed by law enforcement.
OUI Expungement in Maine
Persons who have been convicted of an OUI in Maine may be able to have the conviction expunged from their record. This means that the conviction will no longer show up on a background check, and the offender will be able to say that they have not been convicted of an OUI.
To expunge an OUI conviction in Maine, eligible persons must petition the court. To be eligible for OUI expungement in Maine, the offender will have to meet certain requirements, such as having completed a certified alcohol treatment program. The court will consider the petition and make a decision based on whether or not it is in the best interest of justice to expunge the conviction.
When granted an expungement, the conviction will be removed from the offender's record and they will be able to answer "no" when asked about an OUI conviction. However, the expungement will not erase the fact that they were convicted of an OUI. Expunged records may still be available to law enforcement officials and other eligible offices.
How Likely is Jail Time After a First OUI in Maine?
When an individual is convicted of a first OUI offense in Maine, they are very likely to be sentenced to jail time. The length of the offender's jail sentence will depend on a number of factors, including their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at the time of their arrest and whether they have any prior convictions.
For first-time OUI offenders in Maine, the minimum jail sentence is 48 hours, but the majority of offenders serve between 7 and 10 days. If the motorist's BAC was 0.15 or higher, or if they have prior convictions, their sentence may be extended to up to 30 days in jail.
What is the Average Cost of OUI in Maine?
The costs associated with an OUI charge in Maine can vary depending on the severity of the offense and the court in which the case is tried. Generally, however, there are a few essential expenses that are incurred. For example, those convicted of an OUI may be required to pay fines and fees to the court and restitution to any victims. In addition, those convicted of an OUI may have to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicle and/or participate in an alcohol education or treatment programs. The total cost of these penalties can add up quickly.
In addition to the fines and fees to the court, offenders will have to pay restitution to any victims.
Maine OUI offenders are likely to spend up to $1,500 on fines, fees, and court-ordered programs. For a first offense, the average cost of an ignition interlock device is $100 per month.
The average cost of alcohol education or treatment ranges from $600 to $1,200. The total may get up to $2,300 for a first offense. However, repeat offenders can expect to pay even more.
How Much is Bail for an OUI in Maine?
In the US, the bail for a drunk driving offense typically costs between $500 and $5,000. This amount can vary depending on the state in which the arrest occurred. Offenders who are unable to post bail will be detained until their court date. In some cases, they may also be required to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle.
In Utah, the bail for an OUI offense is $1,000. In California, the bail for a DUI charge can be as high as $15,000.
How to Get My License Back After an OUI in Maine
Persons who have been convicted of an OUI in Maine will likely have their licenses automatically suspended. In order to have a license reinstated, they will need to follow the process outlined below.
- Complete the designated driver improvement program.
- Pay all fines and fees associated with their conviction.
- Submit a reinstatement application to the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles.
- Provide proof of insurance and registration for their vehicle.
- Pass a vision test and driving test.
- Agree to random alcohol testing as required by the bureau.
Persons who meet all of the requirements listed above will have their license reinstated. For further questions or concerns regarding license reinstatement in Maine, interested persons may contact the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles.
How Does an OUI Affect Your Life in Maine?
The implications of being convicted for an OUI in Maine are many and mostly unpleasant. Pursuant to the state's drunk driving laws, all OUI convictions are included in the offender's criminal history. This typically poses a challenge when the individual is applying for jobs, school, or related endeavors.
Offenders may pay up to $7,500 in fines and legal fees if they are convicted of an OUI. Additionally, if the OUI resulted in a fatal crash leading to a debilitating injury or death of an individual, the offender will be convicted for vehicle homicide and may face up to 30 years in prison and permanent license withdrawal.
Can You Get Fired for an OUI in Maine?
Yes, a person can get fired for a DUI conviction in Maine. Employers are allowed to fire employees who have been convicted of a DUI. However, employers must follow specific procedures when firing an employee for a DUI conviction:
- The employer must give the employee written notice that the employee is being terminated due to the DUI conviction.
- The employer must allow and provide an avenue for the employee to contest the termination. If the employee contests the termination, the employer must hold a hearing to determine whether the termination was justified.
- If the employee is terminated, the employer must pay them any wages owed up to the date of termination.
How Do I Find DUI Checkpoints in Maine?
Information regarding Maine DUI checkpoints may not be published in all cases. However, interested members of the public may do the following to obtain DUI checkpoint information in Maine:
- Check local news outlets: Maine law enforcement often release information about upcoming checkpoints through the media.
- Pay attention to social media: law enforcement officials in Maine often post about upcoming checkpoints on their official social media accounts.
- Contact local law enforcement agencies. They may be able to provide information regarding upcoming checkpoints.
Which is Worse, DUI vs. DWI?
Maine law considers a DUI and a DWI to be separate offenses. However, the primary designation for drunk-driving violations in Maine is OUI. A DUI refers to driving under the influence of alcohol, while a DWI is driving while intoxicated.
The penalties for a DUI and a DWI vary depending on the severity of the offense. Generally, a first-time DUI in Maine will result in a fine of $500 to $1,000, 48 hours to six months imprisonment, or both. A first-time DWI will result in a fine of $500 to $1,000, 10 days to six months imprisonment, or both. However, motorists convicted of a DUI or DWI who had a child passenger in their vehicle at the time of the offense will face increased penalties. For example, offenders may face up to 1-year imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $2,000.
A DUI or DWI conviction may also result in a license suspension. For a first offense, their license will be suspended for 90 days. However, if they are convicted of a second DUI or DWI within five years of the first offense, their license will be suspended for one year. A third DUI or DWI within ten years of the first offense results in a two-year license suspension. Persons convicted of a fourth DUI or DWI will have their licenses permanently revoked.
Essentially, whether a DUI or DWI is worse depends on the offender's history and the severity of the offense.