Maine OUI Laws and DUI Penalties Explained

By: John Webb, Criminal Defense Lawyer Maine – Covering the southern part of the State

Maine OUI Penalties - Attorney John Webb Saco Portland ME Maine OUI/DWI & Criminal Defense Attorney John S. Webb

The DUI penalties and consequences for violating Maine OUI laws depend upon both the number of offenses you have in your past and the severity of any resulting injuries and damages that may have occurred as part of your OUI driving offense. The operating under the influence penalties applicable to an OUI Maine charge may fall within a wide range of punishments on the Maine DUI laws spectrum, as is covered by this page.

In addition to the OUI law penalties imposed by the State of Maine for DUI offenses, a convicted citizen will also be reported to his or her home state or Canadian province. This is true for a first offense DUI, and any other subsequent OUI offense in Maine. In almost every case, this drunk driving conviction will result in the DUI offender suffering a driver’s license suspension in his or her home state or province.

If you are searching for criminal lawyers near me or a similar phrase to find the right OUI attorney, compare credentials, and read client reviews. However, talking directly to the potential drunk driving lawyer is essential. Test his or her knowledge and experience with direct questions about how he or she would approach you case.

First DUI Offense and Second DUI Offense Penalties

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If you have not received a DUI in any state or refused a breath test in Maine as part of a DUI arrest in Maine, within the last 10 years, you are considered a first-time offender.

For a first DUI offense occurring before December 1, 2013:

  • Mandatory minimum 90-day license suspension and a $500 fine if there are no aggravating circumstances. Ineligible for a work-only license during the first 60 days of the driver’s license suspension. Fines in Maine carry substantial surcharges (20%) plus additional court-related fees.
  • Mandatory two-day jail sentence if an “aggravating circumstance” exists in the driving under the influence case, such as an alcohol breath test or a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .15% or higher, passengers under the age of 21, or speeding in excess of 30 mph over speed limit.
  • Mandatory four-day jail term, minimum $600 fine if you refuse the breath or blood alcohol test. The 90-day conviction suspension is consecutive to (in addition to) the refusal suspension. See Refusals, below.
  • Many judges routinely exceed minimums at sentencing.

For a DUI first offense occurring on or after December 1, 2013:

  • Mandatory minimum 150-day license suspension and a $500 fine if there are no aggravating circumstances. Ineligible for a work-only license during the first 100 days of the license suspension. If alcohol school is completed, a full license reinstatement is allowed after 30 days of NO DRIVING but this will require the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device, to qualify for early reinstatement, until the end of the 150 days. Fines carry substantial surcharges (20%) plus additional court-related fees.
  • A mandatory two-day jail sentence is required in cases where an aggravating circumstance exists, such as a breath alcohol test blood alcohol content (BAC) of .15% or higher, passengers under the age of 21, or speeding in excess of 30 mph over speed limit.
  • Mandatory four-day jail term, minimum $600 fine if you refuse the breath or blood alcohol test. The 150-day criminal case conviction suspension is consecutive to (and in addition to) the refusal suspension, under Maine administrative license suspension laws. See Refusals, below.

Warning: Many judges routinely exceed these minimums at sentencing, so don’t get comfortable by thinking these minimum punishments aren’t that bad.

If you were convicted of a DUI in any state or refused a breath test in Maine as part of an arrest for OUI in Maine, within the last 10 years, you are considered a second offender.

  • Mandatory minimum three-year license and registration suspension, seven-day jail sentence and $700 fine for a second Maine DUI conviction within ten years. If alcohol counseling is completed full license reinstatement and vehicle registration is allowed after nine months of NO DRIVING, with the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device for two years.
  • Mandatory twelve-day jail term, minimum $600 fine if you refuse the breath or blood alcohol test. The three-year conviction suspension is consecutive to (in addition to) the refusal suspension. See Refusals, below.
  • Many judges routinely exceed minimums at sentencing.

Maine OUI Interlock

An Ignition Interlock Ignition Device requires the vehicle’s operator to take and pass a
breathalyzer test before the vehicle will start.

Maine Class C and Class B Felony DUI Penalties

In Maine, a third or subsequent DUI conviction within ten years or an OUI accident resulting in serious injury is a Class C felony. Below are the punishments for each.

Third Offense DUI

  • For 3rd DUI, maximum penalty of five years in prison, $5,000 fine and two-year probation
  • Minimum thirty-day jail sentence and $1,100 fine (forty days for refusing implied consent testing and $1,400 fine)
  • Six-year license suspension without work-only license and suspension of right to register a vehicle
  • Suspension after a DUI 3rd offense may be shortened to three years if Ignition Interlock Device is installed for three years
  • Most judges routinely exceed these minimums at sentencing.

Fourth Offense DUI

  • The maximum penalty for a 4th DUI in Maine is five years in prison, $5,000 fine and a two-year probation period
  • Minimum six-month jail term and $2,100 fine (six months and twenty days and $2,500 for refusing testing)
  • Eight-year license suspension without work-only license and suspension of right to register a vehicle
  • Drivers must install an Ignition Interlock Device for four years AFTER the license suspension has ended
  • Again, most criminal court judges in Maine routinely exceed these minimums at sentencing.

Any DUI with Accident with Serious Injury

  • Maximum penalty of five years in prison, $5,000 fine and two-year probation
  • Minimum six-month jail term and $2,100 fine (six months and twenty days and $2,500 for refusing testing)
  • Six-year license suspension without work-only license and suspension of right to register a vehicle
  • The driver license suspension may be shortened to three years if Ignition Interlock Device is installed for three years
  • Maine judges almost all exceed these minimums at sentencing.

Accident with Death or Prior Felony DUI

A Maine DUI with an accident causing a death or where the driver has a prior felony DUI conviction are Class B felonies, which are very serious.

The consequences for these DUI offenses are:

  • Maximum penalty of ten years in prison, $20,000 fine and three-year probation
  • Minimum six-month jail term, fine of not less than $2,100
  • Ten-year license suspension without a work-only license and the suspension of the right to register a vehicle
  • Judges almost all exceed these minimums at sentencing.

Bureau of Motor Vehicle Suspensions for
Excessive Blood-Alcohol or Breath-Alcohol Content

The Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles will suspend the license of a driver with a BAC or BrAC of .08% or more (or a minor with any detectable BAC or BrAC) for the periods listed above for convictions. This suspension can take place even before you go to court! It runs concurrently with any suspension imposed for the DUI conviction; it is initiated by the officer filing a report with the Secretary of State.

A hearing must be requested within ten days of the date of suspension. Any suspension imposed will remain in effect, even if the person is acquitted of the criminal OUI charge.

If a driver who is age 21 years or older has a passenger under the age of 21, an additional 275-day suspension will be imposed. A driver under age 21 who has a passenger under 21 will have an additional 180-day suspension imposed.

Refusal to Submit to Implied Consent Testing in Maine

Driver's License Suspended Maine OUI

A breath test is the usual test given by the police following an operating under the influence (OUI) arrest in Maine. A blood or urine test can be given at the officer’s discretion, which means that the arresting officer chooses the type of test. The driver has no right to choose the type of implied consent test in Maine. A urine test is used in drug DUI cases.

Before determining that a person has refused an implied consent test, the officer must advise the person of the penalties for refusing testing. This notice of consequences of a DUI refusal is a prerequisite for use of that refusal in the criminal court case.

If the advisement is not correctly given, the refusal suspension and additional penalties noted above are not assessed, and/or the refusal is not admissible in the criminal court case. If a person chooses to take the test, State laws in Maine have no requirement that the officer to further advise the person of the consequences of refusing.

Penalties for Refusal of a Post-Arrest DUI Test in Maine

  • A 275-day license suspension for a first refusal
  • A two-year operator license suspension for a second refusal within 10 years
  • A four-year drivers license suspension for a third refusal within 10 years
  • A six-year operator’s license suspension for a fourth refusal within 10 years
  • An 18-month driver license suspension for a first refusal by a driver under the age of 21
  • A 30-month driver’s license suspension for a second refusal by a driver under the age of 21

There are additional jail and fine penalties for refusing a test if you are also convicted of a Maine OUI. (See DUI penalties above noted for convictions.) In addition, the fact that you refused a test is admissible in court against you.

Reporting Suspensions to Your Home State or Province

Maine reports all license suspensions to your home state or Canadian province, whether it is from a points suspension or an OUI in Maine. Whether your state or province will act on that report is up to the individual jurisdiction. Some states, Massachusetts for example, will honor all out-of-state suspensions. Other states (e.g., Georgia, Florida) will not honor administrative licenses suspensions, but will act to suspend for a criminal conviction.

In fact, due to national regulation of driver’s licenses, all states and provinces honor suspensions for an actual Maine DUI conviction. The conviction suspension may be longer or less accommodating that the State of Maine than what is required in your home state or province. Plus, the availability of any type of restricted driving privileges or ignition interlock device varies widely, by state, and also depending upon your prior driving record.

Don’t Guess by Only Searching DUI Lawyers Near Me

If you are facing a driving intoxicated charge in Maine, the OUI lawyers at Webb Law Firm can help. Our criminal law firm offers an initial FREE lawyer consultation so that you can obtain the answers to your questions about the criminal charge you are facing. Find out how a southern Maine criminal attorney can help you protect your rights of due process of law and a fair and impartial trial. Our law office offers the lawyers near me that also know the staff and prosecutors at your court, if located in southern Maine.

Make the FREE CALL to 207-283-6400. Our attorneys answer 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Ask about attorney cost and (if needed) how to obtain monthly fee payment plans. Plus, our Maine lawyers will refer you to another experienced, skilled criminal attorney, if your case is pending in a Court outside our law office’s usual territory (e.g., Bangor).

Don’t just let Google randomly connect you to the DUI lawyer near me, based on the location of your cell phone or computer when you launch a query. Do your research, and (if possible) visit with the best lawyers that you find in searching for a criminal defense lawyer in the southern half of the State of Maine.

 

 

 

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