Although drunk driving is among the most common crimes committed in the United States, it can take the life of the driver, passengers, other motorists, and even pedestrians. That is why Indiana and other states have such severe penalties for driving under the influence (DUI), which Indiana calls "operating while intoxicated" or simply OWI. Indiana law imposes a fine of up to $5,000; up to one year in prison; up to years' license suspension; mandatory attendance at a victim impact panel (where applicable); and other sanctions for the first offense. Sentences only go up from there, with a fine of up to $10,000 and up to three years in prison for a third offense. And then you have to factor in the cost of legal representation.
The penalties are so strict because the stakes are so high, involving the lives of everyone who uses public roadways. Knowing the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limits will help you avoid an OWI. But the following information is intended to help you understand the law and take the next step if you have been charged with impaired driving in Indiana.
Indiana OWI (DUI) Laws: Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Limits and Implied Consent
|"Per Se" BAC Limit||0.08 Percent|
|Zero Tolerance (Underage) BAC Limit||0.02 Percent|
|Enhanced Penalty (Aggravated) BAC Limit||0.15 Percent|
|Implied Consent to Submit to BAC Test?||Yes (1 year license suspension for refusal)|
Indiana OWI Laws: Select Penalties
|Minimum License Suspension or Revocation (1st, 2nd, 3rd offense)||90 days to 2 years / 180 days to 2 years / 1-10 years|
|Mandatory Alcohol Education, Assessment and Treatment||Both (not mandatory)|
|Vehicle Confiscation Possible?||Yes|
|Ignition Interlock Device Possible?||Yes|
Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Indiana OWI Resources
Get Legal Help with Your OWI Case in Indiana
If you've been arrested for an OWI in Indiana, whether or not you believe you're guilty of the crime, you'll probably want to hire an attorney. Contact an OWI (DUI) attorney who will be able to review the evidence against you to determine its validity and relative strength, while crafting a legal defense and working to get the best possible outcome for you.