Montana Driving Under the Influence (DUI) Laws
The state of Montana, fondly known as "Big Sky Country," doesn't have a "big" tolerance for drinking alcohol or taking drugs and driving a motor vehicle. In fact, Montana has incredibly steep fines and penalties for those convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) or driving with 0.08 percent of alcohol in their systems.
In Montana, a driver is in violation of the law when he or she is driving or in physical control of a motor vehicle and is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, a combination of the two or has a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or higher while driving.
If the driver has prior convictions for the same offense, he or she will receive even higher penalties including a longer period of a driver's license suspension and a longer jail sentence. If a driver commits four DUIs within a a ten-year period, it will be considered a felony and the offender could face a prison sentence.
Montana DUI Fines and Fees
The state of Montana will impose a hefty fine on all DUI-violators. At the time of this writing, first-time violators can expect a minimum $600 fine upon conviction (not including court costs and other fees), while a second conviction will carry a $1,200 fine. If you are unlucky enough to drive under the influence a third time, the fine rises to $2,500. What's the morale of this story? Don't break the law and you won't have to break the bank to pay the fines.
Think you'll beat that DUI by refusing to provide a blood or breath test at the time of the DUI traffic stop? Think again. There is an additional $300 fine for offenders who refuse to provide a breath test at the time they are pulled over. The state will use that money to help pay for the cost of processing blood draws in DUI cases.
This chart lays out the basics of Montana's DUI laws:
Montana 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||None|
|Implied Consent to Submit to BAC Test?||Yes|
Montana DUI Laws: Select Penalties
|Minimum License Suspension or Revocation (1st, 2nd, 3rd offense)||6 months/ 1 year (reduction possible) / 1 year (reduction possible)|
|Mandatory Alcohol Education, Assessment and Treatment||Yes|
|Vehicle Confiscation Possible?||Yes|
|Ignition Interlock Device Possible?||Yes (mandatory for repeat offenders)|
Consider Getting Legal Help With Your DUI Charges
Drinking and driving is never a good idea and an impaired driving conviction can have negative consequences beyond the actual sentence. If you're facing DUI charges in the state of Montana, an attorney who specializes in DUI cases will be able to review the facts of your case and plan a defense strategy. Get started today and contact a Montana DUI attorney near you.