An Indiana OWI (Operating While Intoxicated) is issued for drivers with ablood alcohol level of .08% or higher. Indiana OWI cases are considered misdemeanor offenses. However, those arrested while driving with a blood alcohol level of .15% or more are treated with much more severity.
If you are arrested for an Indiana OWI, the officer who arrests you will decide whether you take a breath test or a urine test. Also, you will not be able to talk to a lawyer before taking the test. The officer controls which test you take, and you do not have the option to refuse to submit to the test. The officer will seize your license, but you are not suspended from driving until after your court appearance. Those awaiting trial for Indiana OWI can even receive a duplicate driver’s license.
While an Indiana OWI is considered a misdemeanor, it still carries severe consequences. You could spend two months to a year in jail, but Indiana state law does not require this. Also, you could face $500-$5,000 in fines, which are also not required by law. Your license will be suspended for 180 days for first offenders, but this is often lessened to 30 days. If it is not lessened, you can apply for a temporary license called a “Hardship License,” which allows you limited driving privileges. Often one of the stipulations is the inclusion of an ignition interlock system that will not allow you to drive if you have any alcohol in your blood. Second and third offenders face much longer suspension times. Most of these punishments are determined by the particular court in which you are tried.
However, first time Indiana OWI offenders can opt out of these fines by participating in an alcohol evaluation and treatment program. If the program is completed, your charges can be completely dropped. You can only do this once. In this treatment program, you will be evaluated and then prescribed treatment for your alcohol problem.
Subsequent offenses or offenses with aggravating circumstances, carry longer jail times and higher fees.
No matter if you are a first time offender or a repeat offender, your Indiana OWI will carry serious consequences for your insurance premiums. You will either find that you are dropped by your insurance provider, or you will find that your premium cost skyrockets. This can even affect your family members that are on your insurance policy.
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