Montana DUI Laws & Penalties

Montana Drunk Driving Laws Explained in Easy to Understand Simple Terms

If you are pulled over for suspicion of a Montana DUI, the officer will ask you to submit to a Preliminary Alcohol Screening test, (commonly referred to as a PAS test). In most other states this test is not mandatory and refusing to submit to the PAS test is not a punishable offense, but in Montana it is. According to the DUI laws of the state of Montana, specifically vehicle code § 61-8-409 there is implied consent (meaning you are assumed to give your consent) to take this test if the officer asks you.

Montana DUI Vehicle Code § 61-8-409:

A person who operates or is in actual physical control of a vehicle upon ways of this state open to the public is considered to have given consent to a preliminary alcohol screening test of the person’s breath, for the purpose of estimating the person’s alcohol concentration, upon the request of a peace officer who has a particularized suspicion that the person was driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle upon ways of this state open to the public while under the influence of alcohol or in violation of 61-8-410.

The person’s obligation to submit to a test under 61-8-402 is not satisfied by the person submitting to a preliminary alcohol screening test pursuant to this section.

The peace officer shall inform the person of the right to refuse the test and that the refusal to submit to the preliminary alcohol screening test will result in the suspension for up to 1 year of that person’s driver’s license.

Montana Jail Time and Fines For DUI

If you are convicted of a Montana DUI, you are facing at least 24 hours in jail. You could spend up to 60 days in jail depending on your case. You will also pay between $100 and $500 in fines, on top of the cost of your court case and incarceration. 

Montana DUI Suspension and Treatment

A Montana DUI conviction means you will have your driver’s license suspended for up to six months. You will also have to attend a treatment program. Often the court will decide to use the treatment program in place of some of your time in jail. If your trial results in probation, you could be allowed to drive with a limited license. This allows you to still work and go to school. 

Here is a summary of the penalties you face for a Montana DUI 

Montana First Offense DUI Penalties

  • 1 day to 6 months jail time
  • $300 to $1,000 in fines
  • Drivers license suspension for 6 months

Montana Second Offense DUI Penalties

  • 7 days to 6 months in jail
  • Up to $1,000 in fines
  • Drivers license suspension for 1 year

Montana Third Offense DUI

  • 1 month to 1 year in jail
  • Up to $1,000 in fines
  • Drivers license suspension for 1 year

Montana BAC Assumptions

  • BAC levels of .001 to .04 are not considered to be under the influence.
  • BAC levels of .041 to .079 are not considered to be under the influence, but are admissible in court.
  • BAC levels of .08 or greater are considered to be under the influence.

Montana Implied Consent Law

  • Chemical testing is allowed. Blood, breath or urine test as selected by the officer.
  • In Montana the officer is not required to advise the defendant of the penalties they may face for test refusal.
  • Test refusal results in an immediate license seizure and a 6 month to 1 year license suspension. Test refusal is admissible in court.

Montana DUI Chemical Testing

  • Chemical tests are admissible in court if they are performed by a person with a valid permit that is in accordance with the Department of Justice.
  • Blood draws for police testing must be administered by a licensed physician, registered nurse or other qualified person.
  • The defendant has the right to have an independent chemical test done by a qualified person of their choosing. The costs of an independent test are the defendant’s responsibility.
  • Test results must be made available to the defendant and their Montana DUI attorney upon request.

Your Montana DUI conviction will result in more severe punishments if you are in an accident resulting in any type of injury and/or death. Also, if you drive drunk with a child that is under the age of sixteen it is considered endangering the life of a child and there are more severe consequences.

Montana SR22 Insurance Considerations

SR22 insurance is required in the state of Montana after a DUI.  SR22 insurance is a type of high risk auto insurance policy that the Montana Department of Motor Vehicles requires DUI offenders to carry for a period of 3 years from the date your drivers license is reinstated.

DUI Arrest has partnered with the largest and most trusted SR22 insurance provider in the state of Montana and has worked out a special discount only available here for our website visitors.

You won’t be able to find a cheaper SR22 insurance policy in Montana for any less.

Additional Montana DUI Resources
  • Montana DUI First Offense – Detailed first offense information including punishments after a first offense DUI in Montana.
  • Montana DUI Classes – Get signed up to complete your required DUI class online today.
  • Montana SR22 Insurance – Learn everything you need to know about Montana SR22 filing requirements with the DMV and find out how you can save hundreds of dollars each year on your Montana SR22 insurance.
  • Montana DUI Lawyers – Contact one of our Montana DUI lawyers today to discuss your pending DUI case.
  • Montana Bail Bond Agents – Contact an Montana bail bond agent to get out of jail now.
  • Montana Non-owner Insurance – If you need an SR-22 filing, but don’t own a vehicle, you need to get a non-owner policy.