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Penalties for driving while intoxicated

Driving while impaired from alcohol or drugs is a negligent behavior that puts all road users at risk. Indiana motorists who get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle while they are intoxicated can be subject to a range of consequences if convicted.

For individuals whose conviction is the result of their first offense, they should expect to have to pay court fees and costs of at least $300 and a fine of as much as $5,000. They can be required to go to jail for up to one year and may have their license suspended for up to two years. In some cases, individuals convicted for the first time of driving while intoxicated may be placed on probation and have to pay for and attend a course that covers substance abuse. Other consequences for first-time offenders can include having to go to a victim impact panel and being required to undergo urine testing for alcohol and drugs.

Individuals who have been convicted a second time of driving while intoxicated will be subject to stiffer penalties. These include receiving a jail sentence of at least five days or as much as three years. Part of their punishment may also include having to participate in community service.

Second-time offenders will receive fines of as much as $10,000 and face a driver's license suspension for a minimum of 180 days and as much as two years. There will also be probation terms that they will have to adhere to.

A criminal defense attorney may assist a client charged with drunk driving offenses. After considering the factors surrounding their case, the lawyer could make recommendations for a legal strategy.

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