Safe driving to avoid accidents is paramount to the people of Indiana. To this end, severe penalties have been instituted for those driving under the influence. Besides possible jail time, the economic costs can be staggering.

For most drivers in Indiana, a DUI can occur if the driver’s blood alcohol content, or BAC, is more than .08 percent. There are two exceptions to this law. Commercial drivers with a BAC over .04 percent can be convicted of DUI. Those under the age of 21 with a BAC of more than .02 percent are considered driving under the influence.

While many see a DUI as a traffic offense, penalties are more in line with a misdemeanor or felony conviction. A first-time offender can receive up to a year in jail and fines ranging from $500 to $5,000. Those with multiple convictions can face up to 10 years in prison and fines up to $10,000. In nearly all cases, the defendant’s driver’s license will be suspended. Suspensions range from a year to 10 years.

Indirect costs of a DUI conviction can be as harmful as court fines: Insurance rates can double or triple. For many, a DUI conviction can lead to loss of employment. Some may be required to purchase a special ignition system. Under this locking ignition, the operator must blow into a breathalyzer attached to the steering wheel. If the driver is intoxicated, the vehicle will not start.

The sanctions associated with a DUI charge make the hiring of an experienced criminal defense attorney imperative. Law enforcement has a strict set of guidelines to follow when making a DUI arrest, so procedures for determining a reasonable suspicion and probable cause must be followed for a conviction to occur. For more information on how an experienced defense attorney can assist in the defense of a DUI charge, visit our DUI defense page.