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Drunk Driving (OUI) Defense Laws in Maine

The last thing you want is to get convicted of drunk driving. If you know the laws governing DUI cases in Maine, including the legal limit for alcohol, it can help you avoid trouble. You may be legally impaired, under Maine law, after consuming what you feel is only a modest amount of alcohol. After you learn about Maine drunk driving laws, you can find a knowledgeable Maine DUI defense attorney to help resolve your case.

Maine Drunk Driving Laws

Maine law prohibits operating or attempting to operate a vehicle while under the influence (OUI) of intoxicants or having a BAC of .08% or more. Operating or attempting to operate in Maine does not require the vehicle to be actually moving; the law looks to see if the person charged with the crime was taking steps to commence the action of driving.

Additionally, Maine considers a driver under the influence if the driver’s physical or mental condition is impaired by an intoxicant such as alcohol, drugs, or other substances.

Implied Consent: Yes

Enhanced Penalties: Having a prior conviction within the past 10 years; causing serious bodily injury or death; child endangerment; causing serious bodily injury or death, refusing to submit to a chemical test

Since Maine categorizes crimes into classes instead of misdemeanors or felonies, the circumstances of the offense will determine what class offense a driver will face.

In addition to potentially being required to complete an alcohol and drug program or use an ignition interlock device, Maine dictates strict minimum penalty requirements based on the number of prior offenses, but these penalties may increase, depending on any aggravating factors or if you refuse to consent to a chemical test.

  • First offense: a 150-day license suspension; $500 fine, but if you refuse a chemical test the fine can be increased to $600, and you will face 96 hours of mandatory local jail time.
  • Second offense: a three-year license suspension; 7 days imprisonment; $700 fine, but if you refused to submit to a chemical test you could face an increased fine of $900. Additionally, on a second offense within ten years of a prior conviction, you will face a period of incarceration of not less than 7 days. If the driver failed to submit to a chemical test at the request of a law enforcement officer, the period of local jail would increase to not less than 12 days.
  • Third offense: a six-year license suspension; 30 days in local jail; a $1,100 fine; however, the fine could increase to $1,400, and the local jail time could increase to 40 days in the local jail if you refuse to submit to a chemical test at the request of law enforcement.
  • Four or more offenses: an eight-year license suspension; a period of not less than six months imprisonment; $2,100 fine; however, the fine could increase to $2,500 and the period of local jail to serve could increase to a period not less than 6 months and 20 days.

Impaired Driving in Maine

You can face DUI charges if your blood alcohol content is .08 or higher. If you have any doubt at all about your condition after drinking, it’s best to be safe and not drive. A friend can give you a ride, so you don’t put yourself or others at risk.

Penalties for Refusing a Chemical Test

If you refuse a chemical test offered by the police officer, you will be subject to specific penalties in accordance with Maine law. Along with the required warnings mandated under Maine’s implied consent law, the officer needs to provide you an opportunity to consult with counsel prior to asking you to submit to a chemical test.

It is best to review your case with an experienced criminal defense attorney to understand all of your legal options. An OUI charge and conviction in Maine can lead to collateral consequences that can affect your ability to drive and future employment options.

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