As a general rule, a drunk driving charge is considered to be a misdemeanor offense. However, if there are aggravating factors in your case, an Indiana prosecutor may pursue enhanced penalties against you. If convicted of this type of charge, you might face the possibility of spending years in prison as opposed to 30 days in jail. Aggravating factors may include an extremely high blood alcohol level when taken into custody or the presence of previous DUI convictions.
What’s the threshold for an extreme DUI?
The legal blood alcohol limit in the state of Indiana is .08%. If a blood, urine or other type of chemical test reveals that your blood alcohol level is more than double that amount, you could be charged with an extreme DUI.
The law doesn’t take kindly to repeat offenders
Generally speaking, the penalties for a second DUI are harsher than those imposed on first offenders. For instance, you could spend up to 30 months in jail, have your license suspended for up to 30 months and pay a fine of up to $10,000. State law also imposes a mandatory license suspension if you refuse to take a chemical test.
This suspension generally remains in effect even if you are later acquitted in the case. It’s important to note that increased penalties may still apply even if your previous drunk driving convictions occurred in other states. A DUI defense attorney may be able to provide more insight into how your criminal history might impact your current matter.
If you are charged with DUI, it may be in your best interests to consult with an attorney. A legal adviser may be able to take steps to help you avoid a license suspension, jail time or other penalties that could be imposed if you’re convicted of driving while impaired. These steps may include attempting to suppress evidence, casting doubt on evidence introduced at trial or casting doubt on the credibility of the officer who took you into custody.