Facing a charge of OUI can bring confusion, embarrassment and probably some anger too. It is not a charge to take lightly, and you will need to be prepared for the legal cases ahead of you. Yes, there are two. Read on.
Maine has very strict OUI laws that address not only alcohol, but all intoxicants including drugs and prescription medication. If you are stopped for suspicion of operating under the influence, the officer will begin to make his case against you as soon as he gets out of his car. They must have a reason to stop you, and generally he will say he noticed a wide turn, swerving or weaving, erratic braking, slow acceleration or a dozen other factors he’s been trained to look for. The less you speak, the better for you later on. Everything you say or do will be used as evidence against you. If you have red eyes or a flushed face, that will be noted as well. You may refuse to take any field sobriety tests, but if the situation gets that far, you’re likely to be arrested anyway. Be polite, don’t shout, and don’t joke. By law, you must submit to a breath test, and if you refuse, you will automatically lose your license for 275 days, consecutive to any court imposed suspension. Maine law says that you may be determined to be under the influence if you are “slightly impaired” due to substances, or if your BAC (blood alcohol content) is .08 or higher. Both of these factors can lead to an arrest.
An arrest will automatically trigger two separate legal cases against you, the first wil be an administrative case run by the BMV. This case will deal exclusively with things such as license suspension, reinstatement and points on your driving record. Upon arrest, you will be notified to immediately submit your license to the BMV. You must request a hearing to contest your suspension within 10 days or face automatic suspension of your license with no further recourse. Additionally you’ll have a court case where your attorney will present your case. The results of the court case will determine things such as jail time, fines, court fees, and alcohol education programs. The court case can suspend your license as well. It is possible to win your court case and still have your license suspended by the BMV. A guilty verdict for OUI can bring jail time, fines and court fees, license suspension and can affect your life for a long time. You should not consider attempting to handle your case yourself. A lawyer who specializes in OUI defense will be knowledgeable about the current laws and how best to fight them. It is recommended that you contact a local Maine DUI / OUI lawyer for a free consultation about your case. Don’t take a chance with your future.
If you are arrested outside your home state, be sure to ask your attorney how this law will impact you.
The penalties listed below are called for by statute, are not complete, and can often be removed or reduced significantly with the assistance of a local Maine OUI attorney.
• Incarceration – 2 days in jail for BAC .15; 4 days in jail for test refusal
• Fines & Fees – $500 fine
• License Suspension – 90 days
ADDITIONAL COSTS AND CONSEQUENCES
• Bail – set by the court, required before being released after being arrested
• Towing - towing fee approximately $100 plus daily storage fees
• Insurance –As a designated “high risk” driver, your rates will be raised significantly by your insurance company, possibly doubling, tripling or quadrupling for several years.
• Record – driving record will permanently reflect a DUI conviction
• Employment – you may lose time off work and maybe even your job
• Immigration and travel – restrictions can apply with certain convictions
Additional offenses will bring significantly higher penalties, up to 5 years in prison and $5,000 in fines. Don’t take a chance with your freedom. It is highly recommended that you contact a qualified local DUI attorney right away for a FREE CONSULTATION on your case. It is possible that your case CAN be won with the right representation.