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OUI-DUI Penalties: Penalty for Drunk Driving in Maine

John Scott Webb - Peer Rated 2018 - Super Lawyers 2023 and founder of Webb Law Maine site

By: Maine OUI lawyer John Webb, who explains How to Get out of an OUI in Maine

Maine classifies its Maine drugged driving and drunk driving laws by being either a misdemeanor OUI or a felony DUI charge. So, if accused of driving while intoxicated in Maine, the offense will be a misdemeanor or felony charge, and not an infraction.

What about if it is only my first offense D.U.I.? Even being charged with a misdemeanor first OUI charge, you can face a mandatory jail sentence and lose the right to drive. A 1st offense DUI (called first offense OUI in Maine) can bring a good bit of trouble and inconvenience to your life.

This article focuses on a Maine DUI first offense. If you are facing your 2nd DUI in Maine within 10 years, go to this page for 2nd offense OUI information. If it is your OUI 1st offense outside of the ten-year window, stay on this page and read further, because you will be considered a first offender again.

Need Legal Help from Webb Law Firm's criminal defense attorneys? Call now, 24 hours a day to (207) 283-6400

Three vitally important OUI Meaning factors justify the cost of hiring a top-rated O.U.I. attorney in Maine for ANY drunk driving arrest:

  1. A first O.U.I. offense offers your best chance for a Maine OUI plea bargain, statistically speaking. By limiting the courts our lawyers service, our litigators get to know and understand criminal court personnel in southern ME.
  2. An OUI lawyer Maine with a good relationship with your court prosecutor will know how she or he reacts to a person refusing the chemical test, after being arrested for intoxicated driving. Hence, the Maine criminal law attorney can know how to approach the possibility of a non-OUI solution for your case, if possible.
  3. Sometimes setting up a plan for our client to immediately pay for an install an immediate ignition interlock device for administrative suspensions can be a negotiating tool in plea negotiations.
Why Having a First OUI in Maine can be GREAT News

Many people (after being arrested for a 1st OUI offense) are embarrassed and confused, but do not call a lawyer in Maine for legal help. This can be a huge mistake, especially since our criminal defense lawyers charge NOTHING for an initial lawyer consultation. You may ask, "why do you do that?"

Maine OUI laws- Administrative License Suspension 10 day Warning applicable to all DUI vs OUI arrests in Maine.

First, you only have ten (10) days after arrest to file the administrative license suspension appeal with the Maine BMV (part of the Maine Secretary of State's Office). This filing of an appeal allows an accused person to challenge the OUI suspension (for violating implied consent laws) that immediately goes into effect for that arrested driver because he or she either:

  1. (a) refused to take the post-arrest forensic test requested (by the officer) on the Intoxilyzer 8000; or
  2. (b) after taking that implied consent test and it is revealing a result of 0.08 grams percent or more, an OUI per se suspension can be imposed.

So, if you need to be able to operate a motor vehicle for the next 6 months, follow this legal advice! Some people go for 6 months without driving, when they miss the 10-days-to-appeal deadline. If that had called us, they could have driven for 150 days of that 180-day suspension, and have their total suspension lowered to a 30 day total suspension period.

Having any aggravating factors (like a DUI refusal) brings 48 hours of jail time and license suspension. (See OUI administrative penalty chart below)

Maine OUI laws - Administrative License Suspension Chart showing potential length of administrative law suspensions or revocations. Criminal suspensions can also apply.

This article delves into Maine OUI penalties of driving under the influence, which is called OUI in Maine or DUI in Maine. Because DUI (driving under the influence of alcohol) is the most used abbreviation in America, it is used freely on this page on DUI punishment.

OUI legal consequences can be increased when an OUI car operator refuses to take the post arrest breathalyzer or blood test, both in terms of minimum fines and loss of driving privileges. Plus, certain "dangerousness" factors creating aggravated OUI Maine punishments like a high BAC or having children as passengers in the vehicle while DUI can boost punishment at sentencing.

A Maine OUI law crime becomes a felony as it reaches Class C status, for a 3rd of more impaired driving offense within 10 years. A Class C crime is a felony, and punishable by up to five years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $5,000.

The State of Maine relies on a “Class” system to rank offenses by severity. Classes D and E are the least severe and as such are misdemeanors, they usually carry the lowest criminal law DUI penalties. On the other hand, Classes C, B, and A are the most serious, and are felonies. See Maine OUI Offenses criminal chart below.

Maine OUI criminal law penalties chart for 1st OUI, 2nd offense DUI, and other repeat OUI offenses. Maine OUI penalties infographic. OUI Arrests in Maine: Avoiding an OUI Conviction

So, an “OUI case” or “OUI Charge” describes the criminal law as "operating under the influence of intoxicants." The OUI Maine statute also criminalizes having an intoxicating alcohol level of 0.08 or higher grams percent of alcohol while operating a vehicle or having an impairing drug content within your body while behind the wheel.

This three-letter acronym (O.U.I.) is short for Operating Under the Influence, which is synonymous with driving under the influence (DUI). The Maine "major offenses" traffic law is found under Title 29A-Section 2411 of OUI laws in ME.

The State of Maine and two other states, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island, use this abbreviation. Similarly, OWI stands for Operating While Intoxicated. This is the drunken driving abbreviation used in Iowa, Indiana, and Michigan.

Only Ohio uses OVI which stands for “operating vehicle while intoxicated.” The gist of such laws is to proscribe citizens from endangering the public by having an illegal blood alcohol level or impairing level of drugs.

Webb Law Maine-Map of the counties in southern Maine that our OUI attorneys near me serve. Yellow highlighter shows those areas.

A simple OUI definition is the motor vehicle crime of impaired driving. This includes drunk driving and drugged driving when you define OUI in the State of Maine.

For the legislators in the Pine Tree State, in writing Maine DUI laws, lawmakers wanted to make clear that operating is more descriptive since the vehicle need not be in MOTION or on a highway for you to be charged with driving under the influence of alcohol.

FREE Consultation with Our OUI Lawyers Near Me in Southern Maine

As you can see from the tips given above, obtaining immediate legal advice from experts on OUI laws in Maine is very wise. Our four Maine OUI attorneys are ready to advise you and serve you as your legal counsel in southern Maine.

Trying to self-represent is a huge mistake, when representation by counsel is guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment of the Unites States Constitution. Call today at 207-283-6400.

Webb Law Maine offers a 24-hour lawyer to talk with. Make the Free Call 24/7 to 207-283-6400

Contact a southern Maine OUI attorney near me in Portland ME or Saco Maine about serious traffic law violations like OUI or criminal speeding. You will glad you took advantage of our FREE consultation with a skilled legal advisor on Maine OUI laws.

Saco Maine Office:
16 Middle St.
Saco, ME 04072
Tel: (207) 283-6400 | Fax: (207) 283-4900

Portland Maine Office:
120 Exchange Street
4th Floor
Portland, ME 04101
Tel: (207) 835-7008 | Fax: (207) 283-4900

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Vincent is a very knowledgeable, talented lawyer! He along with all of the Webb Law staff provided us with the best legal advice anyone could ask for. Our son was facing 3 very serious charges. Vinnie knew just how to find the discrepancies in the testimony given. He worked very hard on our case! We will forever be grateful to him!! Hire him and you will not be disappointed! Dan and Lauretta
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