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What You Should Know About OWI in Indiana

A person driving with more than .08 grams of alcohol in their breath or blood can be charged for operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OWI). A person driving with a controlled substance in their system without a valid prescription can also be charged with OWI. Even with a valid prescription, if your own drugs caused you to be intoxicated, you can still be charged with OWI.

What Is the Definition of “Intoxicated”?

The legal definition of “Intoxicated” in Indiana is someone who is under the influence of alcohol, a controlled substance, or other substances “so that there is an impaired condition of thought and action and the loss of normal control of a person’s faculties.”

What Happens If I’m Arrested for OWI?

If police stop you for OWI, remember, you do not have to submit to field sobriety tests. However, you must submit to a chemical breath test if one is requested by the police officer. Failure to submit to such a test will result in an automatic one or two-year license suspension.

If you fail a chemical breath or blood test and are charged with OWI, the court will notify the Indiana BMV and your license to drive will automatically be suspended by the BMV for six months from the date of your initial hearing before the court.

A first time OWI in Indiana is generally charged as a Class C Misdemeanor. You may be subjected to up to 60 days in jail and fined up to $500. However, aspects such as whether you endangered a person or drove with a BAC over .15 can increase these penalties.

Can I Save My Driver’s License?

If you’ve been charged with OWI, there is a new law in Indiana that allows you to avoid a total suspension of your driver’s license. If you notify the court at the time of your initial hearing that you will be filing a petition for specialized driving privileges and file that petition within 10 days of the initial hearing, you may be able to retain the right to drive to and from and in the course of your employment.

You need to act fast if you have been charged for OWI and want to save your license. Call (317) 720-3334 today to schedule a free consultation with an attorney at Stoesz & Stoesz, LLC.

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