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OUI Defense Lawyers in Brunswick, ME

Different district attorney offices in Maine handle cases of operating under the influence (OUI) slightly differently even though the same law applies throughout the state. These practical differences can end up radically altering how a case progresses through the system.

Here is what you need to know if you were pulled over, arrested, and charged for OUI in the town of Brunswick.

Maine OUI Laws

Maine’s OUI law applies throughout the state. Found at 29-A Maine Statute § 2411, it prohibits driving with a blood alcohol content, or BAC, at or above the legal limit of 0.08%. It also prohibits driving while impaired, allowing police to make judgment calls if a breathalyzer shows you’re under the legal limit.

Police in Maine and Brunswick both utilize a handful of techniques to detect drunk or drugged drivers and gather evidence of an OUI offense, including:

  • Mobile, handheld breath tests, known as portable breathalyzers
  • Field sobriety tests
  • Blood tests
  • Urine tests
  • Stationary, supposedly more accurate, breath testing machines.

OUI Penalties in Brunswick

An OUI has become a very serious offense, thanks to aggressive lobbying and politicians who don’t want to look “soft” on drunk driving charges. As a result, the penalties of an OUI conviction are shockingly high, especially in victimless cases where there was a traffic stop rather than a crash.

The penalties rise dramatically if you have had one or more OUI convictions in the span of the last decade:

No. of Offense (Last 10 Years) License Suspension Jail Time Minimum Fine
1st Offense 150 Days 0 – 96 hours $500
2nd Offense 3 Years 7 Days $700
3rd Offense 6 Years 30 Days $1,100
4th Offense 8 Years 6 Months $2,100

Certain aggravating factors can add to the potential penalties:

  • Having a BAC of 0.15% or above, speeding at least 30 miles per hour over the speed limit, or attempting to evade police all carry minimum jail sentences of 48 hours.
  • Having a passenger under the age of 21 in the car at the time of the arrest carries a minimum jail sentence of 48 hours and adds 275 days to a license suspension.
  • Refusing to take a breathalyzer or a blood test carries a minimum of 96 hours in jail and adds 275 days to the license suspension.

Dealing with these penalties can also cause other problems in your life as well. For example, the license suspension can easily cause employment problems if there are few other ways to manage your commute while the blemish of an OUI on your criminal background can close important professional doors that otherwise would have been open.

Defense against a Brunswick OUI charge

Because of the steep penalties of a conviction, defending against an OUI charge is critical. While every case is different, there are a small handful of common defenses that can be raised to protect your future.

Inaccurate BAC or Field Sobriety Tests

Contrary to what law enforcement agencies would have you believe, BAC tests like breathalyzers are notoriously fickle and prone to producing false positives. They all need to be calibrated constantly, but police rarely maintain them properly. Perhaps more importantly, breathalyzers – especially the mobile breathalyzers that are often given during the traffic stop – pick up environmental factors that can significantly increase the BAC reading they produce, putting innocent people into serious trouble.

Field sobriety tests are even worse. Numbers from law enforcement agencies show that the best field sobriety tests are only accurate three-quarters of the time.

No Reasonable Suspicion for a Traffic Stop

One of the most common defenses to an OUI charge is that there was no reasonable suspicion for the traffic stop. Police are not allowed to pull over whoever they want – they need a reason to make a traffic stop or else risk violating the driver’s Fourth Amendment rights. If they don’t have the necessary reasonable suspicion to support the traffic stop, any evidence found during the stop can be excluded from your trial.

OUIs in Brunswick, Maine

Traffic stops and OUI arrests that happen in Brunswick, Maine, often lead to drivers and OUI suspects being taken to the Brunswick Police Department at 85 Pleasant Street. There, police will “book” you into the system, meaning they take your personal information like your name and address and record some basic information about why you were arrested.

You may then be held in a holding cell until someone comes to pick you up. In most OUI cases, you will be released on your own recognizance – you will have to sign an agreement that you will be present at future court dates. In serious OUI cases, you may have to post bail before being allowed to leave.

OUI cases that happen in Brunswick are prosecuted by attorneys from the Cumberland County District Attorney’s Office and are heard in the Maine District Court in West Bath, which is located at 101 New Meadows Road. There is plenty of parking at this courthouse, though there is often only one judge on hand to deal with the court’s daily docket.

Because it is in Cumberland County, if you get arrested for an OUI in Brunswick, you will have to personally appear at your arraignment soon after your arrest unless you hire an attorney from this office to represent you.

Contact an OUI defense lawyer in Brunswick today

If you have been arrested and charged with an OUI in Brunswick, Maine, you need legal representation to make sure your rights are invoked and the prosecutor’s case gets challenged. The penalties of an OUI conviction are severe and can alter the course of your life. Fighting for your innocence by challenging the evidence against you is essential for preserving your rights and your future.

The OUI defense lawyers at The Maine Criminal Defense Group can help. Call our law office at (207) 571-8146 or contact us online if you have been arrested and charged with OUI in Brunswick.

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