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Helping Clients Fight OUI Charges in Maine

In Maine, the offense of drunk or impaired driving is referred to as operating under the influence (OUI), and state officials take this offense very seriously. Because of the potentially harsh consequences you might face for OUI convictions – even for a first offense – you should never wait to discuss your charges with an OUI defense lawyer near you. Consult with the experienced attorneys at The Maine Criminal Defense Group right away. 

 “Per Se” OUI

Often, police officers who suspect a driver might be under the influence will request that the driver submit a breath sample for a breathalyzer test. If test results show that your blood alcohol content (BAC) is over 0.08 percent, it is legally presumed that you are intoxicated. If the test results are found to be accurate, those results will be enough to convict you. It is important to have a defense lawyer who can evaluate the circumstances of your breath test (or blood test following an arrest) and identify whether it was administered incorrectly and should be called into question. 

It is important to note that drivers of commercial vehicles are presumed to be intoxicated with a BAC of 0.04 percent, while underage drivers can be convicted of OUI if any alcohol is detected in their system at all.

Other Evidence of Impairment

Even if your BAC is below the legal limit, you still might face OUI charges if an officer alleges, they observed any signs of impairment. Some common observations presented in OUI cases include:

  • Bloodshot or watery eyes
  • Slurred speech
  • Loss of balance or coordination
  • Lack of mental focus
  • Falling asleep 
  • Open containers in the vehicle
  • Odor of alcohol

Your attorney should know how to challenge officer observations, as many police officers do not clearly recollect specific arrests or circumstances. 

Possible Penalties of OUI

Maine law sets out mandatory minimum penalties for OUI convictions, and many people face consequences that are harsher than the minimum allowed.  Mandatory minimums are the lowest sentences that can be imposed by a judge.  The sentence imposed can always be more, but not less than the mandatory minimum.  The following are some mandatory minimum penalties for OUI convictions:

  • First OUI offense – 150 days of license suspension, $500 fine
  • First OUI offense with aggravating factors – 150 days of license suspension, $500 fine, 48 hours in jail
  • First refusal of a breath test – 150 day license suspension, consecutive to the BMV 275 day license suspension, for a total of 14 months loss of license, $600 fine, 96 hours in jail
  • Second OUI offense – Three year license suspension, $700 fine, seven days in jail
  • Second refusal of a breath test – Three years of license suspension, consecutive to any previously imposed BMV license suspension, $900 fine, 12 days in jail
  • Third OUI offense – Six-year license suspension, $1100 fine, 30 days in jail
  • Third refusal of a breath test – Six year license suspension, consecutive to any previously imposed BMV license suspension, $1400 fine, 40 days in jail.  This crime is considered a felony
  • Fourth OUI offense – Eight year license suspension, $2100 fine, six months in jail.  This crime is considered a felony.
  • Fourth refusal of a breath test – Eight years of license suspension, consecutive to any previously imposed BMV license suspension, $2500 fine, six months and 20 days in jail

Contact an OUI Defense Lawyer Near You as Soon as Possible after an Arrest

As you can see, the penalties for OUI in Maine can be harsh. The Maine Criminal Defense Group regularly stands up for defendants after OUI arrests, so please contact us to learn how an OUI defense lawyer near you can help.

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If you are facing criminal charges in Maine, the attorneys at The Maine Criminal Defense Group are here to help. Call our office to speak with
one of our team members, who will discuss your case with you and set up a consultation with one of our attorneys

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