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An OUI is a permanent black mark on your Maine driving and criminal record, but this is not the only thing about which you should concern yourself when facing this type of driving infraction. There are numerous legal consequences surrounding a Maine OUI arrest, many of which have the potential of damaging you far beyond your driving record. Maine takes operating under the influence very seriously, and you should verse yourself with the laws by which drivers are bound to avoid losing your privilege to drive in Maine.
Once You Get Behind the Wheel
Maine is quite clear that by virtue of driving in the state of Maine, your consent to a blood alcohol analysis is implied. Law enforcement has the legal right to test your blood alcohol level based upon the fact that you drove or attempted to drive your vehicle. If you remain uncooperative and refuse to submit to a blood, breath or urine alcohol test, you will face an automatic license suspension. For your first refusal, you’ll lose your driver’s license for 275 days, and for your second and third offenses, 18 months. These suspensions run consecutive to anything the court imposes if convicted of the crime.
Should you agree to a blood alcohol assessment and your reading is 0.08 percent or higher, you are legally impaired according to Maine OUI law and you will be charged with the crime of drunk driving. Keep in mind, it does not matter whether you were driving appeared to be impaired or you appeared to be driving in a sober manner; your blood alcohol content is what the police and prosecution consider to be the most damning evidence of your guilt and the the Distrit Attorney can pursue action against, you even if the authorities do not test your blood alcohol level within a reasonable time limit.
Facing the Consequences
There is a very good chance that you’ll be sentenced to jail time if you are convicted of drunk driving. If this if first time you’ve been charged with OUI, and the charge includes what the state calls “aggravating factors” (a blood alcohol content of .15 percent or higher and/or you were driving 30 miles above the speed limit as well as other factors), you’re facing a mandatory minimum period of incarceration, which amounts to two days in the county jail. For your second offense, the mandatory minimum jail sentence will be extended to seven days. For a third offense, you’re facing felony charges and if convicted, you’re facing a mandatory minimum 30 days jail time. If you’re busted for a fourth offense within the past 10 years, you’re facing a mandatory minimum period of incarceration of six months in the county jail. The court is free to impose a longer jail sentence or prison sentence and in many cases, you’re likely to be facing significantly more jail or prison time than just the mandatory minimums.
In addition to being unable to work while serving your court-ordered jail or prison sentence, the fines imposed for driving under the influence also pack a quite a punch to your wallet. Fines range anywhere from $500 for your first offense to up to $5,000.00 for your third or greater offense; regardless of whether you refuse to submit to blood alcohol testing. And you can bet that the state of Maine will use all means necessary to collect any court-ordered fines.
As you can see, it is not worth the risk of operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol in the state of Maine. While there are circumstances that may allow your sentence to be reduced, unless the conviction is overturned, an OUI conviction results in a permanent criminal record, which will show up on most employment background checks among other things. The Law Office of William T. Bly is an expert in defending Maine OUI and DUI cases and brings a wealth of defense experience to your OUI arrest.
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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