Maine Legal Group Logo
Main Office
Satellite Office
Consultations by Appointment Only

How to Get Out of an OUI in Maine

How to get out of an OUI in Maine

A charge for OUI in Maine has potential consequences that go well beyond what most people expect for drunk driving.

Even for a first offense, you can go to jail for up to a year, lose your license and end up with a lifelong criminal record that affects many aspects of your life.

While this may seem harsh for an honest mistake or a first-time aberration behind the wheel of your car, the justice system in Maine is committed to reducing the types of serious accidents associated with DUI and clamps down hard.

To get out of an OUI charge, you need serious legal representation from a team that is committed to compiling the strongest possible defense and understands how these cases usually progress in Maine.

Call 207-571-8146 or contact us online to schedule a consult with one of our highly skilled criminal defense attorneys today.

Table of Contents

What does OUI mean in Maine?

OUI means operating under the influence and it’s Maine’s equivalent of driving under the influence (DUI). Massachusetts and Rhode Island also use the same term.

The state’s OUI laws apply to anyone who operates a motor vehicle. This includes boats, cars, trucks, motorcycles, jet skis, SUVs, 18-wheelers and other vehicles.

OUI can mean either operating a vehicle while under the influence of intoxicants or having a blood or breath-alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 grams or higher. You don’t need to exceed the legal limit to be charged with OUI; impaired driving due to any intoxicant including alcohol, illicit drugs or prescription drugs is illegal and can lead to a criminal charge.

Around 80 percent of OUI arrests in Maine are first offenses and the majority of the remainder are second offenses (Class D misdemeanors rather than felonies). A lot of people face criminal charges for the first time and may be disoriented and confused by the legal processes involved.

It is, therefore, essential to seek legal assistance so that the potential consequences can be mitigated and so that you understand the recommended next steps. Even if it is not your first offense, legal representation can make the difference between jail time and a lesser sentence or an acquittal.

What’s next after an OUI arrest in Maine?

Penalties if convicted of an OUI for the first time

A first-time OUI or refusal of a test is the lowest level of criminal OUI in Maine. Even so, this can result in up to 364 days in jail as well as probation for up to one year and a fine of up to $2,000. You can also lose your license for up to 14 months in the case of a first offense refusal.

In reality, the full extent of these penalties is rarely applied for a conviction for a first-offense OUI — especially if an experienced criminal lawyer defends you. The mandatory minimum license suspension is for 150 days, and a $500 fine is applied in cases where a blood, breath or drug test is obtained.

After a first OUI offense, you may seek reinstatement of your license after 30 days if you pay for an ignition interlock device to be installed in your vehicle and drive with it for 120 days.

This may help offenders not only get to and from work. Those who need their driver’s license for employment purposes may also apply for a work-restricted license so that they can keep their jobs.

For repeat offenders — especially those with three or more convictions within a 10-year period — penalties get considerably tougher. For starters, the reasonably quick reinstatement of driving privileges is no longer available.

Note that Maine BMV administrative license suspension penalties will start after an OUI arrest and, unless an administrative hearing is requested and the suspension reversed, will run concurrently with any criminal license suspension applied by the Maine courts.

Call 207-571-8146 or contact us online to schedule a consult with one of our highly skilled criminal defense attorneys today.

Implied consent and chemical testing laws in Maine

If you are taken to a Maine police station on suspicion of OUI and asked to submit to a chemical test, you will need to provide a breath, blood or urine sample.

This is not the same as a roadside test, which you may legally refuse. Chemical tests are compulsory, and refusal can result in harsher penalties than an ordinary OUI conviction.

However, a strict set of procedures must be followed by law enforcement personnel when conducting chemical tests. If these procedures are not followed to the letter, a skilled criminal defense lawyer may be able to use this mistake to help you escape an OUI conviction.

Breath tests must be conducted by persons certified by the Department of Health and Human Services and the equipment used must be approved by that department.

A certificate showing reading from the forensic tests is admissible in evidence at court and constitutes prima facie evidence of blood or breath-alcohol level. The test details and results must be provided to a criminal defense attorney upon request after the arraignment or filing of the BMV suspension action against the defendant.

What happens to out-of-state drivers arrested for an OUI?

If an out-of-state (or Canadian) driver is arrested and convicted in the state of Maine, the conviction is reported to the “home” authorities.

Even before then, the “home” state or Canadian province may suspend a license for the BMV suspension. Massachusetts, for instance, honors Maine BMV suspensions. A conviction will result in a suspension in the home state/province, but the length of suspension will depend on the driver’s record there.

Fight your OUI charge in Maine

To give yourself the best possible chance of getting out of a drunk driving charge in Maine, you need representation from a competent OUI attorney who understands the local OUI laws.

For experienced help in defending an OUI charge, call the Maine Criminal Defense Group at 207-571-8146 for an initial case evaluation.

Call 207-571-8146 or contact us online to schedule a consult with one of our highly skilled criminal defense attorneys today.

Blog Posts


Contact our office to speak with
one of our team members who will set up a confidential consultation to discuss your case.


Great group of people. Managed to get me a favorable outcome from a very bad situation. I would highly recommend this firm if you have legal troubles. Top notch performance!!

Dave Allen

So thankful I chose this team to represent me. They’re the best, hands down. Nathan Hitchcock proved my innocence not once but TWICE, including a trial by jury. I have a family in law enforcement who told me “Bill Bly and his team are the best. If I would recommend anyone, it would be them.”

Brandon Albert





Ready to Get Started? Get In Touch With Us Today!

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.

Get to Know Our Group
Maine Legal Group

We are a boutique law firm, and we stand out by prioritizing our clients’ well-being. At The Maine Legal Group, our experienced team offers personalized attention in both criminal defense and divorce cases.

The Maine Criminal Defense Group

The Maine Criminal Defense Group adeptly handles all areas of criminal defense practice, including experienced and skilled legal representation for state and federal charges.

The Maine Divorce Group

The Maine Divorce Group empowers individuals skillfully navigating divorce with compassionate guidance, ensuring a brighter future through the challenges of the process.