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Driving while impaired can make it far more challenging to correctly operate a vehicle. Those that have been drinking may be involved in a car accident that causes damage to their property and the property of others.

Sometimes those responsible or involved in an accident may be suspected of drinking, whether it is true.

Most people are charged with DUI after being stopped by police or at a roadside checkpoint. Many DUI arrests also occurred after an accident. When police respond to the scene of an accident, they will often evaluate all drivers involved for drug or alcohol impairment.

Since there is a high occurrence of accidents among drunk drivers, law enforcement can become overzealous and arrest those that are innocent. Testing done by officers is not error-proof and being in a stressful situation can make it hard for suspects to pass field sobriety tests.

A DUI with an accident is not included in the list of aggravating factors in Maine like it is in some states, however, that does not mean that it will not be considered when determining the extent of a charge.

Penalties for an OUI/DUI Accident in Maine

Each year alcohol related accidents cost about $37 billion, adding to the importance of law enforcement ending the issue. Property can pertain to the car of another person involved, or even a home when a driver veers of the road and comes crashing through a gate.

Damage to property will add complication to an already complex matter, causing those involved to have to deal with both charges and the cost of repair to property.

Depending on insurance coverage, some or all of the cost may be covered. An accident can also lead to a fatality, which can leave those accused facing charges for vehicular manslaughter. When a fatal car accident occurs, those involved in it will need to submit to testing of their blood alcohol content.

OUI / DUI and property damage penalties in Maine

In Maine, there is no specific penalty that applies to causing property damage because of intoxication. Instead, you can face separate charges for OUI and for the damage you caused. A regular OUI is a Class D offense and can be upgraded to a Class C if you have had 2 or more prior convictions in the past decade. The minimum penalties for OUI include:

  • 90 days of driver’s license suspension
  • A minimum fine of $500
  • 48 hours of jail time if an aggravating factors are present

If you cause an accident or any sort of property damage, you could also face charges for Driving to Endanger. Also known as reckless driving, driving to endanger penalties can result in the following:

  • 30 days to 2 years of driver’s license suspension; or
  • A minimum fine of $575

When damage to property occurs, you may also have to deal with your insurance company. Damage to other vehicles or public or private property will require repair. If you are convicted of driving under the influence, this will likely be used against you in order for the other party to get compensation. Not only will this make your insurance rates go up, you could be held liable for an accident that was not your fault.

OUI / DUI injury penalties in Maine

The most serious accidents will result in injury or even death. Maine law does specify additional penalties for drivers who are intoxicated and cause injury to other drivers or passengers. For an accident that results in serious injury, you will face Class C OUI charges. For an accident that results in the loss of life, you will face Class B charges. The penalties for these charges include:

  • Class C: A minimum of 6 months of jail time, 6 years of license suspension and a fine of $2,100.
  • Class B: A minimum of 6 months of jail time, 10 years of license suspension and a fine of $2,100

Contact a Maine OUI / DUI Accident attorney today

There are several defenses that can be sued to fight OUI charges. If your attorney can challenge that you were intoxicated, the accident you are charged with causing may be ruled just that, an accident. One of the best ways we fight OUI offenses is by challenging the sobriety test results. Our lead DUI defense lawyer is certified as a Breath Alcohol Technician, meaning he is qualified to teach police how to use sobriety testing equipment. He knows how these tests can fail and how errors can be made. In most DUI arrests, the sobriety test results are the strongest evidence that the state has against you. If your DUI attorney is able to place doubt on the validity of those results, the charges against you will become very weak.

Call us now to find out more about how we can use our experience to help you. Being charged with a DUI is serious enough. If you are facing charges of causing an accident and driving under the influence.

 

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