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Understanding OUI Violations for Underage Drinkers






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Dec 19, 2019

Understanding OUI Violations for Underage Drinkers

Maine is one of three states that use the OUI (Operating Under the Influence) designation for individuals using vehicles under the influence of alcohol or drugs. DUI (Driving Under the Influence) and BUI (Boating Under the Influence) are more specific charges under the OUI umbrella. Penalties under OUI violations will vary depending on previous alcohol violations and aggravating factors, like reckless driving or transportation of minors while under the influence.

If you are not of legal drinking age and found to be operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you will have some extra factors to deal with in your OUI case. One example is that you will have to answer for the civil offense of consuming alcohol under the age of 21 in addition to the moving violation of OUI.

What Happens During your Traffic Stop

As with all routine traffic stops, the police officer will ask for your identification and proof of insurance if you are pulled over. No matter your age, the officer will ask you to comply with a BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) test if he or she has any suspicion that you are under the influence. Maine’s Implied Consent law states that refusal to submit to a breathalyzer or other chemical test is grounds to immediately suspend your driver’s license.

Assuming you consent to a BAC test, Maine’s Zero Tolerance law prohibits individuals under 21 to have any measurable amount of alcohol in their system. If you are of legal drinking age, a BAC under .08 percent is permitted.

Ramifications of an OUI Conviction

An OUI conviction will result in a 12-month license suspension if you are underage. If you refused a BAC test and are convicted, you have now lost your license for 18 months. Six months could also be added to your suspension if you are convicted with aggravating factors, so time can quickly add up. Additionally, your license will be suspended while you are waiting to go to court. Separate from your OUI conviction, you will have to pay a fine (usually $500) for consuming alcohol while underage.

Let Us Help

An OUI violation is unique in that it generally cannot be expunged from your record. It will likely follow you in some form for the rest of your life. Experienced defense attorneys can negotiate with prosecutors to reduce charges or orchestrate a plea bargain to improve your outcome. A competent legal team can also, of course, fight the charges in court. If you are facing the prospect of an underage OUI conviction, call us now at (207) 571-8146 so we can assess your situation and help protect your future.



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