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Home > Blog > OUI/DUI/DWI > Viewing Future DUI Laws Through My Crystal Ball
Jul 6, 2012

Viewing Future DUI Laws Through My Crystal Ball

As time goes by, the DUI laws in Maine will become more and more draconian. The natural inclination for the legislature is to increase the penalties for a DUI conviction; not decrease. Prior to 2009, the penalties for a DUI conviction in Maine were as follows:

  • 1st offense with no aggravating circumstances: 90-day loss of license and a $500 fine;
  • 2nd offense with no aggravating circumstances: 7-day jail sentence, 18-month loss of license and a $700 fine
  • 3rd offense with no aggravating circumstances: 30-day jail sentence, 3-year loss of license and a $1,000 fine.

The license suspension for 2nd and 3rd offense OUI convictions have doubled since then and the outlook isn’t any brighter. With more and more people moving to Maine and thus more and more traffic on the roads, OUIs will only continue to increase in numbers. That means high profile drunk driving cases where death occurs will continue to increase as well. The reaction from our legislatures has always been to increase the penalties as well as enforcement of the laws.

While the penalties for a Maine driver are already tough, those penalties may pale in comparison to what your home state may impose for an out-of-state conviction. States such as Arizona, Texas, and California have far worse penalties than the laws in Maine currently provide for.

If I look through my crystal ball, I think the next BIG change to our DUI laws in Maine will concern the imposition of longer mandatory jail sentences. A 48-hour mandatory jail sentence could easily be increased to 14-30 days as is required in some other states.

The stakes for a DUI conviction will continue to rise as time goes by and is something that you the client will need to consider when deciding whether or not you plan on getting an attorney involved in the defense of your case.

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