There are a variety of different levels, forms, and ultimately punishments for drunk or impaired driving. Fortunately, we live in a society that discourages this extremely dangerous and reckless activity, but of course there are still those that will partake. Besides the obvious and tragic results that can stem from DUI (driving under the influence) and OWI/DWI (operating/driving while intoxicated), like serious injuries and death, a conviction of this kind can have monumental effects on your life.
Indiana in particular has specific laws and policies on DUI/OWI that many people are unaware of. The hope is that you will never need one, but if you ever find yourself in the position of needing a DUI lawyer, or even a criminal defense attorney from the aftermath, here are three uncommon facts about the laws on the books in the state of Indiana to keep in mind.
1.) 0.08% Threshold Myth: Many people believe that in order to be charged with a DUI or OWI in Indiana, adults 21 and older must be found to have a BAC of .08% or higher. This is false. You can be charged with OWI or OVWI even if you pass an alcohol test, depending on the circumstances. In fact, some DUI charges don’t even involve alcohol at all. With drugged driving being more prevalent you can be charged if using both illegal and prescription drugs.
2.) Minimum Suspension Laws: Another common misconception is the result of a recently changed law. There used to be a minimum 30 day suspension of license following a first DUI conviction. This is not the case anymore. There is no longer a minimum suspension and length of driving suspension can be anywhere from zero days to the maximum potential penalty for a given misdemeanor.
3.) Underage Drinking Limits: For whatever reason another popular myth to perpetuate is that underage drinkers can be charged with a DUI if their BAC is .02%, which is not true. There are however minor consumption, minor possession of alcohol, and open container laws that apply specifically to minors who are not drunk, but have been found guilty of driving with alcohol in their systems or vehicle.
Save yourself the headache of keeping track of all these complex and confusing statutes and be smart: Don’t drive after drinking or using drugs.