About one in three traffic deaths in the United States involve a drunk driver, but thanks to dedicated efforts involving driver education, law enforcement check points and ticketing, rates of drunk driving and alcohol-involved fatal crashes have gone down slightly in recent years.
Indiana addresses the seriousness of OWI through:
- Sobriety checkpoints allow police to briefly stop vehicles to see if the driver is impaired.
- Ignition interlocks installed in cars measure alcohol on the driver’s breath. Interlocks keep the car from starting if the driver has a BAC above a certain level. Mandating interlocks for all offenders, including first-time offenders, will have the greatest impact.
- Mass media campaigns spread messages about the physical dangers and legal consequences of drunk driving.
- Administrative license revocation or suspension laws allow police to take away the license of a driver who tests at or above the legal BAC limit or who refuses testing. States decide how long to suspend the license; a minimum of 90 days is effective.
- Alcohol screening and brief interventions take advantage of “teachable moments” to identify people at risk for alcohol problems and get them treatment as needed. This combined strategy, which can be delivered in health care, university, and other settings, helps change behavior and reduces alcohol-impaired crashes and injuries.
- School-based instructional programs are effective at teaching teens not to ride with drunk drivers.
Anyone can get arrested for an OWI charge, causing irritation to every day activities, but if you are a professional truck driver, it is a matter of destroying your livelihood and could have negative fiscal repercussions. It is wise to seek legal counsel to defend an OWI arrest in Hammond Indiana with the hope of a reduction in imposed penalties related to the charges.
First time offenders.
If you are found guilty of OWI in a Hammond Indiana court; OWI stands for “operating while intoxicated” identifying motorists who illegally drive their vehicles under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and have been arrested you may face the following penalties for a first time offense:
- Fees and court costs at a minimum of $300.
- Maximum fines of $5,000.
- Maximum prison time of 1 year.
- Alcohol and drug testing.
- Two year license suspension.
- Required attendance at a substance abuse education course and victim impact panel.
You may be granted a probationary license after you have served at least 30 days of your suspension. As a stipulation of these penalties, you may be ordered to install an ignition interlock device that measures your BAC, and will not allow the engine to start if you are over the legal limit. You may still have to serve jail time and pay additional fines.
If the BAC is 0.15 or higher, the penalty is a fine of up to $5,000 and incarceration for up to one year. The penalty is a fine of up to $10,000 and imprisonment for six months to two and one-half years if any one of the following applies to the OWI.
- A non-adult passenger is in the vehicle. That is, someone under age 18.
- It causes serious bodily injury.
- The OWI is the second within five years.
- It causes the death of a law enforcement animal.
If a prior OWI caused death or serious bodily injury, a second OWI carries a penalty of a fine up to $10,000 and prison for one to six years. The same is true if it’s the second OWI that caused death or injury.
Abide by the Law.
You should know the OWI laws and penalties to keep you from making the unwise decision to drink and drive. The sooner you seek out legal help after an arrest has been made, the better chance you have of lighter sentencing if your attorney can disprove any of the DUI charges against you.
Hire an attorney at Marshall P. Whalley & Associates who knows the laws that will strengthen your claim for reduced penalties or removal of all charges. OWI arrests and charges can be fought in court to minimize penalties, and in some cases prove innocence.
Marshall P. Whalley & Associates
5530 Sohl Avenue
Hammond, IN 46320-9998