We all know that driving under the influence is SUPER dangerous. I mean, alcohol and drugs can impair your vision, alertness, actions, etc.
But what does Indiana law say about DUI?
We’re going to expand on that here.
Not only that, but we’ll also talk about other related laws, severe penalties, how to spot impaired drivers, and so much more.
With this, you’ll learn everything you need to know about Indiana DUI laws.
So without further ado, let’s begin!
DUI Laws in Indiana
When suspected of drunk driving, a police officer will stop you to check your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC).
Now, your BAC level will determine whether you were operating while intoxicated (OWI) or not. And it is considered DUI or OWI if your BAC level reaches a certain percentage.
Here are the illegal BAC levels in Indiana:
- You are at least 21 years old and your BAC level is 0.8% or more
- You hold a CDL and your BAC level is 0.04% or more
- You are under 21 years old and your BAC level is 0.02% or more
But it’s not just about alcohol.
You will be charged with DUI if you are:
- Intoxicated with drugs (a THC level of at least 0.03%)
- Found to have any amount of schedule I or schedule II controlled substance
Besides that, there are other laws related to DUI in Indiana.
Implied Consent Law
The Implied Consent Law states that if you are driving on an Indiana highway, you are automatically subjected to a breath or blood test to check your BAC levels.
Those who refuse to take these tests could be arrested and given a 1-year license suspension. If you have had a previous DUI offense, your license could be suspended for up to 2 years.
Open Container Law
Driving a motor vehicle with an open bottle of alcohol is illegal in Indiana. This is the Open Container Law.
But what’s considered an “open bottle”?
- A bottle that has been opened or has no cap
- A bottle with a broken seal
- A bottle with reduced contents
Take note that if you are parked while consuming alcohol, this does not violate the Open Container Law. This law is only applicable to vehicles that are moving.
Still, though, it’s best to avoid that situation as it could eventually lead to DUI.
DUI Penalties in Indiana
What happens if you’ve been convicted of a DUI/OWI?
There are harsh penalties that will be given depending on your age, the number of offenses you’ve made, and the BAC level.
In general, if you have a BAC level of .08% to 0.14%, you will get a Class C Misdemeanor and the following penalties:
|1st Offense||2nd Offense||3rd Offense|
|Fine||Up to $500||Up to $500||Up to $500|
|Jail Time||Up to 60 days||Up to 60 days||Up to 60 days|
|License Suspension||Up to 180 days||Up to 1 year||Up to 1 year|
If your BAC level reaches 0.15% or higher, you will be charged with a Class A Misdemeanor with imprisonment charges of up to 1 year and a fine of up to $5,000.
Plus, in all these instances, your DUI misdemeanors will be on your driving record forever.
Of course, if you cause injury or death due to DUI, you will face even harsher penalties, decided by the court.
How to Spot Impaired Drivers
Say, you’re not in the habit of being intoxicated while driving. Does that mean you’re completely safe?
Sadly, the answer is no.
There is still a chance that you encounter a person who’s intoxicated while driving.
Our best defense for these scenarios is knowing how to spot impaired drivers so that we can avoid them. Here are some signs that give them away:
- Sudden or illegal turning
- Overspeeding or rapid accelerations
- Headlights are not turned on at night
- Frequent weaving, turning, or swerving
- Turns unusually wide
- Close proximity to other cars or in striking distance between cars
If you spot these behaviors, then it’s best to avoid them, as well as call a traffic enforcer before the drunk driver causes any harm.
Is a DUI a Felony in Indiana?
A DUI in Indiana will be charged with a misdemeanor. However, this can be raised to a felony charge if you have already been convicted before.
That said, you can still be charged with a felony even if it’s your first time. This is if you have someone who is under 18 years old in your vehicle while you were caught drunk driving.
Likewise, if the DUI incident resulted in a collision that injured or killed a person, you will also be charged with a felony.
How Long Does a DUI Stay on Record in Indiana?
Unfortunately, you can’t remove a DUI from your driving record. This will stay forever, so it’s best to avoid it altogether.
How Do You Get a DUI Dismissed in Indiana?
There are several ways to get your DUI dismissed in Indiana, but you will need an attorney to help you prove your case.
Here are some reasons your DUI can be dismissed:
- There are no (sufficient) grounds for pulling you over. Contrary to popular belief, police officers can’t just ask you to pull over – they need to have grounds for doing so (i.e. overspeeding, swerving).
- There was a misconduct on the field sobriety and breath tests taken.
- The testing machines, such as the breathalyzer, were faulty or damaged. Factors such as storage, calibration, and handling can affect how testing machines check your BAC level.
- The police officer did not explain your rights. The police officer should enumerate your rights, including having a lawyer.
So that was everything you need to know about the Indiana DUI laws.
As we saw, Indiana has harsh penalties for operating while intoxicated. So if you want to avoid the consequences, DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE!
And if you’re the one who is trying to avoid getting hit by someone who is a possible drunk driver, make sure to notice the signs so that you can drive farther away from them and warn the police.
Remember, always choose safety!