Maine OUI Laws (Everything You Should Know)

Maine OUI Laws (Everything You Should Know)

If there’s one state that has very strict drunk driving laws, it’s Maine. 

And this shows in the state’s Operating Under the Influence (OUI) laws. 

But what is considered OUI in Maine?

What are the penalties if you’re caught with OUI?

Let’s answer these questions and more in this complete guide to the Maine OUI laws. With this guide, you’ll know everything you need to know. 

So without further ado, let’s begin!

OUI Laws in Maine

If you’re familiar with the Maine DMV Handbook, then you’ll know that it frequently reminds drivers not to drink and drive

It also stresses that driving is a privilege, but if you’re charged with OUI, this privilege will be revoked. 

As we said, Maine is very strict about drunk driving. 

So let’s go over the OUI laws in the state to make sure we don’t break any of them. 

Illegal BrAC Levels

Let’s start with this question…

“How do traffic enforcers know if you’re operating under the influence?”

Well, if they suspect you of OUI, they will pull you over and have you take a breath or blood test. 

These tests will check for your blood or Breath Alcohol (BrAC) levels. This shows how many grams of alcohol are found in your system per 210 liters of breath concentration or 100 milliliters of blood. 

Now, if your blood or brAC level shows it has 0.08 or more grams of alcohol, you will be charged with OUI. 

However, if you’re below 21 years old, any amount of alcohol in your blood/breath is already considered illegal and will be charged as OUI. 

Implied Consent Law

Another important law to remember when talking about OUI is the Implied Consent Law. Taken from its name, it states that consent is implied if you are a driver’s license holder in Maine. 

What are you consenting to?

If you get a Maine driver’s license, you’re automatically consenting to get a breath or blood alcohol test if a traffic officer asks you to do so. 

NOTE: you have an option to independently get tested by a physician if they are readily available. 

If you refuse to submit to these tests when asked, your driver’s license will be suspended — it can be suspended for as long as 6 years.  

The worst part of this is that the court will still hear the officer’s testimony on your driving performance. So if you’ve been showing signs of drunk driving, even if you didn’t take a test, you will be charged with OUI. 

Drugs and Driving Law

Just like alcohol, drugs take a toll on your body and impair your driving abilities. 

This is why it’s also illegal to take drugs and drive. 

And when the State of Maine refers to drugs, these include over-the-counter drugs, prescription drugs, and illegal substances. 

Now, if you are caught with a drug and alcohol mix in your blood or if you have taken drugs of any kind while operating a motor vehicle, then you are charged with OUI and will face the same penalties as drunk driving. 

What if you have a prescription?

This does not mean that your body won’t experience the effects of the drug. In fact, your prescription won’t hold as evidence to strengthen your case. 

So if you take any form of drugs, don’t drive. 

Open Container Law

Finally, there is the Open Container Law — any driver or passenger who transports an opened alcohol bottle violates this law.

However, there are certain exceptions that we should look at. You are not breaking this law if:

  • The opened alcohol container is being transported in the trunk.
  • The vehicle being operated does not have a trunk and the open alcohol container is found at the farthest seat where the passenger or driver cannot easily grab it. 
  • The vehicle is used for a fee to transport passengers that possess an open alcohol container at the time of transport. For example, this law does not apply to taxicabs. 
  • A passenger consumes or has an open alcohol beverage in the living quarters of a trailer, semi-trailer, truck camper, or motorhome. 
  • The driver of a vehicle has a valid off-premise catering license and alcohol is being transported. 

OUI Penalties in Maine

If you are charged with OUI in Maine, you should expect severe penalties. 

And we’re going to show you just how harsh it is.

If your BrAC is 0.08 – 0.14 grams per 100 milliliters of blood or 210 liters of breath and it’s your first offense: 

  • Mandatory fine of at least $500. This increases to $600 if you refuse to get a test. 
  • License suspension of at least 150 days.
  • License reinstatement fee.
  • You will be required to attend an alcohol and drug education treatment program.

If your BrAC is 0.15 grams and more per 100 milliliters of blood or 210 liters of breath and it’s your first offense:

  • At least 48 hours in jail. This increases to 96 hours if you refuse to get a test.
  • License suspension of at least 150 days.
  • License reinstatement fee.
  • You will be required to attend an alcohol and drug education treatment program.

All second and subsequent convictions will either have the same minimum penalties or even higher fines, longer jail time and license suspension, etc. Also, you will be required to show proof of liability insurance when you are reinstating your license. 

If you commit OUI with an underage passenger, your license will automatically be suspended for an additional 275 days.

And if you cause damage, injury, or death, then expect the penalties to be even harsher — these will be decided by the court. 

NOTE: the same penalties apply to drivers below 21 years old with any amount of alcohol in their blood/breath. 

Effects of Alcohol and Drugs

Why is Maine super against drinking or taking drugs and driving? 

Well, there’s a reason why those who drink alcohol and take drugs are more likely to get into a car crash. Drugs and alcohol have these effects: 

  • Alcohol is a depressant that makes our bodies drowsy, and more relaxed. This is why some end up falling asleep while driving. 
  • When you take drugs or alcohol, your behavior changes and you become “braver”, leading to rash decisions on the road. 
  • Decision-making is weakened by alcohol and drugs. This leads you more prone to wrong decisions. 
  • Your alertness is altered and your reflexes are slower, which makes it harder for you to react right away to a collision. 

Frequently Asked Questions

There are a lot of things to cover when talking about OUI. So to give you even more information, let’s answer some FAQs.

Is DUI a felony in Maine?

Your first DUI or OUI offense will be recorded as a criminal offense. 

However, you will be charged with a felony if you have committed OUI two times in the last 10 years. If you commit it 3 times, then that is already considered a class C crime and carries even heavier penalties. 

How long does a DUI stay on your record in Maine?

Unfortunately, a DUI in Maine stays on your driving record forever. So if you don’t want to have this on your record, don’t drink and drive! 

Is Maine strict about drunk driving?

Yes, the state is very strict about drunk driving as seen in the penalties that you face even on your first OUI offense. 

What to do when stopped by a Maine police for OUI?

When you are stopped by a Maine police officer, the first thing to do is to signal that you are pulling over so that they know you are following. 

Once the police officer goes to you, they will record every movement and word, so it’s best to keep quiet and don’t give unnecessary information. Remember to be polite to them and submit to a blood/breath test. 

Are DUI checkpoints legal in Maine?

Yes, DUI checkpoints are legal in Maine. However, for it to be allowed, there should be advanced notice given on the news, papers, or warning signs on the road.

How many points is an OUI in Maine?

There are no points given on your driving record since this is recorded automatically as a criminal offense. 


And that was everything you needed to know about the Maine OUI laws. 

After all that we’ve talked about in this post, it’s safe to say that the best course of action is to not drink and drive

Remember, Maine takes this law very seriously, ready to give harsh penalties if disobeyed.

So for the sake of your driving privileges, record, and safety, it’s best to avoid driving if you’re going to be drinking or taking drugs. 

Always choose safety when you’re on the road. 

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