Operating Under the Influence (OUI)
A conviction for Operating Under the Influence, or OUI, carries significant consequences in Maine. In addition to the criminal proceedings, which carry harsh mandatory penalties, an OUI conviction can prevent a person from being allowed to enter Canada, and can lead to administrative penalties from the Bureau of Motor Vehicles including a license suspension.
Called DUI, DWI, drunk driving, driving while impaired, and driving under the influence in other states, OUI in Maine includes both driving under the influence of alcohol and driving under the influence of drugs. Specially trained police officers called “Drug Recognition Experts” are used by the State to try and determine if a driver suspected of OUI is under the influence of drugs other than alcohol.
Penalties for OUI
A first offense for OUI carries a mandatory minimum sentence of $500 fine and a 90 day loss of license. The license suspension will increase to 150 days on December 1, 2013 – reflecting how seriously the State takes drunk driving.
The penalties increase with each subsequent OUI conviction, and the law allows prosecutors to consider convictions from up to ten years ago when they charge a person for OUI.
A third offense OUI is a felony, carrying even more significant penalties.
If you have a passenger under 21 years old in the car, if your blood alcohol level is higher than .14%, if you refuse the Intoxilyzer test, if you were also speeding faster than 30mph over the limit you will face mandatory jail time in addition to increased fines and suspension.
OUI brings serious consequences
Considering the very serious penalties that follow an OUI conviction, it makes good sense to have an attorney experienced in criminal defense and Operating Under the Influence defense take a look at your case to ensure no option is missed and no avenue is left unexplored.