Getting a DUI, known as operating while intoxicated (OWI) under Indiana law, can have many serious consequences. As such, it’s essential to do everything you can to fight the charges you are facing, says Robert H. Bellinger, principal attorney at Bellinger Law Office, 116 E. Berry St., Fort Wayne.
“While you may know that you can face serious criminal penalties for a drunk driving conviction, you may not realize that a DUI conviction can also impact your life in numerous other ways,” says Bellinger. “First, a DUI can impact your life by requiring you to pay a monetary fine and, in many cases, to serve a jail sentence.”
A first offense can result in a misdemeanor conviction and up to 60 days in jail, or up to one year in jail if you have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .15% or higher, he says. Fines can range from up to $500 for a first offense with a BAC of .14% or less, or up to $5,000 with a BAC of .15% or higher. Subsequent offenses can result in jail time and additional fines.
For a first offense, your driver’s license will usually be suspended for 180 days (or six months), and subsequent offenses will result in a driver’s license suspension of at least one year.
“When you’re convicted of drunk driving in Indiana, your auto insurance costs can go up, and you’ll need to pay more in order to drive lawfully with valid auto insurance,” Bellinger adds.
You can also be required to drive with an ignition interlock device, even after a first offense conviction. Ignition interlock devices can be required for up to 60 days in some DUI cases, but a DUI involving a BAC of .15% or higher can result in an ignition interlock device being required for up to one year.
“With an ignition interlock device, you will need to blow into the device in order to start your car,” explains Bellinger.
Finally, many jobs require a person to have a valid driver’s license and to have a record free from drunk driving convictions, especially jobs that require driving. Accordingly, if you are in a profession that requires you to drive for your job, you could end up losing your livelihood as a result of a DUI conviction.
If you’re facing DUI charges in Indiana, it’s critical to seek advice from an experienced Indiana defense attorney who can help you to fight the charges and to avoid a conviction, says Bellinger.
Although you might assume that you can simply pay the fine and accept the other criminal penalties of a DUI or DWI in Indiana, it’s important to remember that there are other consequences of a drunk driving conviction beyond criminal penalties alone that can continue to have an impact on your life long after you’ve served your sentence.
Learn more about The Bellinger Law Office by calling (260) 428-2214. ❚