Part of going out to dinner, to a show, or to happy hour is having a nice glass of wine, a cocktail, or an ice-cold beer. While this is an enjoyable part of socializing and unwinding, even one drink can put you at risk for a driving under the influence (DUI) charge. It is unexpected for most people that one drunk could push their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) past 0.08%, but it might be a bigger issue than you would imagine.
Indiana is working hard to prevent accidents caused by drinking and driving. To do this, they have strict laws in place to discourage the behavior. If caught drinking and driving, you could face jail time, hefty fines, and lose your license.
Age and Alcohol Tolerance
In Indiana, it is illegal to get behind the wheel if impaired by alcohol or drugs. So, if you rarely drink and do not have much of a tolerance for alcohol, you could have one drink and register beneath the 0.08% legal limit and still be charged with a DUI. By demonstrating any amount of impairment, you can legally be charged with driving under the influence.
Drivers Under 21
For drivers who are not of legal drinking age yet, it is important to note that Indiana has a zero-tolerance law in place. Typically, if a driver is under suspicion of drinking and driving, a breathalyzer test will be administered. While exceeding 0.08% BAC will be considered driving under the influence for all drivers, those under 21 face stricter limits.
If a young driver has a positive result of between 0.02% and 0.05%, it proves there is alcohol in their system. This means they can face arrest due to the zero alcohol tolerance policy. Even one drink is illegal for those underage drivers, whether they are impaired or not.
Just one drink can mean a driving under the influence charge for those under 21.
Commercial drivers who operate a vehicle under the influence of alcohol face stiff penalties as well. They are not given the leeway to have much alcohol at all, even if they are over 21 years of age. They can be charged with driving under the influence (DUI) if they register a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.04% or above.
Penalties for Driving Under the Influence
Strict penalties work to deter drivers from operating a motor vehicle while drinking. Listed below are the penalties that can be imposed on those who are caught drinking and driving:
- First offense: For a first-offense DUI, you could serve up to a year in prison, face fines between $500 to $5,000, lose your license for up to a year, and face another year of license suspension if the driver were to refuse an alcohol test.
- Second offense: Second offense DUI charges can mean the driver faces between five days or up to two and a half years in jail, fines of up to $10,000, and suspension of their license for up to a year. If they refuse chemical testing, they could face an additional suspension of their license for two years.
- Third offense: Third offense DUI charges carry a penalty of 10 days to two and a half years of incarceration. This can grow to an additional eight years when a habitual substance offender enhancement filing is submitted by the prosecution. Fines of up to $10,000 can be incurred, and drivers can expect between one and ten years of a suspended license. If they refuse a chemical test, they can be charged with two additional years of suspension.
Contact Wruble Law
If you have been charged with a DUI and have only had one drink, you may be concerned about the stiff penalties you are facing. The best course of action is to arrange a consultation with the DUI attorneys at Wruble Law. We can review your case and outline the best strategy to beat the charges against you.