Most people know that the legal limit for blood alcohol content when driving is 0.08. As long as you aren’t above that level, you are okay. Right?
Well, it isn’t always that simple. Certain individuals must meet much lower limits because they have a higher standard to hold. In addition, you also need to know what you could face if convicted of one or more DUIs, called OWIs here in Indiana, which stands for operating a vehicle while intoxicated.
Different BAC levels for different people
For most adults over the age of 21, 0.08 is the legal BAC limit. However, those under the age of 21 cannot have a BAC of 0.02 or higher under Indiana’s zero tolerance laws. At that level, the driver probably doesn’t even feel impaired, but that doesn’t matter. The state takes underage drinking seriously, and it doesn’t take much for someone under the legal drinking age to face serious consequences for OWI.
Moreover, drivers with a CDL license cannot have a BAC of 0.04 or higher. Commercial drivers could lose their licenses for an OWI, even if it happens in their personal vehicles. Obviously, this would have an adverse effect on their ability to work and make a living. This doesn’t even account for the criminal penalties associated with the OWI.
The potential penalties
As a normal adult over the age of 21, if convicted of OWI with a BAC between 0.08 and 0.15, you could face the following administrative penalties:
- For a first offense, you face the revocation of your license for anywhere from 90 days to two years.
- For a second offense, you face the revocation of your license for anywhere from 180 days to two years.
- For a third offense, you face the revocation of your license for anywhere from one year to 10 years.
Criminal penalties associated with the following situations for adults over 21 include:
- For a first offense with a BAC of no more than 0.15, you could face up to $500 in fines and up to 60 days in jail.
- If your BAC is above 0.15, you face fines up to $5,000 and up to one year in jail.
- If you have a passenger in the vehicle under age 18, this is your second offense in five years, you kill a police animal or cause bodily injury, you face fines up to $10,000, along with anywhere from six months to two and a half years in prison.
The penalties only rise from there, depending on the circumstances. Perhaps this knowledge will make you think twice about getting behind the wheel after even one drink, but if you do end up under arrest for OWI, it’s obvious that you need to take the charges seriously.