As summer starts to heat up in Indiana, there are many reasons for people to go outside and enjoy the weather. It could be a major event or just getting together with friends or family to grill. Many of these events involve drinking alcohol though. It can be easy to have just one more while enjoying time with friends and family. However, if people drive after consuming one too many, they could be charged with operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated.
Being convicted of an OWI can come with serious consequences. There are several factors that determine the seriousness of the consequences though. The factors are mainly the drivers’ blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at the time they were driving and how many OWIs they have been previously convicted of in the past.
Potential penalties for a first time OWI
First-time OWIs usually result in the least severe penalties, but they are still serious consequences that can have a major effect on people’s lives. If people drive with a BAC between 0.08 and 0.15, they could be convicted of a Class C misdemeanor. This could result in up to 60 days in jail and a fine of up to $500. If the driver has a BAC above 0.15 they could be convicted of a Class A misdemeanor, which could result in up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $5,000. The penalties will increase if the driver harms other people while intoxicated or have minors in the vehicle at the time.
It is not uncommon for people to have a few drinks while out in Indiana. Many people decide to drive home afterward though and if they do they could be charged with an OWI. People charged with OWIs are not automatically guilty though. It must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that they are guilty in order to be convicted. There could be defenses available to drivers charged with an OWI and consulting with experienced criminal defense attorneys could be beneficial.