Drunk driving has been on the rise and as more crashes have happened, our society has toughened the laws to punish those caught drunk driving. Few crimes come with minimum jail sentences. Drunk driving is one of those crimes.

To meet the definition of operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OVWI aka DUI) in Indiana, the State must show that you operated a vehicle while having alcohol in the amount of 0.08 percent of your blood content or with a Schedule I or Schedule II controlled substance (or its metabolite) in your blood. A lowest level DUI is the lowest level misdemeanor a class C, but is often filed as a class A due to endangering others or yourself. Additionally, if you have prior offenses, if your BAC is 0.15 or greater, or if you cause an injury or death in a crash, it may increase the level of the offense.

Drivers Under 21
A person under 21 commits an infraction with a much lower BAC. Younger drivers driving with a BAC of at least 0.02 but less than 0.08 face a license suspension of up to one year and a fine of up to $500.


Click to schedule a call with one of our attorneys to discuss your legal defense options.


To determine your BAC, the police will typically ask you to take a breathalyzer in the field on what is known as a portable breath test. If that results in a positive result, you will then be asked to provide a sample on a certified test. Although you may refuse to submit to a breathalyzer, driving a vehicle in Indiana constitutes implied consent to submit to the certified chemical test upon request by law enforcement. If you refuse, they can obtain a warrant to collect a blood sample. Additionally, you will lose your privilege to drive for one year and are not eligible for specialized driving privileges during that suspension period.

Even if you don’t refuse, once the court finds probable cause that you committed the offense, you will be hit with an automatic six month license suspension. Unlike the refusal though, you can apply for the ability to still drive with installation of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle during this time period. An ignition interlock works by requiring a driver to blow into it and returning a clean sample before being able to drive their vehicle. The device will come with an installation fee as well as monthly charges, but it can keep you driving. Additionally, since a DUI is a traffic offense, the court can also suspend your license as part of any sentence you receive. Often, we can help to have that suspension applied retroactively, so you can get back to your regular license as quickly as possible.


Minimum imprisonment sentences apply in addition to the ordinary possible punishment (hyperlink to punishment page). The minimum sentence for a second DUI is either five days imprisonment or 240 hours of community restitution or service. Some counties may not allow for community service and this then becomes a minimum imprisonment provision. A third DUI the minimum increases ten days imprisonment or 480 hours of community restitution or service and the court must order alcohol assessment and completion of treatment program for the third DUI as well.

As can be seen, DUIs are very serious offenses. Do not go it alone. We are here to help you get through this difficult time. Give us a call at 888-888-8980 for a consultation.


Click to schedule a call with one of our attorneys to discuss your legal defense options.