Though a misdemeanor, a third offense DUI in Montana (within 10 years) carries serious administrative and criminal penalties including minimum jail time. A refusal to submit to a blood test for a third DUI arrest will lead to an automatic DUI charge. A third offense DUI also includes possible vehicle seizure. Montana considers the first three DUI convictions to be misdemeanors (and it is the fourth conviction that is a felony).
Montana Administrative and Criminal Penalties
A third DUI offense in Montana carries the following administrative penalties:
- $1,000 to $5,000 fine if all vehicle passengers are over 16 years old
- $2,000 to $10,000 if any vehicle passenger is under 16 years old
- Interlock device
- Driver’s license suspended for 1 year
- Vehicle seizure
The driver’s license suspension can be reduced to 45 days and vehicle seizure avoided if the person meets 2 requirements.
- Pays for leasing, installation and maintenance of an Ignition Interlock Device
- Completes a chemical dependency treatment program
The criminal penalties include the following:
- Minimum jail time of 30 days if all passengers are over 16 years old
- Minimum jail time of 60 days if any passenger under 16 years old
- Sentence of up to 1 year in jail
All but 10 days of the jail sentence may be suspended if the person completes the chemical dependency treatment program.
The state of Montana has a look back period of 10 years. This means that any DUI conviction in the last 10 years will be considered when determining the level of offense.
Consult an Attorney Immediately
Because of the severity of the punishment, it is recommended that you hire an experienced lawyer familiar with Montana DUI laws.