Montana Drunk Driving Fines & Penalties

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What are the penalties for a DUI in Montana?


1st Offense

2nd Offense

3rd Offense

Jail

2 days to 6 months

7 days to 6 months

30 days to 1 year

Fines and Penalties

$300 to $1,000

$600 to $1,000

$1,000 to $5,000

License Suspension

6 months

1 year

1 year

IID** Required

Possible

Yes

Yes

Note: A 4th drunk driving conviction in the State of Montana is a felony, the convicted driver could receive up to 5 years in jail and a $10,000 fine.

Lookback Period: 10 years (Period of time that prior DUIs are relevant for sentencing. Also known as a “washout” period. It was previously five years until legislation changed it to 10 years in 2013.)

**Ignition Interlock Device

How much do you have to drink (BAC*) for a DUI in Montana?

Under 21

.00% Montana is a zero tolerance state

21 or older

.08%

Commercial

.04%

** BAC = blood alcohol content

How many drinks does it take? Check the BAC chart.

What if you refuse to take a chemical test in Montana?

Montana has an implied consent law. That means that if you refuse to submit to a chemical test you will be subject to a fine and automatic license suspension. Learn more about Montana’s implied consent law

 

1st Offense

2d Offense

3rd Offense

Refusal to take test

6 month license suspension

1 year license suspension

1 year license suspension

Disclaimer: We try to keep the information provided here up to date. However, laws often change, as do their interpretation and application. Different jurisdictions within a state may enforce the laws in different ways. For that reason, we recommended that you seek the advice of a local attorney familiar with DUI cases in your area.

Can you plead to a lesser offense than DUI in Montana?

A defendant might receive a "wet reckless," or a conviction of reckless driving involving alcohol, as a result of a plea bargain in which a charge of drunk driving is reduced to a case of reckless driving. There is no statutory provision on whether a wet reckless plea bargain will be accepted in Montana, but it's possible a lawyer may be able to create a plea bargain for you.

Drinking and Driving Laws in Montana

The State of Montana prohibits driving with a .08 percentage or above, blood alcohol concentration (BAC). The .08 measurement is the standard used across the United States for the "impaired" driver. The State of Montana has lower BAC limits for minors and drivers of commercial vehicles. In addition to the .08 BAC law, Montana also considers a .04 percent a DUI if that fact is considered with other competent evidence.

How many drinks does it take to reach the legal limit in Montana? It is difficult to determine if a person has reached the .08 legal limit. There are many factors that contribute to a BAC score, including sex, weight, genetics and the amount of time that has passed between drinks. There are BAC calculators and charts that can help you determine your individual BAC score, however these devices should be used as reference tools only and should never be used to determine if an individual will be able to drive safely.

The best answer is not to drink and drive . The State of Montana has strict laws for drunk driving, and when you drink and drive in Montana, you risk your freedom, finances and your future.

The first time you are convicted of a drunk driving offense in the State of Montana you will serve a minimum of 1 day up to 6 months in jail. You will also be fined from $300-$1,000. If there was a passenger under the age of 16 in the vehicle at the time of the arrest, you will serve a minimum of 2 days in jail or up to 12 months, and receive a fine from $600-$2,000. Your drivers license will also be suspended for 6 months.

The second time you are arrested for drunk driving in Montana you will be fined from $600-$1,000. You will also be ordered to serve a minimum of 7 days in jail up to 6 months. If there was a passenger under the age of 16 in the vehicle at the time of the arrest, you will serve a minimum of 14 days, or up to 12 months in jail and receive a fine from $1,200-$2,000. Some of the imprisonment may be suspended if the person completes a chemical dependence treatment program. The court may order you to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle at your own expense during your probationary period. Your drivers license will be suspended for 1 year and your vehicle may be forfeited on the second or subsequent DUI.

For your 3rd drunk driving conviction in the State of Montana you will be ordered to serve a minimum of 30 days in jail or up to 1 year.

You will also be fined from $1,000-$5,000. If there was a passenger under the age of 16 in the vehicle at the time of the arrest, you will serve a minimum of 60 days, or up to 12 months in jail and receive a fine from $2,000-$10,000.

The court may order you to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle at your own expense during your probationary period. Your drivers license will be suspended for at least 1 year your vehicle may be forfeited on the second or subsequent DUI.

by: , Attorney

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