In Maine, you can get an OUI (operating under the influence) for operating a vehicle while under the influence of any intoxicant or with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or more.
Maine has a ten year washout period, meaning any OUI conviction more than ten years old generally doesn’t count as a prior offense. First offenders typically face fines, license suspension, and possible jail time. This article discusses the specifics of these penalties.
A first OUI is a class D crime in Maine. A conviction carries up to one year in jail and $500 to $2,000 in fines. A first OUI conviction also results in a 150-day license suspension. Additionally, an offender may have to serve at least 96 hours in jail if he or she refused chemical testing in violation of the state’s implied consent law or a minimum 48 hours in jail if he or she:
Injuries and fatalities. An OUI that involves an injury or a fatality will be subject to increased penalties. These penalties will include a minimum six months in jail, $2,100 in fines, and six- to ten-year driver’s license suspension.
Minor passengers. An OUI offender who was transporting a passenger under the age of 21 will be looking at an additional 275 days of license suspension.
An OUI can result in multiple license suspensions. There’s an administrative suspension imposed by the Secretary of State if a driver fails a BAC test or unlawfully refuses a test at the time of the arrest. And an OUI conviction also carries a suspension. However, the suspensions from a conviction and test failure will run together.
Convictions. The court reports all OUI convictions to the Secretary of State, who will suspend the driver’s license for 150 days for a first offense.
Test failure. After the arrest, the arresting officer is supposed to submit the results of any chemical testing to the Secretary of State. If the tests show impairment by drugs or a BAC of at least .08%, the Secretary will suspend the driver’ license for 150 days.
BAC test refusals. Drivers who refuse BAC testing in violation of the implied consent law are subject to a 275-day license suspension. This suspension will run consecutively to any other suspensions the driver receives.
License reinstatement. The drivers who complete the first 30 days of their suspension and are willing to install an ignition interlock device (IID) can apply for early reinstatement. Early reinstatement allows the person to drive with the IID for the remainder of the original suspension period. Alternatively, drivers can apply for a hardship license, which permits driving to and from work with an IID.