Montana Second-Offense DUI

The penalties—including fines and jail time—for a second DUI in Montana.

You can get a DUI (driving under the influence) in Montana for driving:

  • while under the influence (impaired by) of drugs or alcohol
  • with an excessive blood alcohol content (BAC) (.08% or more), or
  • with an excessive THC (the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana) concentration (5 ng/ml).

A DUI conviction is considered a second offense in Montana if the person charged has one prior conviction that occurred within the last ten years. The following are possible outcomes and penalties resulting from a second-offense DUI in Montana.

Criminal Penalties

A second conviction is a misdemeanor and—depending on the circumstances—can carry with it a fine, license suspension, possible jail time, and possible vehicle forfeiture.

Jail time. A second-offense DUI can lead to a maximum of one year in jail. An impairment DUI carries a minimum of seven days in jail, while an excessive BAC or THC conviction requires only 5 days minimum jail time. After the minimum jail time is served, the remainder of the jail sentence may be suspended if the convicted completes a chemical dependency treatment program.

Fines. A person who’s convicted of a second DUI must pay a fine of $1,200 to $2,000.

Treatment. All persons convicted of driving under the influence in Montana must also complete an alcohol and drug evaluation. For most second-offense DUIs, the offender will be required to take a chemical dependency treatment course, which can vary based upon the chemical dependency of the convicted person. The judge will also order chemical testing, which may consist of random drug screens and/or an alcohol-monitoring ankle bracelet.

Medical marijuana cards. THC offenders will additionally have any marijuana registry identification card they possess suspended or revoked.

Enhancing Factors

Passenger under 16. A second offender who had a child under the age of 16 in the vehicle faces 14 days to one year in jail and $2,400 to $4,000 in fines.

Aggravated DUI. A DUI is elevated to an aggravated DUI if the driver’s BAC was .16% or greater (get an estimate of how many drinks it takes) or the driver refused a chemical test, has a pending DUI charge, or currently has a suspended or restricted license because of a DUI. The penalties for an aggravated second DUI include 15 days to one year in jail and a $2,500 fine.

Aggravated DUI with passenger under 16. If the second offender with a BAC of at least .16% also had a passenger under 16 years old in the vehicle, he or she faces 45 days to one year in jail and a $5,000 fine.

Driver’s License Suspension and Ignition Interlocks

Generally, a second-time DUI will result in a one-year license suspension. However, the judge may grant the use of a restricted license that allows the person to travel for work or health reasons after 45 days of the suspension. If the convicted is placed on probation, the driver will be required to have an ignition interlock device (IID) during the probationary period.

Pursuant to Montana’s implied consent laws, all persons who drive in the state are deemed to have consented to BAC chemical testing. Depending on the situation, the driver may be required to submit to a breath test (in the field and/or at the station) and a blood draw. Drivers who refuse testing for the second time in five years must pay a $300 fee and face a one-year license suspension. Drivers who refuse chemical testing are not eligible for a restricted license.

Vehicle forfeiture. On the second DUI conviction, the judge is also permitted to order that the driver’s vehicles be fitted with an IID or be forfeited completely.

Talk to an Attorney

A DUI in Montana can be very serious. If you’ve been arrested for driving under the influence in Montana, get in touch with an experienced DUI lawyer. A qualified DUI attorney can help you decide how best to handle your case.

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