What Is a Felony OWI/DUI in Indiana?

Aggravating factors that can make a drunk driving charge a felony.

Indiana's OWI (operating while intoxicated) laws prohibit operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or more or while under the influence of (impaired by) drugs or alcohol, or with any amount of certain controlled substances in your system. A standard first OWI is a misdemeanor. But certain aggravating factors can make a DUI a felony.

Here are some of the circumstances that can result in felony DUI charges in Indiana.

Second OWI Conviction Is a Felony

In most states, a third or fourth DUI is a felony. But, in Indiana, a second OWI within seven years of a prior is considered a level 6 felony. A level 6 felony carries six months to two and one-half years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000.

Underage Passengers

Indiana makes it a class 6 felony to operating a vehicle while under the influence with at least one minor passenger (who is under the age of 18). A conviction carries six months to two and one-half years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000.

Prior Aggravated OWI Convictions

If an OWI offender has a prior OWI that involved a death or serious bodily injury, the current offense will be a level 5 felony. A level 5 felony carries one to six years in jail and a maximum fine of $10,000

OWIs Involving Serious Bodily Injuries

An OWI that involves serious bodily injuries is generally a level 5 felony. Convicted motorists are looking at one to six years in jail and a maximum fine of $10,000

But if the driver also has a prior OWI conviction within the past five years, the current offense will be a level 4 felony. A conviction carries two to 12 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.

OWIs Involving Deaths

Generally, an OWI involving the death of another person is a level 4 felony. A level 4 felony conviction will result in two to 12 years in prison and a maximum $10,000 in fines.

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