Driving under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances is a serious crime in Indiana. If convicted, you face hefty fines, jail time, license suspension, and other consequences. The official term for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in Indiana is Operating while intoxicated, or OWI.
In Indiana, it is illegal to:
- Operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08% or higher. For drivers under the age of 21, the blood alcohol concentration level drops to .02%.
- Drive under the influence of Schedule I or II controlled substances.
- Drive intoxicated regardless of your BAC level, meaning that even if your blood alcohol concentration is within the legal limit, if you are intoxicated, you can still be guilty of operating a vehicle while intoxicated.
Penalties for operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs are serious and include:
- First offense: up to 60 days of jail time, plus fines and a temporary license suspension.
- Second offense: up to 60 days of jail time or 240 hours of community service, fines and suspension of your driver’s license for at least one year.
- Third offense: up to 60 days of jail time or 480 hours of community service, additional fines and suspension of your driver’s license for at least one year.
Habitual Vehicular Substance Offender Statute
Indiana drivers with prior OWI convictions can also be subject to the Habitual Vehicular Substance Offender Statute (HVSO), which enhances your sentence if convicted.
The HVSO can add anywhere from 1 to 8 years of jail time to your sentence and other penalties.
It is also important to consider that any criminal conviction in Indiana can impact your life in other ways. A criminal record can limit certain employment opportunities, create difficulties in securing affordable insurance premiums and other issues.
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in Indiana is a serious criminal offense and should not be taken lightly. It is critical to understand the crime and consequences for violating the law and any defenses the law may allow.