Maine OUI Laws: FAQ

When will I be charged with OUI in Maine?

You will be charged with OUI if you operate or attempting to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicants. "Intoxicants" are any substance, including alcohol and both illegal and prescription drugs. A person is "under the influence" if their mental or physical faculties are impaired to the slightest degree, regardless of whether it affects the actual operation of the vehicle.

You will also be charged with OUI if you operate or attempt to operate a motor vehicle while having a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08%, regardless of whether that level of alcohol affects the person.

What are the penalties for a drunk driving (OUI) conviction in Maine?

The minimum court-imposed penalties for OUI in Maine break down thusly:

1st OUI Conviction:

·         90 Day Driver’s License Suspension,

·         0 Jail Time, and

·         $400 Fine

1st OUI Conviction with Aggravating Factors:

·         90 Day Driver’s License Suspension,

·         48 Hours Jail Time, and

·         $400 Fine

1st Refusal:

·         90 Day Driver’s License Suspension,

·         96 Hours Jail Time, and

·         $500 Fine

2nd OUI Conviction:

·         18 Month Driver’s License Suspension,

·         7 Days Jail Time, and

·         $600 Fine

2nd Refusal:

·         18 Month Driver’s License Suspension,

·         12 days Jail Time, and

·         $800 Fine

3rd OUI Conviction:

·         4 Year Driver’s License Suspension,

·         30 Days Jail Time, and

·         $1,000 Fine

3rd Refusal:

·         4 Year Driver’s License Suspension,

·         40 Days Jail Time, and

·         $1,300 Fine

4th OUI Conviction (or more):

·         6 Year Driver’s License Suspension,

·         6 Months Jail Time, and

·         $2,000 Fine

4th Refusal (or more):

·         6 Year Driver’s License Suspension,

·         6 Months and 20 Days Jail Time, and

·         $2,400 Fine

Additionally, refusal to be tested results in a loss of license for at least 275 days which is consecutive to any suspension imposed for an OUI conviction.

Can I refuse a Chemical Sobriety Test under Maine Drunk Driving Law?

No. Under Maine’s Implied Consent law, you automatically agree to a chemical test (blood, breath, or urine) at any time authorities have probable cause to administer it. If you refuse to take such a test for alcohol or drugs, your driver's license will be immediately suspended. The suspension could be for a period of up to six years. Because it is an administrative suspension, no court action is necessary to take your license. In addition, testimony from the arresting officer regarding your driving performance can result in an OUI conviction even without the BAC test.

Do I have to take a Field Sobriety Test under Maine’s Drunk Driving Laws?

No. You do not have to submit to any part of a field sobriety test if you choose not to. This means you do not have to do the follow the pen test, the alphabet test, one leg stand, heal to toe, walk and turn, finger to nose, feet together ­eyes closed ­ head back, or any other type "field sobriety test" offered to you by a police officer. And, unlike refusing to submit to a breath alcohol test, refusing to submit to a field sobriety test cannot result in the suspension of your driver's license.

If my BAC is .08% or higher, am I automatically guilty of OUI in Maine?

No. Breath testing and blood testing are often inaccurate methods of calculating a person's true blood alcohol concentration. Sometimes the BAC at the time of testing does not accurately reflect that person's BAC at the time of driving. Other times the test result is just wrong due to errors on the part of the person taking the sample, other chemicals being reported as alcohol, contamination, and/or failure to maintain proper protocol in calibration checking of the testing instrument, etc.

If the officer fails to give my Miranda warnings, will the state lose in court?

Not necessarily. The officer is only required to provide you with Miranda warnings when and if the following occurs:

  • You are in custody (the roadside investigation is rarely deemed to be custodial), and
  • You are being interrogated (ie. asked questions which are designed to illicit incriminating responses).

The remedy for Miranda violations is that the State is not allowed to introduce your answers/statements that were obtained by that violation in its case-­in-­chief. There is no automatic dismissal of the charges.

The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.

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