Maine OUI Law and DUI / Drunk Driving Defense
Maine OUI laws are complex and can have long-term impacts upon anyone facing a DUI arrest. Without the right OUI or DUI lawyer defending you, Maine OUI laws can be applied by prosecuting attorneys and the BMV to revoke your license and obtain an OUI conviction.
Nichols & Churchill specialize in Maine DUI cases. Our defense lawyers can help you avoid much of the pain and headache that comes with a drunk driving arrest.
Maine OUI Laws
Maine OUI laws can also be called DWI or DUI laws. Penalties for operating under the influence of alcohol and other intoxicants fall into 2 categories: 1) Criminal penalties and 2) Administrative penalties overseen by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV).
You will only receive criminal penalties if you plead guilty or are found guilty in court. However, the BMV will automatically suspend your license unless you request a hearing. See below for details.
Maine OUI First Offense
Upon a first conviction for DUI in Maine, the mandatory penalties you face are:
- $500 fine
- 150-day driver license suspension
- Misdemeanor on your permanent record
These penalties are the minimums required at sentencing. However, many judges in Maine will exceed the minimums and hand down harsher punishments. The DUI statute allows for a maximum of 364 days in jail upon conviction of a first DUI.
BMV Penalties for First OUI
If you failed a breathalyzer test at a blood-alcohol level of .08% or more, the BMV will also suspend your driver’s license. If you are convicted in court, you will only serve the penalty once. If you are under the legal drinking age of 21, Zero Tolerance laws apply and your license will be suspended for any amount of alcohol.
Upon a first time drunk driving offense, you face the following BMV penalties:
- 150-day suspension
• Driver Alcohol Education (DEEP Program)
• Reinstatement fees
You have the right to request an administrative hearing to contest the BMV driver license suspension. Your BMV suspension is automatic unless you send a written request for a hearing to the BMV within 10 days of the notice of suspension date.
Your DUI lawyer can file for the hearing and represent you if you chose not to attend. This option is preferable for a lot of people, such as working folks and out-of-state drivers.
Under implied consent law, Maine requires all drivers submit to a blood-alcohol content (BAC) test or breathalyzer when asked by police. Refusing will cause an automatic suspension of your driving privileges for 275 days.
If you are under 21 and refuse the breathalyzer, your license and privilege to operate will be suspended for 18 months. For further details on DUI penalties and refusal laws in Maine, visit this page.
Is drinking and driving a felony?
In Maine, first and second OUI offenses are charged as Class D misdemeanors. To qualify as a first offense, you cannot have had any prior DUI convictions in any state within the preceding 10 years.
Getting Your License Back
We may be able to cut your driving suspension period in half. If eligible, your DUI lawyer can expedite a school or work-restricted driver’s license that allows you to get on with your life after a DUI.
Talk with Nichols & Churchill today. Attorney Matthew Nichols specializes in DUI defense and license restoration in Maine. He has over 20 years of legal experience with a proven track record of success.
OUI Defense in Maine
An attorney experienced in OUI defense can take several approaches to ensure the best outcome possible in your DUI case. Our approach identifies all of the options available and presents those options to you so you can chose wisely.
For instance, we aggressively pursue pretrial negotiations such that the prosecutor may reduce or drop the charges.
Recommended Resource: How to Get 1st DUI reduced or dismissed in Maine
Another solid defense strategy is to prepare your case for trial. Opportunities may arise to win a dismissal and greatly improve your position at motions hearings before your trial date.
Here are some of the defenses we regularly work on for our DUI clients.
- Witness Credibility. Are the officers involved and other state witnesses consistent in their testimonies and reports?
- Probable Cause for Arrest. Did the arresting officer have probable cause to arrest you and subsequently compel you to take the breathalyzer or blood test?
- Problems with FSTs. Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs) are highly subjective and very often administered incorrectly. Environment and health conditions can adversely affect these tests.
- Problems with the Intoxilyzer or breath-alcohol testing. Did the officer administer the breath test correctly? Was the Intoxilyzer properly calibrated and maintained?
- Chemical Blood Test Issues. Were procedures followed to properly preserve your blood sample? We look for possible contamination of sample issues and other disqualifiers.
Portland Maine OUI Attorney Matthew B. Nichols
With over 20 years of law experience, Matt Nichols is one of the most successful OUI attorneys in Maine.
He has been able to help countless individuals in and around the Portland area have their criminal charges dismissed or greatly reduced.
If you have been charged with impaired driving or OUI in Maine, you need the help of a highly competent OUI defense lawyer immediately.
We scrutinize the evidence and challenge the DUI charges so you can be sure to receive the best outcome possible in your OUI / DUI case. Contact attorneys Nichols and Churchill now: