Understand DUI Laws In Indiana—Driving Safe and Steering Clear Of Jails During the Holiday Season

Indiana has strict policies on OWI charges; judges hardly ever throw such cases out, unless all the evidence is thoroughly dismissed. 

Statistics indicate that 26% of all alcohol-impaired driving deaths in the US occur in Indiana. The state ranks in the top 14% among all the states, ranked according to the number of deaths from alcohol-impaired driving. Additionally, deaths from DUIs in Indiana are higher than the national average. 

These reports make it quite clear why Indiana is so firm about OWI charges. They also underscore the importance of thoroughly understanding OWI laws in the state.

OWI Laws in Indiana

The law prohibits all motorists from operating a vehicle under the following conditions:

  1. If they have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher.
  2. If they have any amount of a schedule I or II controlled substance in their system.
  3. If it can be determined, beyond a doubt, that they are intoxicated.

Additionally, anyone under the age of 21 who’s driving with a BAC of over 0.02% is automatically charged with OWI in Indiana. 


Everyone driving a vehicle is implicitly considered to have consented to a breath test for BAC measurements; refusing to let an officer administer one will lead to an automatic one-year license suspension.

Penalties for OWIs in Indiana

OWI convictions in Indiana fall under the following categories:

  • 1st offense—Considered a Class A misdemeanor; punishable by a fine of up to $500, 30–60 days in jail, and a 90 day–2-year driver’s license suspension.
  • 2nd offense—Classified as a Class D felony and punishable by a $10,000 fine, 5 days–3 years in jail, a 180 day–2-year driver’s license suspension, and 180 hours of community service.
  • 3rd offense—Also considered a Class D felony; punishable by a fine of up to $10,000, 10 days–3 years in jail, 1–10 years’ driver’s license suspension. You will also have to commit to 360 hours of community service.

It’s important to remember that an OWI, while you have a minor in your car, will automatically qualify as a class D felony according to Indiana’s OWI laws.

When You Should Call Your Bail Bond Agent

As mentioned above, OWI charges are rarely thrown out entirely. Most people have to make a plea bargain, so the prosecution cuts them some slack—in which case, your charges are reduced to a wet reckless. You can possibly qualify for fewer fines and jail time, but you will still be penalized, even if your charges are reduced.  

Considering your uncertain legal status until a judge finally passes judgment on your case, you shouldn’t have to spend any time in jail—you’re not guilty just yet. In case you have been arrested, you should call your bail bonds agent as soon as possible, even before you call your lawyer.

DeLaughter Bail Bonds is a 24-hour bail bonds services provider in Indiana. We offer surety and transfer bail bond services in Kosciusko County, Tippecanoe county and other regions throughout Indiana. Get in touch with us today for more information on our services. 

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