OWI / DUI Laws in Indiana

According to Indiana Code Section 9-30-5, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle while intoxicated by alcohol or drugs. Drugs may include a controlled substance or a prescription medication. Intoxication may be proved with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test or other chemical test, such as a blood, breath, or urine test.

If you are found to be intoxicated while driving, you will be arrested and charged with a crime. You may face serious criminal penalties. A Lafayette IN DUI lawyer at Hall-Justice Law Firm can help. When the prosecution presents evidence that you were intoxicated, we can help you reduce or eliminate charges and penalties.

Legal Limits in Indiana

In Indiana, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level that is .08 percent or higher. Commercial vehicle drivers may not operate a commercial vehicle with a BAC of .04 or over. If you are under 21, you may not operate a vehicle with a BAC of .02 percent or higher.

A police officer may pull you over and then administer a breathalyzer test, or the officer may arrest you and then administers a blood or urine test. If the tests find you to have a BAC of at least .08 percent, or .02 percent if you’re under 21, you may face a charge of “per se” DUI.

If you are under the influence of drugs, you may also face an OWI charge; however, Indiana does not specify blood limits for these substances. An officer may use evidence of your intoxication, such as swerving while driving, as probable cause to arrest you and test your blood or urine for intoxicants.

There are ways to fight a blood alcohol concentration level test. A Lafayette IN DUI lawyer can challenge your BAC test and seek to have your charges reduced or dropped entirely. BAC chemical tests are notoriously inaccurate. It is worth having our Lafayette IN DUI lawyer review your case and determine if you can challenge your test results.

Criminal Penalties for OWI / DUI in Indiana

If a court convicts you of an OWI / DUI in Indiana, you may face serious consequences, including time in jail or a fine. You may even lose your license for a period of time. These penalties are negotiable, and a Lafayette IN DUI lawyer can speak with the prosecution and court to seek more reasonable penalties for you.

If you receive an OWI / DUI conviction in Indiana, you may face:

Misdemeanor or Felony Classifications

  • First OWI / DUI with a BAC between .08 and .15 – Class C misdemeanor
  • First OWI / DUI with a BAC of .15 or over – Class A misdemeanor
  • Second OWI / DUI within the last five years – Level 6 felony
  • OWI Under the Influence of Schedule I or II Substance – Class C misdemeanor
  • OWI / DUI:
    • While endangering another person – Class A misdemeanor
    • With a minor in the car – Level 6 felony
    • Causing serious bodily injury – Level 5 felony
    • Causing death of another person – Level 5 felony
  • Second OWI / DUI causing death of another person – Level 4 felony
  • Underage OWI / DUI – If you are under 21 and are found to have a BAC over .02 percent while driving a vehicle, you may face a class C infraction which may result in a fine of up to $500.


Penalties may include:

  • Class C Misdemeanor – Up to 60 days in jail and a fine of up to $500
  • Class A Misdemeanor – Up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $5,000
  • Level 6 Felony – Between six months and 2.5 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000
  • Level 5 Felony – Between one and six years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000
  • Level 4 Felony – Between two and 12 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000

It is possible to plead your drunk driving charge down to a lesser offense. A Lafayette IN DUI lawyer can help you seek a plea bargain with the prosecutor.

A Lafayette IN DUI Lawyer Can Help You

If law enforcement pulls you over arrests you for OWI / DUI in Indiana, you may be unsure of what to do next. We can help. Our Lafayette IN DUI lawyer will both evaluate your situation and work to help you avoid the harshest criminal penalties for an OWI / DUI.  Call the Hall-Justice Law Firm as soon as possible at (765) 388-3142.