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Sentence Enhancements in Indiana

Indiana law provides for only one type of sentence enhancement under the state’s DUI laws.  This enhancement does not depend on the blood alcohol level of the convicted motorist. State law provides that if a motorist, who operates his vehicle under the influence of alcohol, drives in a manner that endangers himself, another driver or the public, the offense is elevated from a Class C misdemeanor to a Class A misdemeanor.

Indiana does not have an enhanced penalty for extremely elevated blood alcohol content. A sentencing judge may use his or her discretion in sentencing and may consider blood alcohol concentration as a factor, however they may not exceed the statutory maximum punishments. Thus, even if a driver is arrested with a blood alcohol content of 0.25, the maximum sentence such person could receive for a first a offense would be sixty days, a $500 fine and community service. The only factor that could enhance the penalty would be if the driver was driving in a manner that endangered himself or others.   Such an aggravating factor would elevate the crime from a Class C misdemeanor to a Class A misdemeanor. However, this enhancement is not dependent upon the blood alcohol concentration of the driver.

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