Maine DUI (OUI) Law
The State of Maine instituted a operating under the influence law instead of a driving under the influence law to address individuals using vehicles while under an intoxicating drug or liquid. Specifically, Maine identifies operating in any form as operating or attempting to operate a vehicle. The State of Maine attempts to broadly define the type of use of a vehicle by using the term operating instead of driving. Any individual operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs will receive various penalties for the crime. Typically, penalties range from probation for first time offenders to ten years of imprisonment. Also, all penalties require payment of a fine and license suspension. The State of Maine instituted implied consent laws which require all individuals using state roads to submit to chemical testing. However, an individual may refuse to submit to a chemical test but will receive consequences as well as arrested for operating a vehicle under the influence. Finally, the State of Maine instituted procedures and processes to adhere to arresting, processing, and adjudicating individuals for operating a vehicle under the influence.
An individual operating a vehicle under the influence (OUI) in Maine occurs when an individual is operating or attempting to operate any self propelled vehicle while under alcohol or drugs. Specifically, an individual unable to control or possess a clear mind while operating a vehicle is guilty of an OUI. Basically, an individual arrested for operating a vehicle under the influence while be arrested at the time of offense by a law enforcement official. An officer may lawfully stop any vehicle for a moving violation or any vehicle an officer is reasonably suspicious a crime occurred or will occurred. However, the State of Maine will not allow officers to unlawfully arrest or search an individual for the existence of alcohol or drugs. The absence of a probable cause or actual violation will eliminate the possibility to arrest an individual for operating a vehicle under the influence.
An arrest for operating a vehicle under the influence will begin the judicial process for the offense. After, an individual is arrested for an OUI offense will require the officer to investigate the individual’s background to identify any prior OUI offenses. Once an individual is charged and convicted of an operating a vehicle under the influence he or she can receive various penalties. Any individual convicting of operating a vehicle under the influence for the first time will usually receive a five hundred dollar fine, a ninety day license suspension, and imprisonment based on various factors. Typically, penalties increase with prior OUI convictions and driving with passengers under the age of twenty-one. Also, increased prior moving violations may increase penalties for an OUI conviction. Any individuals under the influence and cause an accident, injury, or death to another individual will also receive enhanced penalties.
Drivers under the age of twenty-old will receive penalties received by over the age of twenty-old but must adhere to a different blood alcohol concentration level. Typically, drivers under the age of twenty-one may receive increase penalties for multiple convictions or longer license suspension periods. However, drivers under the age of twenty-one must adhere to a complete zero tolerance policy. Thus, any individual under the age of twenty-one must not possess a blood alcohol concentration level above zero hundredths of one percent.
The State of Maine institute guidelines and procedures for all individuals convicted of operating a vehicle under the influence. The type of penalty given depends on the judge as well as other factors such as prior convictions and age. Further, officers arresting individual and/or collecting evidence must adhere to specific procedures to ensure all laws are followed. The absence of adhering to proper procedure may eliminate an operating under the influence conviction or arrest.
Further, police officers must submit all evidence to the proper offices and individuals for further processing. The courts will address the individual’s offense and decide the charge as well as the sentence. The individual may proceed to trial by waving his or her right to a preliminary arraignment to attest to the admissibility of the evidence or testimony. An individual will be able to appeal the decision regardless of waving a preliminary arraignment. Also, first time offenders accepting probation instead of imprisonment are required to waive the preliminary arraignment. Acceptance of probation with admission to the alcohol education program will eliminate an admission of guilt and allow an individual to not possess a conviction.
The State of Maine operating a vehicle under the influence offense requires an individual to operate or attempting to operate a vehicle. Also, an individual must be under the influence or possessing a blood alcohol concentration level of eight hundredths of one percent. Additionally, the penalties given for the operating a vehicle under the influence ranges from probation to imprisonment. All offenders receive a license suspension and a fine. Individuals convicted of operating a vehicle under the influence receive different penalties based on prior convictions and age. Finally, police officers as well as other officials must adhere to specific procedures and guidelines to uphold operating under the influence convictions.
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