Did you know?
There are now five (5) misdemeanor offenses in Indiana with respect to adults consuming alcohol (or having certain controlled substances in their body without a valid prescription) and operating a vehicle.
 
If you need an OWI Attorney Fort Wayne call Watkins Law Office

OWI Attorney Fort Wayne

Watkins Law Office Serving Northern Indiana in Criminal Law: Federal and State

When you need an OWI Attorney call Watkins Law Office. A chemical test, administered by police officers or hospital staff, result is usually the most important piece of evidence in an OWI case. Many people are under the assumption that breath tests and blood tests are precise, accurate, and completely reliable. The truth is these tests are sometimes administered improperly and there is always some level of error associated with chemical testing. We defend clients through our knowledge of the science behind breath and blood testing.

 

 

 

I. MISDEMEANOR OWI
A. Basic Offenses
There are now five (5) misdemeanor offenses in Indiana with respect to adults consuming
alcohol (or having certain controlled substances in their body without a valid prescription) and
operating a vehicle. These five (5) basic offenses will be referred to herein as “Operating While
Intoxicated Type Offenses” or OWI. Other states refer to this kind of offense as DUI or DWI.
1. Three (3) “Per Se” Offenses
a. Class “C” Misdemeanor “Per Se”

The first of the three (3) “Per Se” type misdemeanor offenses is concerned with the
amount of alcohol in a person’s breath or blood. IC 9-30-5-1(a) prohibits the operation of a
vehicle with at least .08 but less than .15 grams of alcohol by weight in your blood or breath.
This offense is charged as Class “C” Misdemeanor.
A Class “C” Misdemeanor is punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of sixty
(60) days, a fine of up to Five Hundred Dollars ($500), or both. IC 35-50-3-4.
b. Class “A” Misdemeanor “Per Se”

The second “Per Se” offense relates to the amount of alcohol a person has consumed. IC
9-30-5-1(b) prohibits the operation of a vehicle with .15 or above grams of alcohol by weight in a
person’s blood or breath. This offense is charged as a Class “A” Misdemeanor.
A Class “A” Misdemeanor is punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of three
hundred sixty-five (365) days, a fine of up to Five Hundred Dollars ($500), or both. IC 35-50-3-4.
c. Controlled Substances Class “C” Misdemeanor “Per Se”

The last of the “Per Se” type misdemeanor offenses involves the presence of controlled
substances or their metabolites in a person’s body. IC 9-30-5-1(c) prohibits the operation of a
vehicle with any amount of certain controlled substances or metabolites in the body. Under IC 9-
30-5-1, it is a defense to this offense that the accused person consumed the controlled substance in
accordance with a valid prescription. This offense is charged as Class “C” Misdemeanor.
A Class “C” Misdemeanor is punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of sixty
(60) days, a fine of up to Five Hundred Dollars ($500), or both. IC 35-50-3-4.
2. Two (2) Operating While “Intoxicated” Offenses
a. Class “C” Misdemeanor “Intoxicated”

The second statute, IC 9-30-5-2, prohibits the operation of a vehicle while intoxicated.
“Intoxicated” is defined as under the influence of alcohol, a controlled substance, a drug other
than alcohol or a controlled substance, or a combination of these, so that there is an impaired
condition of thought and action and the loss of normal control of your faculties. IC 9-13-2-86.
A person who operates a vehicle while “Intoxicated” commits a Class “C” Misdemeanor.
IC 9-30-5-2(a).

b. Class “A” Misdemeanor “Intoxicated” and “Endangerment”
If it is proven that a person operated a vehicle while intoxicated, and in doing so
additionally endangered someone, it is a Class “A” Misdemeanor. IC 9-30-5-2(b).
II. FELONY OWI
A. Previous Conviction Within 5 Years
(IC 9-30-5-3)

If within five (5) years of the present arrest a person has a previous conviction for an
“Operating While Intoxicated Type Offense,” the new offense will be elevated to a Level 6 felony.
A prior OWI or DUI or DWI conviction in another state is sufficient to elevate the current offense
if the prior offense was substantially similar in its elements to the current offense.
A Level 6 felony carries a punishment of six (6) months to two and one-half (2½) years
imprisonment. The advisory sentence is one (1) year. In addition the person may be fined up to
Ten Thousand Dollars ($l0,000). IC 35-50-2-7.
An “advisory sentence” is a guideline that the court may voluntarily consider when
imposing a sentence.
Additionally, the Court must order the convicted person to serve at least five (5) days
imprisonment if the person has one previous conviction and ten (10) days imprisonment if the
person has two (2) or more convictions (without good time credit). IC 9-30-5-15.
The judge must also suspend driving privileges for at least one (1) year. IC 9-30-16-2(a).
However, the person may be eligible for Specialized Driving Privileges. IC 9-30-16-2(b).

B. Previous Conviction for OWI Serious Bodily Injury or Death
If a person has a prior conviction for OWI SBI or OWI Death, the new offense will be
elevated to a Level 5 felony. The punishment for a Level 5 felony is one (1) year to six (6) years
imprisonment. The advisory sentence is three (3) years. In addition the person may be fined up to
ten thousand dollars ($10,000). IC 35-50-2-6.
C. Minors in Vehicle
(IC 9-30-5-3)

John Watkins Attorney at Law

116 E. Berry Street 910 Lincoln Tower
Fort Wayne, IN 46802
(260) 755-5008 (260)755-3317 Fax

Legal Disclaimer: The information contained on this page is intended for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be nor should it be taken or relied upon as legal advice. The information does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and the attorneys. The Watkins Law Firm makes no representation that the information on this page is current and expressly disclaims any information on this page as sufficient to be relied upon in making any legal decision. If you need legal assistance or advice, call us for a consultation.

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