Understanding Maine DUI Laws and Penalties

The penalties and consequences for breaking Maine’s DUI laws depend upon both the number of offenses you have in your past and the severity of the resulting injuries and damages, if any, that occur from your offense. Your charge may fall within a wide range of punishments on the Maine DUI spectrum.

In addition to the penalties imposed by the State of Maine for DUI offenses, you will also be reported to your home state or Canadian province. In almost every case, this will result in your home state or province suspending your license.

First DUI Offense and Second DUI Offense Penalties

If you have not received a DUI in any state or refused a breath test in Maine within the last 10 years, you are considered a first-time offender.

For first offenses occurring before December 1, 2013:

  • Mandatory minimum 90-day license suspension and a $500 fine if there are no aggravating circumstances. Ineligible for a work-only license during the first 60 days of the suspension. Fines carry substantial surcharges (20%) plus additional fees.
  • Mandatory two-day jail sentence if there is an aggravating circumstance, such as a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .15% or higher, passengers under the age of 21, or speeding in excess of 30 mph over speed limit.
  • Mandatory four-day jail term, minimum $600 fine if you refuse the breath or blood alcohol test. The 90-day conviction suspension is consecutive to (in addition to) the refusal suspension. See Refusals, below.
  • Many judges routinely exceed minimums at sentencing.

For first offenses occurring on or after December 1, 2013:

  • Mandatory minimum 150-day license suspension and a $500 fine if there are no aggravating circumstances. Ineligible for a work-only license during the first 100 days of the suspension. If alcohol school is completed a full license is allowed after 30 days with the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device until the end of the 150 days. Fines carry substantial surcharges (20%) plus additional fees.
  • Mandatory two-day jail sentence if there is an aggravating circumstance, such as a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .15% or higher, passengers under the age of 21, or speeding in excess of 30 mph over speed limit.
  • Mandatory four-day jail term, minimum $600 fine if you refuse the breath or blood alcohol test. The 150-day conviction suspension is consecutive to (in addition to) the refusal suspension. See Refusals, below.
  • Many judges routinely exceed minimums at sentencing.

If you were convicted of a DUI in any state, or refused a breath test in Maine, within the last 10 years, you are considered a second offender.

  • Mandatory minimum three year license and registration suspension, seven-day jail sentence and $700 fine for a second Maine DUI conviction within ten years. If alcohol counseling is completed full license and vehicle registration is allowed after nine months with the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device for two years.
  • Mandatory twelve-day jail term, minimum $600 fine if you refuse the breath or blood alcohol test. The three-year conviction suspension is consecutive to (in addition to) the refusal suspension. See Refusals, below.
  • Many judges routinely exceed minimums at sentencing.

An Ignition Interlock Ignition Device requires the vehicle’s operator to take and pass a
breathalyzer test before the vehicle will start.

Maine Class C and Class B Felony DUI Penalties

In Maine, a third or subsequent DUI conviction within ten years or a DUI accident resulting in serious injury is a Class C felony. Below are the punishments for each.

Third Offense

  • Maximum penalty of five years in prison, $5,000 fine and two-year probation
  • Minimum thirty-day jail sentence and $1,100 fine (forty days for refusing testing and $1,400 fine)
  • Six-year license suspension without work-only license and suspension of right to register a vehicle
  • Suspension may be shortened to three years if Ignition Interlock Device is installed for three years
  • Most judges routinely exceed these minimums at sentencing.

Fourth Offenses and DUIs with Accident with Serious Injury

  • Maximum penalty of five years in prison, $5,000 fine and two-year probation
  • Minimum six month jail term and $2,100 fine (six months and twenty days and $2,500 for refusing testing)
  • Eight year license suspension without work-only license and suspension of right to register a vehicle
  • Drivers must install an Ignition Interlock Device for four years AFTER the suspension
  • Most judges routinely exceed these minimums at sentencing.

DUIs with Accident with Serious Injury

  • Maximum penalty of five years in prison, $5,000 fine and two-year probation
  • Minimum six month jail term and $2,100 fine (six months and twenty days and $2,500 for refusing testing)
  • Six year license suspension without work-only license and suspension of right to register a vehicle
  • Suspension may be shortened to three years if Ignition Interlock Device is installed for three years
  • Judges almost all exceed these minimums at sentencing.

Accident with Death or Prior Felony DUI

A Maine DUI with an accident causing a death or where the driver has a prior felony DUI conviction are Class B felonies.

The consequences for these DUI offenses are:

  • Maximum penalty of ten years in prison, $20,000 fine and three-year probation
  • Minimum six month jail term, fine of not less than $2,100
  • Ten-year license suspension without a work-only license and the suspension of the right to register a vehicle
  • Judges almost all exceed these minimums at sentencing.

Bureau of Motor Vehicle Suspensions
Excessive Blood-Alcohol or Breath-Alcohol Content

The Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles will suspend the license of a driver with a BAC or BrAC of .08% or more (or a minor with any detectable BAC or BrAC) for the periods listed above for convictions. This suspension can take place even before you go to court! It runs concurrently with any suspension imposed for the DUI conviction; it is initiated by the officer filing a report with the Secretary of State.

A hearing must be requested within ten days of the date of suspension. Any suspension imposed will remain in effect, even if the person is acquitted of the criminal OUI charge.

If a driver 21 years or older has a passenger under the age of 21, an additional 275-day suspension will be imposed. A driver under age 21 who has a passenger under 21 will have an additional 180-day suspension imposed.

Refusals

A breath test is the usual test given by the police. A blood or urine test can be given at the officer’s discretion; the officer chooses the type of test. The driver has no right to choose the type of test. A urine test is used in drug DUI cases.

Before determining that a person has refused a test, the officer must advise the person of the penalties for refusing testing; that refusal is admissible in court. If the advisement is not correctly given, the refusal suspension and additional penalties noted above are not assessed, and/or the refusal is not admissible in court. If a person chooses to take the test, there is no requirement that the officer advise the person of the consequences of refusing.

Penalties for Refusal

  • A 275-day license suspension for a first refusal
  • A two-year license suspension for a second refusal within 10 years
  • A four-year license suspension for a third refusal within 10 years
  • A six-year license suspension for a fourth refusal within 10 years
  • An 18-month license suspension for a first refusal by a driver under the age of 21
  • A 30-month license suspension for a second refusal by a driver under the age of 21

There are additional jail and fine penalties for refusing a test if you are also convicted of DUI. (See penalties above noted for convictions.) In addition, the fact that you refused a test is admissible in court against you.

Reporting Suspensions to Your Home State or Province

Maine reports all suspensions to your home state or Canadian province. Whether your state or province will act on that report is up to them. Some states, Massachusetts for example, will honor all out-of-state suspensions. Other states will not honor administrative suspensions.

All states and provinces honor suspensions for an actual Maine DUI conviction. The conviction suspension may be longer in your home state or province, depending upon your driving record.

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