A DUI case is complicated and, strangely, first-time DUI offenses tend to be the most complicated. This is true for any number of reasons; not the least of which is the complexity surrounding the suspension of an accused’s driving privileges. To appreciate this complexity, one has to first understand Indiana’s license suspension structure for DUI’s.
When a person is stopped by law enforcement for a DUI and the Court finds probable cause that a DUI has occurred, the Court will send notice to the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles. See Indiana Code § 9-30-6-8. Note: out-of-state drivers may or may not be subject to this next part; depending on the state they are from. The Indiana BMV will then administratively suspend the person’s driving privileges for 180 days (six months). This suspension is separate, but yet related, to any suspension that a person may receive for a criminal conviction. Namely, for every day that a person is administratively suspended, that person will receive that time as a credit against any future suspension that the person may receive as a result of the DUI criminal conviction. Please note that this administrative credit only applies to cases where a person consents to a breath test and not to individuals who refuse. The criminal conviction license suspensions for non-serious DUI’s are listed below and vary, not by the offense level, but rather time since any prior DUI conviction. See Indiana Code § 9-30-5-10.
- No Priors (or priors older than 10 years) – suspension for 90 days to 2 years
- Prior is 5 years to 10 years old – suspension for 180 days to 2 years
- Prior is 5 years old or less – suspension for 1 year to 2 years
There are certain circumstances in which the suspension of one’s driving privileges can be reduced and certain restricted driving privileges (i.e. to and from employment, treatment programs, etc.) can be put in place. This is most common for individuals accused of their first DUI who have no prior driver license suspensions. These individuals can receive restricted driving privileges while their case is pending; however, they will stop receiving administrative credit in the event of a future conviction in that case.
As anyone can see, the details of driver license suspensions for Indiana DUI offenses can be complicated and navigating those details can directly impact someone accused of a DUI. Before making any important driver license decisions, it is imperative that an individual accused of a DUI speak at length with an attorney concerning the circumstances of their case and the particulars of their driver record. All of the attorneys at Keffer Hirschauer LLP have experience handling DUI cases and license suspension matters. Bradley Keffer was formerly the Marion County (Indianapolis) Fatal Alcohol Crash Team Prosecutor and is currently a member of the National College of DUI Defense (NCDD).
If you have been charged with a DUI, do not delay in seeking experienced DUI defense counsel and contact Keffer Hirschauer LLP for a free consultation.