If you receive a conviction for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated in Indiana, state law mandates expensive fines, license suspension, jail time and other penalties. The state defines OWI as driving with a blood alcohol content of at least 0.08%, or higher than 0.02% for a driver younger than 21.

Before attending a court date for Indiana OWI, know what to expect from the charges you face.

First-time OWI offense

When an officer arrests you for OWI in Indiana, he or she will search your vehicle, which the state will then seize and store at your expense. You must remain in jail until a friend or family member posts bail on your behalf.

Penalties for a first-time OWI conviction include:

  • Up to one year in jail and/or probation
  • $300 in court costs
  • Up to $5,000 in fines
  • License suspension of at least 30 days and up to two years
  • Participation in an OWI victim impact panel
  • Substance abuse education classes, at your own cost

Second OWI offense

If you receive another OWI conviction, penalties increase to:

  • At least five days, and up to three years, in jail
  • $300 in court costs
  • Up to $10,000 in fines
  • License suspension of at least 180 days and up to two years
  • Participation in an OWI victim impact panel
  • Substance abuse education classes, at your own cost
  • Mandatory community service

Subsequent OWI offenses

The state designates drivers with three or more OWIs as habitual offenders. The penalties for subsequent offenses include:

  • At least one year, and up to eight years, in jail
  • $300 in court costs
  • Up to $10,000 in fines
  • License suspension of at least one year and up to 10 years
  • Participation in an OWI victim impact panel
  • Substance abuse education classes, at your own cost
  • Mandatory community service

Indiana also has an implied consent law. This means that if you drive in the state, you consent to take a sobriety test if requested by an officer or risk additional penalties.