Hoosiers have long cherished the right to operate a motor vehicle. Being the home of the Indianapolis 500, it is clear that Hoosiers have an affinity for cars. In order to legally operate a motor vehicle upon the public highways in the State of Indiana, one must be in possession of an operator’s license. Some people are aware of several ways to lose your license. However, there are many ways to lose your driving privileges in the state of Indiana.
The following is a brief summary of some of the ways to lose your license.
LEAVING THE SCENE OF AN ACCIDENT
- 1. In the event a driver in Indiana is involved in an accident, which gives rise to an injury or death of a person, the driver must
- (a) immediately stop;
- (b) immediately return to the accident scene and remain until specified information is given or located;
- (c) determine the need for and give reasonable assistance to each person injured in the accident, including the removal or making arrangements for a removal, to a hospital or physician for treatment;
- (d) immediately give notice to local police or sheriff, if outside a municipality; and
- (e) file within ten days a written report of the accident with the state police. The failure to file a written report shall give rise to revocation or suspension by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles.
- 2. If a driver is involved in an accident giving rise to damage of a vehicle driven or attended by a person, but not injury or death, the driver must again, immediately:
- (a) stop;
- (b) return to and remain at the scene to provide specified information; and
- (c) within ten days, file a written report of the accident with the state police if the dollar amount of total property damage is apparently at least $1,000.00. In today’s economic times, $1,000.00 worth of damage to a vehicle is not difficult to establish. The failure to provide a written report, as required by the statute, can give rise to a revocation or suspension of driving privileges by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles.
- 3. In Indiana, if a driver is involved in a motor vehicle collision with an unattended (parked) vehicle, the driver must:
- (a) locate and notify the owner operator of the name and address of the driver and owner of the vehicle striking the unattended vehicle;
- (b) leave in a conspicuous place, the name and address of the driver and owner and a statement of the circumstances of the accident.
OPERATING WHILE INTOXICATED AND
OTHER ALCOHOL OFFENSES INVOLVING A VEHICLE
Operating while intoxicated and other alcohol-related offenses range in treatment from infraction to felony. The majority of first-time offenses are treated in misdemeanor fashion. Persons convicted or pleading guilty to alcohol-related offenses and the operation of a motor vehicle generally will have their driving privileges suspended by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles for 180 days. This 180 day suspension can be modified by the court, reduced to 90 days or increased up to 2 years. In the event the court issues a 90 day suspension, that suspension can be reduced to 30 days with the issuance of 180 days in probationary driving privileges.
In the event the court issues a probationary license under the operating while intoxicated statutes, it is a Class C infraction to operate a vehicle in violation of those probationary terms. In addition, the court may suspend the driving privileges of the person for not more than one (1) year, in addition to any penalty imposed for the infraction.
It is a Class C infraction for a person under twenty-one (21) years of age to operate a vehicle with an alcohol concentration of at least .02 grams, but less than .08 grams of alcohol per 100 ml of the person’s blood, or 210 liters of the person’s breath. In addition, any other penalty imposed for the infraction, the court may suspend the minor’s driving privileges for not more than one year.
OPERATING WITHOUT EVER HAVING HAD RECEIVED A VALID LICENSE
In Indiana, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle without ever having received a motor vehicle license. The burden of proof is upon the defendant to show the existence of a valid license. In the event a person is convicted of operating a motor vehicle without ever having received a valid license, there is a mandatory minimum 90 day suspension of that person’s ability to obtain driving privileges in the State of Indiana.
It is difficult to imagine any person in the State of Indiana that has never heard of a false ID. The most likely scenario regarding false identification are underage individuals using false identification in order to gain access to clubs and/or bars. In Indiana, there is a mandatory minimum 90 day suspension of the current driver’s license or permit of a person who uses or has possession of another person’s driver’s license to evade the law regarding the sale, purchase, etc., of alcoholic beverages. Further, in the event this violation occurs while operating a motor vehicle, the suspension shall be up to one (1) year. If the person is less than 18 years of age, the suspension is for a minimum of 60 days.
DRIVING WHILE SUSPENDED
In the event a person has their driving privileges suspended in the state of Indiana for whatever reason, but continues to drive, it is possible that the person will be charged with a Class A misdemeanor of driving while suspended. This driving while suspended carries with it a minimum sentence of 0 days in jail with a maximum sentence of one year in jail. In addition, there is a minimum 90 day suspension of driving privileges associated with the same.
Indiana has enacted the Indiana Financial Responsibility Act. This establishes the minimum liability insurance requirements in order to operate a vehicle in the state of Indiana. Currently, the minimum liability insurance requirement is $25,000.00 per person, $50,000.00 per occurrence. In the event a person operates a motor vehicle and such motor vehicle is not covered by at least the minimum insurance standards, the person can be convicted of a Class B misdemeanor, punishable up to 180 days in jail. Further, such person will have their driving privileges suspended until such time as they are reinstated, and show proof of compliance with the Financial Responsibility Act.
A conviction for criminal recklessness with a motor vehicle shall result in a suspension of not fewer than 60 days and not more than two (2) years.
Conviction of using a motor vehicle to commit obstruction of traffic may result in a suspension of not fewer than 60 days and not more than two (2) years.
Conviction of criminal mischief involving the use of a motor vehicle may result in a suspension of not fewer than 60 days and not more than two (2) years.
Conviction of involuntary manslaughter or reckless homicide resulting from the operation of a motor vehicle shall result in a suspension of at least two (2) years and not more than five (5) years.
Conviction of fuel theft shall result in a suspension of a person’s driving privileges. The suspension shall be for thirty (30) days followed by the possibility of a restricted license.
LOSING YOUR LICENSE IN JUVENILE COURT
- For an offense that would be an OWI if committed by an adult, the juvenile court shall recommend immediate suspension of the child’s driving privileges. If a refusal is not involved, the court may grant probationary driving privileges for 180 days.
- If a child is a delinquent child, due to the commission of an act which would be, if committed by an adult, dealing in a controlled substance or a counterfeit substance, or possession of either a controlled substance or a prescription drug for which the child does not have a prescription, or conspiring to commit any of these offenses, the court shall order the Bureau to invalidate the license or permit for at least six (6) months, but not more than one (1) year.
- The above suspension ranges from at least six (6) months to two (2) years, if the offense is a repeat offense, or was committed on school property, or within 1,000 feet of school property, or on a school bus.
- A delinquent act which would be criminal mischief if committed by an adult or institutional criminal mischief that involves the use of graffiti, the court may suspend a driver’s license or learner’s permit for not more than one (1) year.
- The court shall suspend the license or permit of a repeat truant for a period of not less than ninety (90) days and not more than one (1) year.
In the event a person is arrested for possession of any controlled substance, including marijuana, and a vehicle is used in the commission of that offense, the court shall suspend a driver’s license for a minimum of 180 days.
As a criminal defense attorney, I frequently hear from friends and acquaintances,… “I don’t know how you defend criminals or those drunks on the road”. Let me be clear about this. I don’t want impaired drivers on the road. I have friends and family that I want to be safe on the road. I don’t want any person maimed, injured or killed by a driver operating under the influence of any impairing substances. Impaired driving is and most certainly should be illegal.
However, the focus of DUI enforcement, sometimes, is not on impairment. It has changed its focus to BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration). For the most part, the State is not interested in impairment. It is interested in BAC. BAC ignores whether a person is impaired. It convicts solely upon a number.
Getting stopped for drunk driving (commonly referred to as DUI), is a serious offense and can have different consequences depending upon the county in which you live. All states have a “per se” law defining it as a crime to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at a level at or above the prescribed threshold level. At the present time, this threshold level is .08%.
Getting stopped. When you are stopped for DUI or for something else and the police officer has a reason to believe that you have been drinking, you will generally be asked to take sobriety tests. These are called the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests. The officers use these tests as an opportunity to develop probable cause to support offering you a certified chemical test under the Indiana Implied Consent Law.
Every state in the country has some sort of “drunk driving” legislation. The term “drunk driving” is in quotes because none of these laws require the driver to be drunk or intoxicated to be guilty. All that is required is that your ability to operate a motor vehicle has been impaired to any extent at all, or that your blood alcohol exceeds the state limit, which is now .08%. Some states call it a DUI, DWI, OWI, or OUI. In Indiana, it is most likely called OVWI (operating a vehicle while impaired). The consequences of DUI differ dramatically from state to state and are influenced by your age, blood alcohol content (BAC), prior criminal history and whether you caused injury or death during the operation of a vehicle. Deciding whether or not to hire an attorney is a personal decision. Here are a few things you should consider before hiring an attorney.
A DUI lawyer can help with the following:
- Assessing your legal situation. An experienced attorney can help you understand what you are up against and the fines that you may be required to pay. In addition. Hansen Law Firm, LLC, offers a free initial consultation, which may be worthwhile if you don’t understand the procedure.
- Explaining the consequences. The consequences of a DUI vary greatly from state to state. Hansen Law Firm, LLC, is able to explain those consequences that apply to you, such as:
- harsher penalties for those arrested with higher blood alcohol concentration levels;
- special laws for underage drivers arrested for DUI;
- possible community service or plea bargaining options;
- overlapping jurisdiction of the court’s and the state’s motor vehicle licensing department to suspend or revoke your license; and
- probationary and/or hardship and/or restricted license programs that allow you to use your vehicle to get to and from work, as well as potentially, other matters.
- Should you hire Hansen Law Firm? The answer to this question depends upon your personal and financial situation, as well as your ability to handle the process on your own. Here are some general guidelines:
- Definitely: You definitely should hire Hansen Law Firm, or any experienced DUI lawyer if you already have several DUIs and receive another; or if your DUI arrest was the result of an accident, or if anyone was injured; or, if you are a professional driver whose livelihood depends on you keeping your license.
- Probably. You should seriously consider hiring Hansen Law Firm, or an experienced DUI lawyer if you have been arrested for a second DUI in the same or another state, or were arrested with a BAC limit in excess of the state’s legal limit, as harsher penalties may apply.
- Likely. You likely would want to hire Hansen Law Firm, or another experienced DUI lawyer if you don’t understand your rights or your state’s DUI laws, what you need to do, or the consequences you face. You also may want legal representation if you are in a profession that requires bonding, or in which any criminal conviction might prevent you from getting or keeping your professional license. If you don’t know these requirements, then you need expert advice before handling any case on your own.