Contact an OUI/OWI Attorney

An operating under the influence attorney may be able to answer questions and provide guidance for someone who has been arrested. OUI and OWI is a term used in several states. It refers to "operating under the influence" and "operating while intoxicated, and it can mean the same thing as DUI or drunk driving. It is worth keeping in mind, however, that, a person can get an OUI or OWI without necessarily having been stopped while driving, or in some cases while at the wheel of a vehicle that isn't a car.

If you have been arrested for or charged with OUI, you may want to talk to one of our sponsoring OUI attorneys about your options. For a free case evaluation with a local OUI lawyer, complete the free form on this page.

Operating Under the Influence is Different From DUI

There are three states that use the term OUI: Maine, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The distinction between an OUI and a DUI is that the term "operating" has an expanded meaning beyond simply driving a motor vehicle. The expanded meaning of the term allows for an OUI arrest to follow someone who is intoxicated and a car isn't running or isn't in motion.

For example, in some states, you could face OUI charges if you are simply sitting behind the wheel of a parked car, even if the engine isn't on.

Case Study: Operating under the Influence Laws in Maine

Maine is one of the states where the term operating under the influence is used. The term OUI refers to the same circumstances and is used in the same way as drunk driving and DUI are across the country: operating a motor vehicle with a BAC over .08.

OUI Charge with 0 Previous OUI Convictions in the Last 10 Years

  • Minimum fine of $500 (or $600 if the person fails to submit to a test)
  • 90-day court-ordered driver's license suspension

A minimum of 48 hours in jail is the punishment with a BAC measured over .15 percent, speeding over 30 mph above the limit, driving with a passenger under 21, or attempting to elude the police. There is a minimum of 96 hours of jail time where the person refused to submit to a test.

OUI Charge with 1 Previous OUI Conviction in the Last 10 Years

  • Minimum fine of $700 (or $900 if the person fails to submit to a test)
  • 3 year court-ordered driver's license suspension
  • Minimum of 7 days in jail, or 9 days for failure to submit to a test
  • Suspended right to register a motor vehicle

These penalties can go up with a BAC measured over .15 percent, speeding over 30 mph above the limit, driving with a passenger under 21, or attempting to elude the police.

OUI Charge with 2 Previous OUI Convictions in the Last 10 Years

  • Minimum fine of $1100 (or $1400 for failure to submit to a test)
  • 6-year court-ordered driver's license suspension
  • Minimum of 30 days in jail, or 40 days for failure to submit to a test
  • Suspended right to register a motor vehicle

These penalties can go up with a BAC measured over .15 percent, speeding over 30 mph above the limit, driving with a passenger under 21, or attempting to elude the police.

OUI Charge with 3 or More Previous OUI Convictions in the Last 10 Years

  • Minimum fine of $2100 (or $2500 for failure to submit to a test)
  • 6-year court-ordered driver's license suspension
  • Minimum of 6 months in jail, or 6 months and 20 days for failure to submit to a test
  • Suspended right to register a motor vehicle
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device for 4 years following the end of the license suspension period

These penalties can go up with a BAC measured over .15 percent, speeding over 30 mph above the limit, driving with a passenger under 21, or attempting to elude the police.

Contact an OUI Attorney

A local OUI attorney may be able to help you if you have been charged with operating under the influence. If you would like someone to act as your resource, and to answer your questions, an OUI lawyer may be that person. Fill out the form below for a free case evaluation, and we can put you in touch with a local lawyer right away.

Laws may have changed since our last update. This is for informational purposes and is not legal advice. Speak to a local DUI attorney for legal advice about your particular situation.

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