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DUI convictions: Possible penalties and alternative sentences

Indiana has strict laws prohibiting motorists from driving under the influence of alcohol. An individual convicted of a DUI offense could face penalties that include a fine, jail sentence and probation.

A conviction could also result in a driver’s license suspension of up to two years. This could include individuals convicted of a first-time offense if the court determines it necessary. A judge may instead order an ignition interlock device.

What is an ignition interlock device?

An IID is similar to a portable roadside breath test machine. The device attaches to the car’s steering wheel and connects to its starter. The vehicle can start only if the operator blows into the IID and passes its sobriety test. While in motion, the device may request the driver to pull over and provide another breath sample.

An individual ordered to use an IID must pay for its installation and maintenance expenses. Tampering with an IID or asking another individual to blow into it could result in violating the terms of a sentence. A judge may then order a license suspension.

Treatment and work programs

A judge may allow a motorist who admits to an addiction to plead guilty in exchange for an alternative sentence. The court may then order an individual to serve a sentence through work release.

A sentenced individual may leave a corrections facility to work and attend a substance-abuse program. Violating a judge’s order, however, may result in losing the offer and spending the remainder of a sentence incarcerated.

Community service and special driving privileges

Depending on the circumstances, a judge may order community service as part of an alternative DUI sentencing. An individual typically performs civic-minded tasks without pay.

Motorists convicted of DUI who need a vehicle for work may request specialized driving privileges. Formerly called hardship licenses, they may come with restrictions limiting the driver to specific locations and times. A judge may also decide to order the installation of an IID before granting the request.