Skip to main content
Find a Lawyer
Please enter a legal issue and/or a location
Begin typing to search, use arrow keys to navigate, use enter to select

Maine OUI Laws

Driving under the influence is more widely known as a DUI, but some states use other terms for the offense. Some may call it driving while intoxicated (DWI). The state of Maine uses "operating under the influence" (OUI). Whatever the terms, Maine takes impaired driving very seriously. Maine's OUI laws impose relatively strict penalties for offenders. You face significant fines, lengthy driver's license suspension, and time in jail, even for first offenses.

Law enforcement takes OUIs very seriously, too. They undergo extensive training in identifying intoxicated drivers and investigating offenses properly.

Learn more about Maine's operating under the influence (OUI) laws below.

Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Limits and Implied Consent

"Per Se" BAC Limit 0.08%
Zero Tolerance (Underage) BAC Limit 0.00%
Enhanced Penalty (Aggravated) BAC Limit 0.15%
Implied Consent to Submit to BAC Test? Yes

Select Penalties

Minimum License Suspension or Revocation (1st, 2nd, 3rd offense) 150 days / 3 years / 6 years
Mandatory Alcohol Education, Assessment and Treatment Both
Vehicle Confiscation Possible? Yes
Ignition Interlock Device Possible? Yes

Maine OUI Law

Maine law prohibits anyone from operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicants or with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08%.

This language captures a wide variety of impaired driving. An intoxicant can be any drug or amount of alcohol that impairs your mental or physical facilities. It can be a combination of drugs and alcohol. It can also be just alcohol if you show impairment, even if your BAC is under the legal limit.

Operating a motor vehicle includes attempting to drive. You don't have to be in motion to face arrest. If you have the keys in the ignition, you're in the driver's seat, or your hands on the wheel, an officer can arrest you for OUI.

Implied Consent Law

Under Maine's implied consent law, if a police officer reasonably believes you are driving while intoxicated, they will ask you to submit to chemical testing. You have a duty to comply with chemical testing when asked as part of your driving privileges.

Usually, the police officer will administer a Breathalyzer or handheld breath test first. The officer may ask you to participate in a series of field sobriety tests. The officer will next ask you to provide a blood test, urine, or saliva analysis to confirm your BAC and look for drugs. These test results can give the officer probable cause to arrest you for OUI.

You may refuse the preliminary breath testing and chemical tests. The police officer will warn you that not cooperating will immediately result in losing your driver's license. For a first-time refusal, the Maine Department of Motor Vehicles will suspend your driver's license for 275 days. A second refusal will suspend your driving privileges for 18 months. You are not eligible for a suspension reduction through the ignition interlock program.

This is an administrative suspension that is separate from your criminal charge. Any additional suspension you may receive if convicted will be added to this suspension period. However, law enforcement may use evidence of your refusal in court. The judge may consider it an aggravating factor impacting your sentencing if you're convicted. This includes mandatory jail time.

Per Se OUI Law

While Maine doesn't label it a "per se" OUI offense, if you are operating a vehicle with a proven BAC of 0.08% or more, this is enough evidence for an OUI conviction. This is how a per se offense works. The police officer doesn't have to show you were acting intoxicated or driving dangerously. You may not show any symptoms of intoxication at all. But if your BAC is 0.08% or greater, you face arrest for an OUI charge.

Aggravating Factors

Multiple aggravating factors will impact your OUI charge. If you are later convicted, these factors will increase your penalties at sentencing. Aggravating factors include:

  • Refusing chemical tests
  • Driving over the speed limit by 30 miles or more
  • Transporting a passenger under 21
  • Attempting to elude the police
  • Having a BAC of 0.15% for greater
  • Prior OUIs within 10 years

Certain aggravating factors carry additional criminal penalties. If you had a passenger under 21 in your vehicle, the DMV will add 275 days of license suspension to your sentence.

If you cause serious bodily injury to another or a fatality, you will serve a minimum of six months in jail, a $2,100 fine, and loss of your driver's license for six years. The judge cannot suspend or reduce these requirements.


An OUI charge carries both a criminal aspect handled by the court system and an administrative part regulated by the Maine Secretary of State's Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

After an OUI conviction, the judge will pass sentencing. The judge has some discretion and may add other requirements. The court may impound your vehicle, require completion of substance abuse treatment, or other requirements the court feels would be beneficial. There are some essential, required elements.

A first-offense OUI with no aggravating factors is a Class D crime. Your sentence will include:

  • Minimum $500 fine
  • Court ordered 150-day license suspension
  • Up to one year in jail

You will receive a minimum 48-hour jail sentence if aggravating factors are present. This amount increases to 96 hours if you refuse chemical testing.

A second OUI in 10 years increases your mandatory sentence requirements.

  • Minimum $700 fine
  • Minimum of seven days in jail
  • Court ordered three-year license suspension
  • Suspension of your vehicle registration

A third OUI in 10 years is a Class C crime with heavy penalties. You will face:

  • Minimum $2,100 fine
  • Minimum of six months in jail
  • Court ordered license suspension for eight years
  • Suspension of your vehicle registration

Administrative Penalties

Your driver's license is automatically suspended when arrested on an OUI charge. You have a 10-day grace period before the suspension begins. You may request a hearing with the Maine Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) if you choose to contest your suspension during this grace period.

The DMV suspended your driver's license automatically following your arrest. If convicted, the court may also suspend your license following your conviction. You must serve the longer of the two suspensions unless you refuse to cooperate with chemical testing.

License suspensions by the DMV, with chemical testing, are as follows:

  • First Offense: 150 days
  • Second Offense Within 10 years: Three years
  • Third Offense Within 10 years: Six years
  • Four or More: Eight years

If you refused chemical testing, your suspension length is:

  • First Offense: 275 days
  • Second Offense Within 10 years: 18 months
  • Third Offense or More: Six years

The DMV may require you to complete a substance abuse assessment and education program called the Driver Education and Evaluation Programs (DEEP) before you can reinstate your driver's license.

Ignition Interlock Device Program

You may be eligible for a restricted license as a first-time offender. You must serve two-thirds of your suspension and complete a drug and alcohol program before eligibility. A restricted license allows you to travel to necessary appointments, work, or school only.

You may also be able to drive through the ignition interlock device (IID) program. You must complete the DEEP program before you are eligible.

An ignition interlock device is a breath-testing device installed into your vehicle's ignition system. You must submit a breath sample to start your car. If the device detects any amount of alcohol, the IID will not allow your vehicle to run. Often, the device will ask for random samples during your journey to ensure you remain sober.

Complete and file a petition for early reinstatement. If approved, you will serve a length of suspension before receiving your restricted license with an IID. Early reinstatement times are:

  • First Offense: After 30 days
  • Second Offense: After nine months, then must maintain the IID for two years
  • Third Offense: After three years, then must maintain the IID for three years

Underage OUI

Maine has a zero-tolerance law for underage OUI. While driving with an alcohol level of 0.08% or more is illegal for all drivers, driving with any amount of alcohol, anything over 0.00%, is a violation of Maine's OUI zero tolerance law for drivers who are under 21 years of age.

The DMV will suspend your driver's license for one year for a first offense. If you refuse chemical testing, your suspension period is for 18 months. A second offense will see your license suspended for two years.

You face prosecution under the adult OUI offense if your BAC is 0.08% or more.

Maine OUI Resources

Get Help From an OUI Defense Attorney

No matter where you live or happen to be visiting, drunk driving is a serious crime. Driving impaired endangers your life and the lives of those around you. Facing an OUI charge is overwhelming. Having a defense attorney on your side can help you navigate the law and can provide you with valuable legal advice. Protect your rights by reaching out to a Maine OUI attorney.

Was this helpful?

You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help

Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.

Or contact an attorney near you:

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

Contact a qualified attorney.

Begin typing to search, use arrow keys to navigate, use enter to select
Copied to clipboard

Find a Lawyer

More Options