Do You Need an Indiana DUI Lawyer for an OWI License Suspension?

Noblesville, Indiana is proud to be the home of a world-class amphitheater . . . what are they calling it these days? Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center? Unfortunately, we see a lot of clients who need an Indiana DUI lawyer after they are pulled over for suspicion of operating while intoxicated (OWI) after leaving concerts at the venue. Through years of legal experience, we—the attorneys of Dollard Evans Whalin LLP—have learned that OWI license suspension in Indiana is one of the major problems clients have after these incidents.

An Indiana DUI Lawyer Can Help when Your License Is Suspended

An image of the lights of a police car, representing the repercussions of being pulled over for operating a vehicle while intoxicated and the need for an Indiana DUI lawyer to defend your rights.

If you have lost your license or been charged with a misdemeanor or felony offense under Indiana law, a Noblesville OWI lawyer from Dollard Evans Whalin can help. With our offices right here in the heart of Noblesville, we have the knowledge of the local judicial community and Indiana law that it takes to achieve a swift and satisfactory resolution of driving under the influence (DUI) charges and OWI license suspension in Indiana.

What Is the Difference between OWI and DUI?

While the terms DUI and OWI are often used interchangeably, the state of Indiana officially calls the offense operating a vehicle while intoxicated. There is a technical difference between OWI and DUI as well. Note that the “O” in OWI stands for “operating,” while the “D” in DUI is for “driving.” This is an important distinction. Under Indiana law, the vehicle does not need to be in motion for you to be charged with an OWI offense.

Important Information about OWI License Suspension in Indiana

Did you know the quickest way to get your license suspended is to refuse an officer’s request that you submit to a chemical test? In Indiana, a person who operates a vehicle impliedly consents to submit to the chemical test provisions of Indiana Code § 9-30-6-1 et seq. as a condition of operating a vehicle in the Hoosier State. Under Indiana Code § 9-30-7-5, a court is required to impose a one-year suspension of the license of an individual who refuses a chemical test. This penalty goes up to two years if the individual has a prior license suspension.

After years of criminal defense practice, we have determined that clients often refuse the chemical test or breathalyzer because they believe that the police officer will not be able to prove their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) without it. Unfortunately, we have found that police officers will simply get a search warrant, which will likely result in a blood draw to prove BAC. 

A Warning from an Indiana DUI Lawyer: No Specialized Driving Privileges When
You Refuse a Breathalyzer

Refusing a breathalyzer also prevents an individual from being able to get specialized driving privileges. An individual who is ultimately convicted of an operating while intoxicated offense but who did not refuse a chemical test may receive a license suspension of as little as 60 days. Furthermore, sometimes that suspension may be stayed in order to get specialized driving privileges so you can drive to work, school, church, court, probation, and so on.

To further complicate matters, those who refuse a test may also be ordered to serve a separate suspension for the underlying OWI case at the end of the refusal suspension.

Explanation of Refusal Suspension from an Indiana OWI Attorney

Indiana law has a pretty broad understanding of what it means to have a refusal suspension. We have seen clients simply ask to discuss the situation with their lawyer before taking the breathalyzer, and that has been found sufficient to be considered a refusal, subjecting the person to a one-year OWI license suspension. That being said, we have also had some success in terminating refusal suspensions in some cases. 

When an OWI license suspension in Indiana is terminated, it usually occurs for one of a few reasons:

  1. You are able to prove that you did not refuse the chemical test.
  2. The prosecutor agrees to terminate the refusal. 
  3. You are able to prove at a sentencing hearing that the refusal suspension should terminate in the best interests of society.

An experienced Indiana OWI attorney is best suited to represent you in matters like these.

Contact an Indiana DUI Lawyer from Dollard Evans Whalin

We hope concert season at the Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center brings many good times and great memories. Drink responsibly, enjoy, and we’ll see many of you out there! And if you need an Indiana DUI lawyer for an OWI license suspension, don’t hesitate to contact a Noblesville OWI lawyer from Dollard Evans Whalin LLP. You can reach us by calling (317) 770-7070 or completing our online contact form.