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Consequences of Indiana OWI

On Behalf of | Apr 9, 2021 | DUI Defense

Indiana refers to driving under the influence as operating while intoxicated, or OWI. Penalties for this offense vary based on criminal history and other factors.

Review the possible legal consequences of OWI in Indiana before facing this type of court date.

License suspension

Drivers in Indiana lose their license privileges for at least 180 days for an OWI. This extends to at least 12 months for a second or third offense. The court can also order a convicted driver to use an ignition interlock device for 60 days after license reinstatement, or up to a year for cases involving elevated blood alcohol content (higher than 0.15%).


Fines start at $500 and can increase to $5,000 for drivers with BAC of 0.15% or higher at the time of the arrest. These fines apply to the first, second and third OWI convictions in Indiana. However, if any convictions occur within five years of one another, the driver could receive up to $10,000 in fines for felony OWI.

Jail time

All misdemeanor OWI charges, including the first, second and third convictions, carry the same potential jail sentence. An offender can receive up to 60 days for blood alcohol content of 0.08% or higher and up to 12 months for BAC above 0.15%.

Felony OWI, involving more than one conviction in five years, resulting in at least six months and up to 30 months in jail.

Some drivers may qualify for downgraded charges of reckless driving involving drugs or alcohol. This conviction does not usually result in jail time, though it does carry license suspension and fines.