Drinking and driving is a serious matter in Indiana, and your license can be at risk as soon as that officer charges you, and you may never get it back.

The repercussions for driving a car while over the legal limit scale with the severity of your actions, but the state generally doesn’t waste time handing down a suspension. From being charged with your first crime to repeat offenses, driving in Indiana is considered a privilege that the state can take away.

Suspension limits

Operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OWI) is taken very seriously in Indiana, and there are a few ways the state could strip you of your license:

  • Administrative suspension: Failing or refusing a test like a blood sample or breathalyzer can lead to an officer arresting you for an OWI. This could be enough for the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) to automatically suspend your license. The suspension can change depending on your situation and any repeat offenses.
  • Court suspension: If the state finds you guilty of OWI, you could be looking at an even longer suspension. It is likely up to the discretion of the court based on your circumstances, but you could be measuring your suspension in years.
  • Multiple violations: If the courts convict you of violating laws like driving while intoxicated three times within 10 years, you could be looking at a full decade without the right to drive.
  • Serious offenses: It might only take two serious convictions in that same time frame to lead to a lifetime suspension of your license. Grave transgressions like causing someone’s death while driving intoxicated could quickly add up to the possibility of losing your license for life.

The penalties can start coming down quickly, and the cost can grow exponentially as severity increases. But even with a lifetime suspension, you could seek reinstatement or a limited license given the right circumstances. Understanding how suspensions are applied and knowing the consequences can be a significant first step toward protecting your right to drive.

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