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In Indiana, just like it is illegal to drive an automobile while intoxicated, it is also illegal to operate a motorboat while intoxicated (BWI). Attorney Mario Massillamany is an experienced criminal defense lawyer who possesses both the knowledge and skill set necessary to defend against such serious charges. If you or someone you know is searching for such a lawyer, please see the bottom of this article for Mr. Massillamany’s contact information. Otherwise, continue reading for a detailed explanation on the implications of BWI charges. 

The first important issue to know is what exactly is considered a motorboat.  Under Indiana law, a motorboat includes all watercraft propelled by an engine or other mechanical means.  Additionally, any sailboat that has a motor and any other personal watercrafts are also considered motorboats.

Operating a motorboat with a BAC of .08%, while having a controlled substance in the person’s body, or while intoxicated is considered a Class C misdemeanor.  This offense could result in imprisonment for up to sixty days and a fine of up to $500.  It is a Level 6 felony if the person has a previous conviction for BWI or it results in serious bodily injury to another.  This offense could result in imprisonment for a term between six months and two and a half years as well as a fine of up to $10,000.  Finally, a BWI offense is a Level 5 felony if it results in the death of another.  This offense could result in a term of imprisonment between one year and six years with a fine of up to $10,000.  The advisory sentence is for three years.

One final important thing to note about the law on BWI in Indiana is that a narrow defense exists that might apply to some people.  In Indiana, it is a defense to BWI that the person accused consumed the controlled substance under a prescription or by order of a practitioner in the course of their professional duties.

Remember to always drink responsibly.

 

Mario Massillamany is a founding partner of Massillamany & Jeter LLP, a full-service law firm serving central Indiana.  For more information on this topic, please contact Mr. Massillamany at (317) 432-3443 or by e-mail at: mario@mjattorneys.com.

 

This article is not intended to serve as legal advice.  Should you have questions about this topic, you should consult with a licensed lawyer.

It’s summertime.  It’s hot outside.  People are hanging out by the pool, grilling out, and many of us are having a few drinks along the way.  However, the police are also on high alert at this time of year for drunk driving and will often set up DUI checkpoints to make sure that our roads remain safe for everyone.  In order to be more prepared should you run into a DUI checkpoint, here are some some words of advice from Attorney Mario Massillamany.

First, let’s go over some of the basics of a DUI checkpoint.  At these checkpoints, officers are checking mainly for drivers who are impaired, but can look for anything suspicious.  At the checkpoints, officers will either check every vehicle or use some sort of pattern to stop some of the cars that pass through.  Some of the things officers might ask or do are ask to search your car, ask you to step out of your car, ask you to take field sobriety tests, or ask you take a chemical test to determine your BAC.  If the officer asks to search your car or to take field sobriety test, e.g. walk in a straight line or touch your nose, then you can refuse to consent.  However, if they ask you to step out of the car, then you need to comply with the request and step out, but ensure that you close and lock your door to protect your privacy as much as possible.  Lastly on this point, you should consent to a request for a chemical test of some sort, like a breathalyzer, blood test, or urine test, because refusing to do so can result in consequences as bad as being convicted of a DUI.

Now for a few words on the law regarding checkpoints.  In a recent decision, the Supreme Court ruled that Miranda warnings are not required at DUI checkpoints.  This is because DUI checkpoints are not considered to be a custodial stop which is required to trigger Miranda warnings.  However, the Court did mention that there could be a set of circumstances that would result in a triggering of Miranda warnings at a DUI checkpoint stop.

Remember to always drink responsibly.  If you or someone you know has had an issue at a DUI checkpoint, be sure to get in contact with an attorney.  

Mario Massillamany is a founding partner of Massillamany & Jeter LLP, a full-service law firm serving central Indiana.  For more information on this topic, please contact Mr. Massillamany at (317) 432-3443 or by e-mail at: mario@mjattorneys.com.

 

This article is not intended to serve as legal advice.  Should you have questions about this topic, you should consult with a licensed lawyer.

Can you refuse to take a blood, breath, or urine test when you are pulled over? And if you can, should you refuse?  In short, yes you can refuse, but you probably should not due to the penalties for doing so.  In Indiana, when you operate a vehicle you are impliedly consenting to a chemical test as a condition to being able to drive a vehicle in the state.  In order to be in compliance with the implied consent provision, one must submit to each test offered by the police officer, not just to one of them.  Under Indiana law, the officer must inform you that refusal to submit to the tests will result in suspension of your driver’s license and allow you a chance to comply and take the tests.

The penalties for failure to submit to the tests differ based on whether you have had any prior convictions for operating a vehicle while intoxicated.  The initial failure to comply will result in an immediate confiscation of your license by the officer.  Eventually, the failure to comply will result in the suspension of your driver’s license.  If it is only your first offense, then refusal to submit to the tests would result in a one year suspension of your license.  However, if it is at least your second offense, then your refusal will result in losing your license for two years.

There are several other affects with regards to the refusal to submit to the tests.  One additional problem of refusal is that you will also be ineligible for specialized driving privileges, which means that there will be no way to be able to drive again until after the suspension of your driver’s license is up or has been lifted by the courts.  Another issue is that refusal to submit to the tests can be used as evidence in a case against you for operating a vehicle while intoxicated.  A final issue is that the police officer can still get a warrant to get the tests done anyway regardless of your refusal to consent.

In the end, the best option when you are drinking alcohol is to simply not drive by getting a designated driver, taking a taxi or Uber, or if possible staying somewhere near where you are drinking.  However, if you do find yourself being pulled over for operating a vehicle while intoxicated, it does not benefit you to refuse to take the tests.

 

Mario Massillamany is a founding partner of Massillamany & Jeter LLP, a full-service law firm serving central Indiana.  For more information on this topic, please contact Mr. Massillamany at (317) 432-3443 or by e-mail at: mario@mjattorneys.com.

 

This article is not intended to serve as legal advice.  Should you have questions about this topic, you should consult with a licensed lawyer.

Operating a vehicle while intoxicated (or OWI) is one of the most common criminal offenses, and one that can come with some serious penalties for repeat offenders. Attorney Mario Massillamany is an experienced criminal defense lawyer who possesses both the knowledge and skill set necessary to defend against such serious charges. If you or someone you know is searching for such a lawyer, please see the bottom of this article for Mr. Massillamany’s contact information. Otherwise, continue reading for a detailed explanation on the implications of OWI charges. 

The first time someone commits an OWI they are committing a Class C misdemeanor and are subject to imprisonment up to sixty days and a fine of not more than $500.  However, there are a number of factors that can increase this penalty based on the circumstances surrounding the offense and the number of times the person has been convicted of an OWI.

For the second conviction of an OWI, a person commits a Level 6 felony if it occurs within five years from the previous conviction and is subject to several different potential penalties.  First, a Level 6 felony is be punished by imprisonment from six months to two and a half years with the suggestion being one year and a fine of no more than $10,000.  Additionally, for the second conviction for an OWI, the person is subject to imprisonment for at least five days or 180 hours of community service and, if necessary, completion of an alcohol or drug abuse treatment program.

For the third conviction of an OWI, it is still a Level 6 felony, as long as it occurs within five years from the previous conviction.  The punishment for this is the same as it is for the second conviction.  However, the additional penalties are different for the third conviction.  A person will be subject to imprisonment of at least ten days or 360 hours of community service and, if necessary, completion of an alcohol or drug abuse treatment program.

Lastly, there is a potential to be labeled as a habitual vehicular substance offender if the person has two or three prior unrelated offenses.  If properly alleged and claimed by the prosecution, the court shall sentence the habitual offender to imprisonment from one year to no more than eight years to be added to the sentence already imposed.

Please drink responsibly.  Do not drink and drive.  If you do, you risk injuring others, yourself, and potentially ending up in jail for a long time. If you are going to go out and drink, get a designated driver, take a taxi or Uber, or, if possible, stay somewhere near you until it is safe to drive yourself again.

Mario Massillamany is a founding partner of Massillamany & Jeter LLP, a full-service law firm serving central Indiana.  For more information on this topic, please contact Mr. Massillamany at (317) 432-3443 or by e-mail at: mario@mjattorneys.com.

 

This article is not intended to serve as legal advice.  Should you have questions about this topic, you should consult with a licensed lawyer.