OUI Laws

Maine Criminal Defense Attorney - OUI Laws in Maine

Elements of Operating Under the Influence

Title 29-A M.R.S.A. §2411:

A person commits OUI if that person:

A: Operates a motor vehicle:

  1. While under the influence of intoxicants; or
  2. While having a blood alcohol level of 0.08 percent or more.

What constitutes "operation"?

Driving a vehicle that is in motion is not necessary to prove "operation" as defined in OUI law. Although the usual meaning of operation is to manipulate the machinery so that the power of the motor is applied to the wheels (State v. Deschenes, 780 A.2d 285).

What does "under the influence" mean?

A person is under the influence if that person's senses - their physical or mental faculties - are impaired, however slightly, or to any extent by the alcohol that person had to drink. (Maine Jury Instruction Manual)

What is an "intoxicant"?

Intoxicants include alcohol, a drug other than alcohol, a combination of drugs or a combination of alcohol and drugs. (29-A M.R.S.A. §2402 (13)). Marijuana is considered an intoxicant, as well as, all illegal drugs. It is important to note that legal prescription medication can also be an intoxicant if the dosage is sufficient to impair the ability of the person to safely operate a motor vehicle.

What is meant by "a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 percent or more"?

A BAC (blood alcohol content) of 0.08 percent of more of alcohol by weight in the blood is the level of alcohol which is presumed to cause impairment sufficient to affect ones ability to drive. This fact is proven by admitting the results of a chemical test. In Maine the most common way to test for a person's blood alcohol content is by measuring the alcohol in a breath sample with an Intoxilyzer machine. It is very important that Counsel fully understands and explores: (1) explore the limitations of the Intoxilyzer; (2) the facts of your particular test; (3) the operational and maintenance history of the Intoxilyzer used; (4) the training of the operator; and (5) the subjects particular medical characteristics and health status. All of these factors are important in assessing the accuracy of your particular test result.