State Laws

Montana DUI Laws

     

Montana DUI laws state that any individual who drives in the state of Montana gives implied consent to chemical testing when requested. Chemical tests include breath tests, blood tests, and urine tests. Implied consent also includes Preliminary Alcohol Screening tests. Refusing to take either test will result in driver's license suspension for up to one year.

Individuals may be arrested if their blood alcohol content exceeds the legal limit of 0.08 percent. Minors will be arrested if their blood alcohol content exceeds 0.02 percent. Commercial drivers will be arrest if their blood alcohol content exceeds 0.04 percent. Driving under the influence can also include drugs, alcohol, or a combination of the two together.

DUI Prosecution
Individuals may be prosecuted under two different terms. The first is where an individual may be tried for driving while impaired. The prosecution will provide evidence to the court to prove that an individual was impaired while driving. Evidence can include driving patterns, physical appearance, blood alcohol content percentages, field sobriety tests, and others. Even if an individual has a blood alcohol content over the legal limit, he or she may not be convicted as he or she still may not have been impaired.

The second term is where an individual will be tried under per se laws. Per se laws state that an individual drove with a blood alcohol content above the legal limit. The prosecution will present the individual blood alcohol content percentages to the court as evidence.

Montana DUI Consequences
Punishments can increase if an individual's blood alcohol content is double the legal limit, if he or she is speeding, if another was injured, or if a minor was in the vehicle at the time of the arrest. Montana DUI punishments are based on the number of prior DUI convictions and the years in which they were charged.

First Offenses
Depending on the blood alcohol content of a first-time offender, an individual can have varied punishments. First DUI offenses can earn incarceration between one day and six months, fines between three hundred dollars and one thousand dollars, and six months of driver's license suspension. Individual also may be subject to chemical dependency programs. All incarceration times and fines will double if a minor was in the vehicle

Second Offenses
Second DUI offense can earn fines between six hundred dollars and two thousand dollars, incarceration between seven days and twelve months, and one year of driver's license suspension. An ignition interlock device may be installed along with mandatory attendance to substance abuse treatment programs.

Third Offenses
Third DUI offenses can earn incarceration between thirty days and one year, fines between one thousand dollars and ten thousand dollars, and driver's license suspension for one year. A vehicle may also be forfeited and an ignition interlock device installed.

Fourth Offense
A fourth DUI offense is a felony and can earn imprisonment up to five years, thirteen months of alcohol and drug abuse program attendance, fines up to ten thousand dollars, house arrest, and vehicle forfeiting.

Minor Offenses
Minors can have a fine between one hundred dollars and five hundred dollars and ninety days of driver's license suspension for a first offense; fines between two hundred and five hundred dollars and six months of driver's license suspension for a second offense, and fines between three hundred and five hundred dollars and driver's license suspension for one year for a third offense.

See also:
Montana Felony
Montana Gun Laws
Montana Divorce
Montana Misdemeanors External link (opens in new window)
Montana Expungement External link (opens in new window)