Being charged with Operating Under then Influance (OUI) is undoutedly serious given the potential jail sentence and the fines. However, perhaps the most devastating consequence is the suspension of your driver’s license. There is, fortunately, a procedure in Maine to continue driving under certain circumstances before the official suspension is completed. This opportunity is called a limited license or work restricted license.
What Is A Limited License?
The state of Maine in its infinite wisdom understands that, even if a person is charged with OUI, his or her ability to drive is crucial to maintaining employment and supporting one’s family. A work restricted license or work permit is a license that allows you to drive to and from work and to and from an educational facility when your license is suspended. It’s a very restrictive type of license that can only be issued under section 2453, section 2453-A or section 2472, subsection 3, paragraph B or C of Maine statutes. Moreover, if you are ultimately convicted of OUI, you will have to serve the entire suspension period including the time you drove with you work restricted license.
When Should I Get One?
Everyone’s situation is different, so determining whether you qualify for a work restricted license may require the assistance of a a lawyer. However, there are some guidelines about when you should obtain one.
The penalty for being convicted of a OUI for the first time in 10 years is a license suspension of 150 days. According to the Maine legislature, the only way you can legally drive to work during those 150 days is if you fulfill the following requirements:
1. You absolutely have to drive for work; that is, there exist no other means of transportation to your place of employment.
2. You haven’t had any other OUI suspensions in the past 10 years.
If you are designated a habitual offender, meaning that you have had 3 serious motor vehicle criminal convictions within 5 years, you can petition for a work permit after your license has been suspended for 18 months. If you qualify for an ignition interlock device (a breathalyzer that plugs into your car and will stop your car from operating if you have alcohol on your breath) for subsequent OUI convictions, you may apply for a work permit along with the device pursuant to dui.drivinglaws.org.
What Will I Have To Do To Obtain One?
If you wish to apply for a work restricted license you will have to:
1. Obtain an application from the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles, fill it out, have it signed by your employer and return to the Bureau. tYou will have to clearly explain your job and why you need to drive for it. You must also explain why you can’t take public transportation or ride with a friend.
2. Submit a $50 reinstatement fee with your application.
These are the same steps you take if you are petitioning for a work permit after being declared a habitual offender, though you would have to send in your Maine Driver’s license with your reinstatement fee and petition to the BMV. If you are applying for the ignition interlock device, you will need to be compliant with Maine’s DEEP (driver education and evaluation program.) Information about DEEP is available from the BMV.
Being charged with OUI id incredibly disruptive, but we at the law office of Richard Berne don’t think it should ruin your life. If you have any questions about work resticted licenses or need assistance with an OUI charge, contact us. We have 42 years of experience in both civil litigation and state criminal defense, and thus are well qualified to assist.