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  • DUI & DWI in Montana

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    Montana DUI & DWI

    A DUI is a serious offense in Montana, and as such, it comes with serious consequences. Along with the risk to your own life and the lives of others, drinking and driving can result in heavy penalties from the criminal court and the Montana Department of Justice (DOJ) Motor Vehicle Division (MVD).

    When you commit a driving under the influence (DUI) offense, you may receive fines, jail time, driver's license suspensions, and lengthy reinstatement requirements.

    On this page you'll find an overview of what constitutes as a DUI, the common penalties, and the steps you may need to take to reinstate your MT driver's license.

    Montana DUI Definitions

    In Montana, driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs is defined as driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of:

    • 0.08% or more.
    • 0.02% or more, if you are younger than 21 years old.
      OR
    • 0.04%, if you are driving a commercial vehicle.

    Depending on the circumstances of your arrest, you may be charged with a DUI even if you have a BAC that is within the legal limits above.

    DUI Criminal Penalties in Montana

    When you commit a DUI offense, you will face penalties from both the court and the Montana MVD.

    The court penalties you may face as the result of a DUI conviction are as follows:

    • For a 1st offense, you may receive:
      • 24 hours to 6 months in jail.
      • A fine of $300 to $1,000.
    • For a 2nd offense, you may face:
      • 7 days to 1 year in jail.
      • A fine of $600 to $1,000.
    • For a 3rd offense of a DUI, you may face:
      • 30 days to 1 year in jail.
      • A fine of $1,000 to $5,000.

    A charge of aggravated DUI will increase the fines and add longer jail time.

    DUI Administrative Penalties in Montana

    Along with the court penalties above, you may also face driver's license suspension by the Motor Vehicle Division: Blood alcohol level (BAC) over the legal limit for your age or license type:
    • A driver's license suspension for 6 months for a 1st offense.
    • A driver's license suspension for 1 year for a 2nd offense or subsequent DUI offense within 5 years.
    Additionally, for a 2nd offense or subsequent DUI offense, you may be required to participate in the Montana 24/7 sobriety program, which requires participants to take BAC/breathalyzer tests throughout the day. Refusing a Chemical Test:
    • A driver's license suspension for 6 months for a 1st offense.
    • A driver's license suspension for 1 year for a 2nd or subsequent offense..
    For more information about some of the penalties you may face for a DUI, please visit the Montana Department of Justice website.

    Underage Drinking and Driving

    If you are younger than 21 years old, you may face a driver's license suspension for a BAC of 0.02% or over:
    • Driver's license suspension for 90 days, for a 1st offense.
    • Driver's license suspension for 6 months, for a 2nd offense.
    • Driver's license suspension for 1 year, for a 3rd offense.
    You will also face penalties from the Montana court.

    Ignition Interlock

    If you are convicted of a DUI or an alcohol-related offense with a BAC of 0.08% or more, you may be required to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle for a certain period of time. An ignition interlock device requires you to take a BAC test before you can start your vehicle. For a complete list of approved ignition interlock installation facilities, please visit the Montana DOJ website. For more information, please contact your court or the Montana MVD.

    Reinstating Your MT Driver's License

    After you've completed the requirements of your court sentence and waited out the duration of your driver's license suspension, you'll need to reinstate your MT driver's license with the Montana DMV.

    Your reinstatement requirements will vary depending on the severity of your DUI offense, but you may need to:

    • Complete an alcohol education and evaluation program.
    • Pay reinstatement fees.
    • Take the driver's license knowledge test.
    • Submit necessary clearance documents.
    • Provide proof of financially responsibility.

    For more information about some of the requirements you may need to satisfy to reinstate your Montana driver's license, please visit our Suspended License in Montana page.

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