Indiana’s Drunk Driving Laws & Penalties in 2023: How Much Alcohol Can You Drink and Drive?

Drink and drive laws in Indiana

In Indiana, 0.08% grams (80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 ml blood) is the allowable blood alcohol concentration (BAC).

It is possible to attain the 0.08% BAC level restriction after drinking one to two standard alcoholic beverages. However, this quantity may vary based on a person’s gender, weight, and other variables.

Keep in mind that the primary objective of this post is to educate readers on Indiana drunk driving laws. This page is not meant to promote drunk driving or to advertise it.

In Indiana, operating a vehicle while intoxicated or under the influence is illegal.

According to statistics, Indiana recorded 897 fatal drunken driving collisions in 2020. Among these accidents, drivers with blood alcohol concentrations above 0.08% are involved in 249 of them.

The Indiana government enforces DUI driving laws to prevent drunk driving. Obeying the state’s legal BAC limit is crucial before you drive. If you need to drive after drinking, think about calling a cab or getting a designated driver.

You can check the most recent DUI driving laws and regulations by visiting Indiana’s official website.

Legal Alcohol Limit When Driving in Indiana

If your blood alcohol level is 0.08% and above, you will be convicted of DUI in Indiana.

For commercial drivers, driving with a BAC level of 0.04% is prohibited. A BAC of 0.02% makes it illegal for minors under 21 to drive.

Because everyone reacts to alcohol differently, individuals can have varying blood alcohol levels. Some people can become confused by even a tiny amount of alcohol.

Your BAC may change depending on a variety of variables, including those listed below:

  • weight
  • gender
  • using prescribed drugs
  • stress and tiredness levels
  • alcohol consumption level
  • an empty stomach

To establish how much alcohol you can consume before operating a motor vehicle, use a BAC chart or calculator. However, these techniques might not be ideal for everyone because everyone’s reaction to alcohol varies.

The most effective method to accurately calculate your BAC is by using a reliable alcohol breathalyzer.

Punishments for Drinking and Driving in Indiana

The level of impairment varies depending on the BAC level and some factors. Generally, most people appear normal between BAC levels of 0.010% and 0.029%; however, the indications of intoxication will become more noticeable as BAC levels rise.

DUI laws vary by state. You must monitor your blood alcohol level before driving to prevent penalties. Drunk driving may result in administrative and judicial sanctions.

An overview of the DUI driving penalties in Indiana is listed below to help you.

Operating While Intoxicated in Indiana

In Indiana, the term “operating while intoxicated” (OWI) is used instead of “driving under the influence” (DUI).

OWI laws in Indiana forbids all motorists from operating a vehicle with the following condition:

  • a blood alcohol content (BAC) of.08% or higher
  • any amount of a controlled substance in their system, or
  • intoxicated by alcohol or drugs

If you are guilty of OWI or DUI, you may face the following penalties:

First Offense Second Offense Third Offense
Jail Time Up to one-year imprisonment At least five days up to three years imprisonment and/or perform community service At least ten days up to three years imprisonment and/or perform community 
Fines Maximum of $5,000 fine Up to $10,000 fine Up to $10,000 fine
License Suspension Your license could be suspended for up to two (2) years.

You could be placed on probation and ordered to attend and pay for a substance abuse education course.

Your license may also be suspended for at least 30 days, preceded by a 180-day probationary period during which you can only drive for work.

Your driving privileges will be suspended for at least 180 days and a maximum of two years. Your driving privileges will be suspended for at least one year and up to ten years.

Ignition Interlock Device (IID)

If you are convicted of OWI or DUI, you may be ordered by a judge to have an IID installed in your car. If you have a prior conviction within the last ten years, the judge must order you to install an ignition interlock system unless you complete an alcohol treatment program.

Drivers Under the Age of 21

If you are under 21 and found guilty of driving with a BAC of at least 0.02% but less than 0.08%, you will face a one-year license suspension and a $500 fine.

Underage motorists who commit a DUI with a BAC of 0%.08 or higher may face the same penalties as adults.

When Can You Drink and Drive in Indiana?

Alcohol has different effects on each individual. Gender is one factor affecting a person’s blood alcohol content. In fact, men have different BAC from women.

ADH, or alcohol dehydrogenase, is found in greater quantities in men than in women’s bodies. Because their primary purpose is to support alcohol absorption, these enzymes are responsible for men’s rapid alcohol metabolism. As a result, men have a faster metabolism for alcohol than women.

If you’re uncertain how much alcohol you can legally drink in Indiana before driving, use the details below as your guide.

The data presented below is based on research. However, because each body digests alcohol differently, it may not apply to everyone.

How Many Bottles of Beers Can You Drink and Drive in Indiana?

Drink beer and drive in Indiana

According to this BAC chart, a male weighing approximately 54 kg (120 lbs) may possess a BAC of 0.03% after drinking one standard drink (12-ounce/350 ml beer).

On the other hand, a female of the same weight can have a BAC of 0.04% after drinking the same amount of beer.

BAC charts indicate that an individual who weighs less can have a greater BAC.

Only one or two beer bottles should be consumed to stay below Indiana’s legal BAC limit. If you drive a commercial vehicle, one bottle of beer should suffice. It is not recommended that anyone under the age of 21 consume alcohol before driving.

How Many Glasses of Wine Can You Consume and Drive in Indiana?

A typical wine serving (5 oz/142 ml) may contain 12% alcohol by volume. Two glasses of wine are enough to hit the legal BAC limit.

Commercial drivers with a BAC of 0.04% or higher may face penalties. It is recommended that they drink only one glass of wine To stay within the legal BAC limit.

Again, it is not recommended that anyone under the age of 21 consume alcohol before operating a motor vehicle.

How Much Whiskey or Vodka Can You Drink and Drive in Indiana?

One shot of liquor, such as vodka or whiskey, can contain up to 40% ABV.

If you intend to drive after drinking, a shot or two of whiskey or vodka should suffice.

One shot is sufficient for commercial vehicle drivers. No one should consume hard liquor 21 before driving.

Sticking to DUI Laws in Indiana

There are plenty of risks associated with drunk driving. Every motorist should be aware of the dangers of DUI and avoid it at all costs.

The best thing to do is to avoid driving after drinking alcohol. Your BAC and driving ability are never assured, even after a few drinks. Instead of driving, you could consider other modes of transportation.

If you must drive after drinking, ensure your BAC level is within Indiana’s legal limit. To accurately determine your BAC level, use a certified alcohol breathalyzer.

It is also good to check Indiana’s official website regularly to learn more about DUI driving laws.

About the author

Ashley Cresswell

Ashley Cresswell is a former phlebotomist with a passion for road safety. During her time as a phlebotomist, Ashley administered over 1000 blood alcohol tests to impaired drivers and was shocked to discover that many of them were simply uninformed about the legal limits for driving under the influence. As a result, Ashley conducted extensive research on scientific studies and local laws to bring drivers a comprehensive resource on drink and drive limits from around the world.