Second DUI in Montana

When convicted of your second DUI in Montana (as distinct from a DUI per se), whether the first occurred here or in another state, Montana statute 61-8-714(2) requires a fine of between $600 and $1,000 and a jail sentence of between 7 days and 6 months. Again, if one of the passengers was less than 16 years old you can expect the punishment to go up. When serving a sentence for a second DUI,the mandatory minimum sentence may not be served under home arrest and may not be suspended¬†unless the judge finds that the imposition of the imprisonment sentence will pose a risk to the person’s physical or mental well-being.¬†The remainder of the imprisonment sentence may be suspended for a period of up to 1 year pending the person’s successful completion of a chemical dependency treatment program

Compared to a first offense, on a second conviction for DUI the minimum fine doubles, but the maximum stays steady. The same pattern holds for imprisonment, where the maximum sentence remains the same at 6 months, but the minimum increases to 7 days. For most people, spending a week in jail is a much different proposition than just spending 24 hours – making this the most striking difference.

A topic I’ve touched on before bears repeating here. Montana will look for convictions in other jurisdictions when calculating how to charge you. So while you may have been convicted only once for DUI in Montana, but have 2 convictions in other states – you are looking at your fourth DUI, not your second. The state will charge you based on total DUIs – not just ones that occurred within Montana’s borders. Is it possible that Montana will not discover the DUI you got in Georgia? Yes. But I wouldn’t want to count on it. That being said, for the purposes of this calculation – Montana only looks at your history for the past 5 years.

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