Montana DUI Laws

Montana DUI laws state that if drivers refuse to submit to field sobriety tests, they are saying they are guilty of driving under the influence. This refusal can be used against them in court and make it possible for people to be charged with a DUI even if their BAC is lower than .08. This is because Montana DUI laws use many other factors in addition to BAC when determining whether people are driving under the influence.

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Tonya Sisler has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of South Carolina in Journalism and has worked for 15+ years in management. She has also completed a proofreading certification and is currently a professional writer.

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Brad Larson has been in the insurance industry for more than a dozen years. He started out as a claims adjuster for a national carrier. He has since switched to the agency side of the business. Brad is licensed in all P&C lines.

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Reviewed by Brad Larsen
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Oct 29, 2020

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Although every state in the U.S. maintains a blood alcohol concentration of .08 as being legally drunk, the Montana state DUI laws, can make it possible for people to be charged with a DUI even if their BAC is lower that .08. This is because the police of Montana use many other factors, in addition to, the BAC when determining whether people are driving under the influence. Following are some of the common DUI laws in the state of Montana. Find cheap car insurance quotes by entering your ZIP code above!

Factors That Montana Officers Use To Determine DUIs

Although Montana police officers do use the BAC in determining whether people are driving under the influence, there are many other factors that they examine, as well. Some of the factors that these police officers will examine include such things as the following.

  • Blood-Shot Eyes
  • Dilated Pupils
  • Smell of Alcohol
  • Field Sobriety Tests
  • Slurred Speech
  • Lack of Coordination

If Montana police officers observe any of the above conditions, they can charge people with DUIs even if their BACs are below .08. They can also use any of these observations against the driver during the court proceedings, as well. A DUI will results in heavy penalties within the DMV Point System.

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What is implied consent?

Virtually every state maintains implied consent laws and car insurance laws, that state that anyone who drives is subject to submitting to BAC testing, which can include testing of their blood, urine and/or breath. However, the state of Montana not only requires persons to submit to BAC testing, but they may also require people to submit to PAS testing, or Preliminary Alcohol Screening. The PAS test will estimate the person’s alcohol concentration much like the BAC test.

What can happen if people refuse to take these tests?

If people refuse to submit to either/or the BAC tests or the PAS tests, in a sense, they are saying they are guilty of driving under the influence. This refusal can be used against them in court, as well. For those people, who do refuse to take these tests, they can lose their driver’s licenses for as long as a year. Statistics in Montana show that 100% of all drivers who refuse to submit to either of these tests lose their licenses. These types of penalties will not help with finding affordable car insurance! There are two ways that drivers can immediately lose their driver’s licenses, and following are those reasons.

  1. They refuse to submit to either the BAC tests or the PAS tests.
  2. They take the BAC test, and the results of the test show that their blood alcohol concentration is .08 or higher.

Although Montana police officers may not tell people, drivers do have the right to contact an attorney of their choice and seek help if the police stop them and charge them with a DUI. Find state car insurance by entering your ZIP code into the ZIP code search!

Don't drink & Drive

How may drivers be punished if they are convicted of DUIs?

There are serious consequences for driving under the influence in the state of Montana. For those people, who receive their first DUI and their BAC is anywhere from .04 to .08, they may suffer any or all of the following consequences.

  1. They may have to serve anywhere from 1 day to as much as 6 months in jail.
  2. They may have to pay a fine of anywhere from $300 to as much as $1,000.
  3. They may have to complete an alcohol or chemical abuse program successfully.

In addition to the above consequences, for those drivers whose BAC was higher than .08, they may lose their license for up to 6 months; and if they had a passenger with them under 16 years of age, their fines and jail times could be doubled. They will also be charged more by their car insurance company!

For those drivers, who do not live in Montana, but have been charged with a DUI in the state; the state of Montana will report the charge to the state where the driver resides. This could result in further charges in the person’s home state, as well. Further, if drivers in Montana have been charged with a DUI within 5 years of a previous DUI, they may receive more severe penalties than they did for their first offenses.

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What are the effects of DUIs on car insurance rates?

DUI convictions can cost people a lot of money when it comes to car insurance rates. However, since insurance providers often only check drivers motor vehicle records about one to three times per year, it is possible that they may overlook such things as tickets, accidents and DUIs. If the providers do happen to discover the DUI charges though, they will classify the drivers as high-risk, and their rates may very well skyrocket. Some providers may even cancel the policies of persons who possess DUIs. Enter your ZIP code to find the cheapest car insurance rates!

Is there anything people can do to avoid high insurance rates after DUIs?

The best thing that people can do after getting DUIs is to shop around for low cost car insurance rates possible. This may be difficult, but it is possible to find a company that will offer lower rates for persons with DUIs. Car insurance varies widely among the various providers, and since they are all out to get the business of consumers, some of them will be willing to insure drivers with DUIs at lower rates than other companies. Compare car insurance quotes with our ZIP code search TODAY!

In conclusion, although DUIs are serious offenses in any state of the country, the state of Montana has a no tolerance level for these convictions. Whereas, in other states, police officers can only charge drivers with a DUI if their BAC is .08 or higher, Montana police officers can charge people with DUIs based on many other factors, as well.

The penalties for driving drunk in the state of Montana are quite severe and include such things as losing one’s license, jail time, large fines and high-insurance costs. However, people with DUI records can find lower rates on their car insurance if they perform some comparisons before renewing their existing policies. Find car insurance quotes online by entering your ZIP code below!

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