If you’re arrested for driving while under the influence, you must prepare for a lot of consequences. Depending on your specific case and the municipality in which you were caught, you may have to attend an alcohol treatment facility or install a device in your car that prevents it from starting if you’ve been drinking. Business and restaurant owners run another risk: if you get a DUI in Indiana, it’s possible you could lose your liquor license.

Losing Your Liquor License

According to attorneys Shapiro and Lozano, an OWI/DUI conviction can lead to, “loss of your ABC server or owner’s liquor license for one year on a first offense and for life on a second or subsequent offense.” A conviction can also result in the revocation of your commercial driver’s license and firearm permits.

Liquor Licenses

Each state makes unique regulations with respect to the issuance of liquor licenses. The sale of alcohol products is regulated for a lot of reasons. Licenses make it easier for municipalities to keep alcoholic beverages away from children. The license system also allows police and towns to shut down bars and taverns whose customers are considered a nuisance to the community. For example, in 2011, many residents have urged the state not to renew the license of a tavern on the east side of Indianapolis.

Indiana OWI Code

People who drink and drive can be charged with violations of Chapter 5 of Indiana Code 9-30. Violations are divided into a few classifications. Operating with an “alcohol concentration equivalent” of .08 or greater is a Class C misdemeanor, operating with an “ACE” of .15 or greater is a Class A misdemeanor and operating with a .08 “ACE” is considered a Class A misdemeanor “if the person operates a vehicle in a manner that endangers a person.”

The Indiana Alcohol & Tobacco Commission

The ATC Commission is responsible for regulating the sale and distribution of alcohol and tobacco products. These are the people who issue liquor licenses and make decisions as to when they should be taken away from a person.

Attorney Consultation

An Operating While Intoxicating charge is very serious. Before making any plans with respect to legal strategy and keeping your liquor license, it's a very good idea to consult an attorney who specializes in OWI defense.