Montana DUI Laws

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Montana DUI laws state that any driver over the age of 21 cannot have a blood-alcohol level of 0.08% or higher. Commercial vehicle drivers cannot have a blood-alcohol level that exceeds 0.04%. Drivers under 21 cannot have a blood-alcohol level exceeding 0.02%.
Each year, over 10,000 people in the US are killed on the road as a result of drunk driving crashes.
Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a dangerous crime and penalties vary by state. Even a first-time offense can cost drivers up to $10,000 in fines and legal fees—and it will most certainly impact your car insurance rates, too.
The car insurance comparison and broker app Jerry has compiled everything you need to know about DUI laws in Montana.
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What is a DUI?

A DUI refers to driving under the influence while a DWI means driving while intoxicated or impaired. Each state determines the difference between the two. Montana uses DUI primarily for driving while impaired by alcohol.
With a DUI, the driver was found to be driving under the influence of alcohol.
It is illegal to drive in Montana with a delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) level of 5 ng/ml or more or under the influence of drugs, whether illicit or otherwise (if they impair one’s ability to drive). These offenses, however, are considered separate offenses, covered by different statutes, and penalized in different ways.

DUI in Montana

In Montana, it is illegal to operate a vehicle with a blood-alcohol level of:
  • 0.08% or higher if you’re 21 or older
  • 0.04% if you’re driving a commercial vehicle
  • 0.02% if you’re under the age of 21
There are more severe punishments for commercial vehicle drivers who drive under the influence, while there are less severe punishments for underage drivers.
Every state has an implied consent law stipulating that you consent to be tested if you’re suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
If you’re lawfully arrested for a DUI, you must submit to a urine, blood, or breath test. You do not have a right to consult with a lawyer before completing the test.
Key Takeaway If you are pulled over for a suspected DWI, you are legally required to take a test.

Penalties for DUI in Montana

Penalties for DUIs are severe in Montana. The conviction will remain on your driving record for 5 years. It cannot be expunged.

First conviction

PenaltyDescription
Fine$600 to $1,500
Jail24 hours to 6 months
License suspension6 months
SR-22 requirementYes
First-time offenders must complete a substance abuse assessment and dependency education course. If found to be chemically dependent on alcohol, a first-time offender or repeat offender must enroll in the appropriate treatment program. These requirements must be satisfied before the offender’s driver’s license can be fully reinstated.
A judge can also grant offenders a restricted probationary license. With a restricted license, you will be permitted to drive, but your car must be fitted with an ignition interlock device (IID), which prevents you from starting the car if it senses any alcohol on your breath. This option is available immediately for first-time offenders.

Subsequent convictions

Second conviction
PenaltyDescription
Fine$1,200 to $2,000
Jail5 days to 1 year
License suspension1 year
SR-22 requirementYes
Third conviction
PenaltyDescription
Fine$2,500 to $5,000
Jail30 days to 1 year
License suspension1 year
SR-22 requirementYes
Repeat offenders will be eligible for a restricted license, but unlike first offenders—who are immediately eligible upon enrollment in a treatment program—those with multiple offenses must wait 45 days after the second offense, and 90 days after the third to apply.
Key Takeaway Every state has minimum penalties for a DUI, which are often more severe if you had a high blood-alcohol concentration or if you’ve had previous offenses.
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Does a DUI impact car insurance in Montana?

Yes, insurance companies take DUIs very seriously and you’ll be classified as a high-risk driver.
With a DUI on your record, you can reasonably expect that insurance carriers will charge you significantly higher rates or may refuse to insure you entirely. That’s where Jerry can help. Jerry quickly submits your info and presents you with quotes from up to 50 top providers, so that you don’t have to spend time reaching out to each company one by one.
Your insurance carrier will be required to file an SR-22 in order to prove that you’re driving with the state-mandated minimum insurance coverage.

Other effects of a DUI

Beyond the conviction penalties and higher insurance rates, DUIs can have some other lasting impacts on your life.
License revocation: After a DUI, you run the risk of having your license revoked if you’re charged with other serious offenses.
Ignition interlock device: All states have some type of ignition interlock program requiring drivers convicted of a DUI to install an interlock device in their vehicle to disable the engine if alcohol is detected on their breath.
Background checks: Your DUI will show up on a background check for up to five years after the conviction, which can cause issues for future employment endeavors.

How to find cheap insurance after a DUI

Finding affordable insurance after a DUI conviction can be difficult on your own. No matter what your record looks like, Jerry can help. Once you choose a policy, Jerry will handle the phone calls, paperwork, and renewals for your top pick so that you don’t have to.
When your policy is up for renewal, Jerry is still on the job and will send you new quotes so you’re always paying the best price.
“My past tickets were making it hard to find affordable insurance. With Jerry, I went from paying $450/month to $273/month. They took care of everything—such a relief!” —Josephine R.
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