If you live in The Hoosier State or plan on visiting sometime soon, you should get familiar with the state’s drug and alcohol laws.

What are the consequences of drinking and driving? Is cannabis legal? And what kind of penalties exist for breaking the law? Read on for information about substance abuse laws in Indiana.

DUI Laws in Indiana

Alcohol slows down reflexes. It affects depth perception. It also affects a person’s ability to make good decisions. Indiana forbids operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OWI) which is also known as driving under the influence (DUI).

If you have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or more, you are liable to pay a host of penalties. This is the case even if you appear to be unimpaired. The same goes for commercial drivers who reach a 0.04% BAC.

Driving under the influence (DUI) laws apply to illicit drugs and controlled substances as well. These drugs impair drivers and create dangerous roads. If you drive on Indiana’s roads, there is ‘implied consent’ to testing if an officer thinks it’s necessary. Refusal to cooperate can result in harsh penalties.

Zero Tolerance Laws in Indiana

As in other states, there is a zero tolerance policy towards underage drinking and driving. The BAC limit for those under the age of 21 is 0.02%. This level can be reached with a single drink.

Is Cannabis Legal in Indiana

In Indiana, cannabis is currently illegal for both medical purposes and recreation. The possession and sale of CBD oil is legal. CBD products need to meet certain labeling standards and contain 0.3% THC or less. Consuming large amounts of CBD oil can trigger a false positive for THC in drug tests.

Other Substance-Related Crimes in Indiana

In Indiana, the following activities are illegal:

  • Possessing or using illicit drugs
  • Making, selling or transporting these substances
  • Selling alcohol to a minor or allowing minors to loiter
  • Selling alcohol to intoxicated individuals
  • Carryout alcohol sales on Sundays are only allowed between midday and 8 p.m. 
  • Bootlegging or selling alcohol without a permit
  • Not checking IDs of those who look under age 40 when retailing alcohol

Penalties for Alcohol or Drug Abuse in Indiana

DUI Penalties in Indiana

These are the penalties for first time offenders:

  • License suspension can be anywhere from 30 days to two years.
  • Fines ranging from $500 to $5000.
  • Up to 60 days of jail time
  • An ignition interlock device for up to 60 days
  • Commercial drivers can lose their licenses for at least a year and up to three years.
  • Refusing to do a breath or other test leads to at least a year of license suspension.
  • A BAC above 0.15% moves a misdemeanor charge from Class C to Class A.
  • Class A charges incur up to $5000 in fines and up to a year of jail time.
  • Level 6 felonies result in up to 2.5 years prison time and up to $10,000 in fines.

As you can see, penalties increase in severity. This depends on prior convictions, BAC level and the age of passengers. If the driver causes bodily injury to anyone, this factors into the sentence. Each person injured during an accident is regarded as a separate offense. Driving recklessly with minors in the car is a Level 6 felony for those aged 21 and above.

Zero Tolerance Penalties in Indiana

Drinking and driving under 21 can incur the following penalties:

  • A BAC between 0.02% and 0.08% means a Class C infraction or a fine of up to $500.

Cannabis Penalties in Indiana

  • Possession of under 30g of marijuana is a Class A misdemeanor. This means up to 180 days in jail and up to $1000 in fines.
  • A subsequent possession or use offense under 30g is a Class D felony.
  • Possession of over 30g is a Class D felony.
  • Selling 10 pounds or more is a Class C felony as is selling within 1000 feet of a school property or bus.

While we strive to provide updated information, the legal environment is dynamic. Consult with a local lawyer before making decisions that could lead to drug or alcohol charges.

Get Treatment for Drug and Alcohol Abuse in Indiana

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, there is hope. We highly recommend seeking treatment. Health professionals can assist you to get back on your feet.

Treatment begins with a safe and supervised detox. Where relevant, doctors taper doses of controlled substances and aid in reducing withdrawal symptoms. Treatment includes therapy which is essential for understanding the causes of substance misuse. Counselors teach patients tools to avoid triggers and cope with cravings.

Getting help shouldn’t be harder than getting drugs. Contact a rehab program near you to discuss the best options to suit your needs. It’s the first step towards a more healthy and happy life.


  1. Everything you need to know about Indiana’s alcohol laws. (2018)
  2. CJI: Laws
  3. Indiana Marijuana Laws – FindLaw
  4. https://www.indystar.com

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