In Maine, the courts take OUIs seriously. You can suffer serious criminal consequences after an OUI charge. What most parents do not recognize, however, is that in the middle of a child custody case, your OUI may come up. While this might not seem fair, there are grounds for the court to bring it up.

Even if the child was not in the car at the time of your OUI, the family law court may still look unfavorably at your conviction. The Maine revised statutes on parents and children explain that in a custody battle, the court takes into consideration the best interests of the child.

If you drive drunk, then the consequences may be heavy. Even at the lowest level, on your first offense, you suffer fines, license suspension and if you have aggravating factors or refuse your BAC test, then there are mandatory hours spent in jail. In addition, the Department Bureau of Highway Safety explains that the OUI charge remains on your criminal record and you may have costs up to $7,000.

Now, there are no provisions that explicitly apply to parents who have drunk driving records. However, when you have a mark like drunk driving, a court may question your ability to give the child a stable living environment. The court may question your ability to give guidance to your child if they suspect you have a problem with alcohol. OUI convictions result in a criminal record that may have a variety of consequences in a person’s life, beyond the criminal consequences.