A first conviction for DUI in Montana carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 24 hours in jail, a $685 fine, completion of ACT (assessment, course, treatment), and a 6 month suspension of your driver’s license – you can get a probationary license called an essential needs permit during this suspension if recommended by the judge. The jail time, fines, treatment requirements and license suspensions all increase for second and subsequent convictions. A DUI conviction will be 10 points on your driving record and if you receive 30 points on your driving record in 3 years, you will be considered a habitual traffic offender which carries a mandatory one year suspension.
If you refused the chemical test (breath or blood) during the DUI investigation, your driver’s license will be suspended for a minimum of 6 months. This suspension is in addition to the suspension for a DUI conviction. There is no probationary license available during this suspension. You can challenge this suspension by filing a lawsuit against the State of Montana in a district court, where you allege the State did not have particularized suspicion to stop your vehicle, there was not sufficient probable cause to request the chemical test, or you did not actually refuse the test. You must file the petition within 30 days of the refusal, and you may request a temporary reinstatement of your driver’s license until the Court holds an evidentiary hearing on the merits of your petition.