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OVI in Ohio

DUI in Ohio

Ohio, like many other states, considers driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol a very serious offense. If you are charged with a DUI, you could face very serious penalties such as:

  • License revocation
  • Penalties and fines
  • Alcohol treatment classes
  • Mandatory installation of an Ignition Interlock Device

Operating a vehicle under the influence in Ohio
Ohio law frequently refers to operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs as OVI. To be convicted of "operating a vehicle under the influence" the state must prove:

  • The amount of drugs or alcohol the defendant consumed, regardless of the quantity, negatively affected or appreciably impaired the defendant's reactions and actions or the defendant's mental or physical capabilities to such an extent that they did not have the intellect and control usually possessed.

To be convicted of driving "over the legal limit" which is also sometimes called per se OVI the state must prove:

  • The driver's BAC or blood alcohol concentration was over the state's legal limit, which in Ohio is 0.08% for blood or 0.08 of 1 gram per 200 liters for breath.
  • The driver is under the age of 21 and their BAC is 0.02%

A person can be legally over the limit and not display any impairment of their mental or physical faculties or ability to operate a motor vehicle. Many times a driver, if they are arrested, will be charged with a DUI offense and can be convicted of an OVI and "over the legal limit" (per se OVI).

DUI Penalties
The information provided below is general in nature and the actual penalties assessed against a driver are dependant on many factors. OVI laws are very complicated; it is important to discuss your OVI case with a good OVI lawyer.

First DUI/OVI offense

  • Minimum of 3 days in jail and a maximum of 180 days. The court may allow the driver to attend a 72 hour driver intervention program instead of serving their jail sentence.
  • Required penalties of $200 to $1,000
  • Possible driver's license suspension of a minimum 6 months or up to 3 years. Refusal to take the chemical test could result in a 1 year driver's license suspension. Occupational licenses may be allowed after a specified period of time.
  • Purchase of Ohio SR22 Insurance before license reinstatement

Second DUI/OVI offense (Within 6 years of previous conviction)

  • Minimum or 10 days in jail and a maximum of 180 days
  • Required penalties of $525 to $1,625
  • Possible driver's license suspension of a minimum of 1 year up to 5 years
  • Refusal to take the chemical test could result in a 2 year driver's license suspension. Occupational licenses may be allowed after a specified period of time.
  • Potential attendance in an alcohol intervention program
  • Purchase of Ohio SR22 Insurance before license reinstatement
  • The driver's vehicle will be impounded for 90 days
  • Mandatory installation of specialized license plate identifying the vehicle

Third Offense OVI/DUI (Within 6 years)

  • Minimum of 30 days in jail and a maximum of 1 year - prison time may be reduced with electronic monitoring and house arrest.
  • Required penalties of $850 to $2,750
  • Possible driver's license suspension of a minimum 2 years to a maximum of 10 years Refusal to take the chemical test could result in a 3 year driver's license suspension. Occupational licenses may be allowed after a specified period of time.
  • Purchase of Ohio SR22 Insurance before license reinstatement
  • Mandatory vehicle forfeiture
  • Required installation of an ignition interlock device
  • Mandatory installation of specialized license plate identifying the vehicle
  • Required attendance of a drug and alcohol treatment program

Fourth Offense OVI/DUI (Within 6 years)
Considered a Motor Vehicle Related Felony Offense

  • Minimum or 60 days in jail and a maximum of 1 year.
  • Required fines of $800 to $10,000
  • Refusal to take the chemical test could result in a 5 year driver's license suspension. Drivers who submit to the chemical test can have their license suspended for 3 years. These actions are both part of the BMV process, but the courts may also additionally suspend a driver's license for minimum of 3 years or permanently.
  • Purchase of Ohio SR22 Insurance before license reinstatement
  • Mandatory forfeiture of the driver's vehicle
  • Required attendance of a drug and alcohol treatment program
  • Mandatory installation of specialized license plate identifying the vehicle