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Ohio drunk driving - Administrative License Penalties

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Map of Ohio (Photo credit: Wikipedia)"]Map of Ohio[/caption] Most Ohio drivers do not realize that if they have been arrested for OVI or operating a motorized vehicle in the state of Ohio they have given their implied consent to submit to a chemical test. Refusal or failing this test can bring administrative OVI penalties from the Ohio Department of Public Safety. These administrative penalties are separate from all criminal penalties and can be enforced even if you are ultimately found not guilty of drunk driving or OVI.

When can the officer request a blood alcohol content test?

  Ohio law enforcement officers have the legal right to ask you to take a chemical test of your blood, breath or urine if you have been arrested for OVI. Keep in mind, you may also have the legal right to request your own independent test (at your own expense). What happens if you refuse to take the blood alcohol content test? The first BAC test refusal will result in a license suspension for one year. If you agree to take the test but your blood alcohol content is above the legal limit of 0.08% or higher you will face an administrative license suspension of 90 days.

What happens after the Ohio OVI arrest?

  If you are arrested the police officer should provide you with information about the consequences of refusing the blood alcohol content test. All of the implied consent provision information is also provided on the back of Form 2255. As mentioned above, the penalties for a test refusal or test failure are administrative in nature. If you are ultimately convicted of OVI in Ohio, assuming this is your first OVI conviction, you are also facing a criminal license suspension which can result in a license suspension for 6 months to 3 years. How can I challenge an Ohio Administrative License Suspension? If you have had your license suspended you are able to challenge the administrative license suspension through a hearing. This hearing must be requested within a specific number of days from the DUI arrest and you are allowed to have a DUI lawyer present at the hearing. At the hearing the judge will review the following:

1.    Did the Ohio law enforcement officer have the right to arrest you?

2.    Did the Ohio law enforcement officer inform you of the consequences of a blood alcohol test failure or refusal?

3.    Did you refuse to take the blood alcohol content test?

4.    Did you take the test and have a blood alcohol concentration above the level limit of 0.08%?

If the court (after reviewing the issues above) affirms the administrative license suspension than you will have your license suspended either 90 days or 1 year. If, however, the driver prevails at their hearing the ALS suspension will be set aside. Keep in mind, however, that if the ALS suspension is set aside or lapses and you are than convicted of a first-time OVI than the court will impose a criminal license suspension which can be 6 months to 3 years. The good news it the 90 license administrative license suspension can be credited against the criminal license suspension.        
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