July 15, 2019

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OVI/DUI in Ohio

Cincinnati Law Firms

Commonly referred to as DUI across the country, operating a vehicle under the influence (OVI) in Ohio carries stiff penalties and can have very serious consequences, aside from the criminal penalties, which can follow you for the rest of your life.

Blood Alcohol Content

Ohio’s legal limit is the same as most states:

  • .08 for drivers 21 or over, except commercial
  • .04 for drivers of commercial vehicles
  • .02 for drivers under 21 years old
  • BAC of .17 or greater is considered “high test” and carries stiffer penalties

Ohio Implied Consent – Breath Test Refusal

Ohio is one of many states that will punish you simply for refusing to take a breath, blood, or urine test, whether you have any alcohol in your system or not. If you are convicted of OVI, and have a prior in the last 20 years, refusal also increases your OVI penalties.

Ohio’s implied consent law is more invasive than in most states. Ohio police officers can physically force you to take a chemical test.

If you refuse a chemical test your driver’s license will be suspended and you will be fined. And, in most cases, the test will still be performed.

Ohio Penalties for First OVI in Six Years

The range of penalties for first OVI in six years, depending on your BAC, and whether you have a prior in the past 20 years and have priors and refused the chemical test includes:

  • Three days to six months in jail
  • Driver intervention program
  • Probation
  • Fines of $375 to $1,075
  • Driver’s license suspension for six months to three years
  • License reinstatement fee of $450
  • Restricted license plates – yellow plates which draw police attention
  • Ignition interlock device (breathalyzer installed in your vehicle)

Ohio Penalties for Second OVI in Six Years

For your second OVI in six years you can receive:

  • Ten days to six months in jail
  • Some jail time may be replaced with a longer term of house arrest with electronic monitoring or constant alcohol monitoring
  • Fines of $525 to $1,625
  • Driver’s license suspension for one to five years
  • $450 license reinstatement fee
  • Alcohol/drug assessment which may require treatment
  • Restricted license plates
  • Ignition interlock
  • Immobilization of your vehicle if it is registered in your name

Ohio Penalties for 3rd OVI in Six Years

Your third OVI is still a misdemeanor, unless other circumstances elevate it to a felony. Penalties can include:

  • Thirty days to one year of jail time

Some jail time may be replaced by a longer sentence of house arrest with electronic monitoring or constant alcohol monitoring

  • Fines of $850 to $2,750
  • License suspension of two to 10 years
  • Alcohol/drug addiction treatment
  • Restricted plates
  • Ignition interlock
  • Forfeiture of your vehicle if registered in your name