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What You Need to Know About DUI Penalties in Ohio?

Here is What You Need to Know About Ohio DUI Penalties

When you drive in Ohio while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you violate Ohio Revised Code 4511.19. If a law enforcement officer arrests you for a DUI crime, even a first offense places you into Ohio’s criminal justice system. Ohio DUI penalties include jail time, vehicle forfeiture, license suspensions, fines, restricted plates, license points, ignition interlock, and treatment programs. Courts have some sentencing discretion, but all penalties increase with each successive conviction.

 

OVI or DUI Charges in Ohio

Under 4511.19, a person is guilty of a crime when they operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, or a drug of abuse, or a combination of the two. Under ORC 4511.194 charges also apply when you have “physical control” of a vehicle while under the influence. Penalties vary based on tested alcohol levels, prior convictions, and whether a driver is under age 21.

 

Over Age 21 DUI & OVI Testing

  • Alcohol: An adult driver is DUI or OVI when testing shows the presence of alcohol: 0.08% whole blood, .096% blood serum or plasma, .08g Breath, or .11g Urine.
  • High Alcohol Level: A driver has a high test result when testing shows an alcohol presence of .17% whole blood, .204% blood serum or plasma, .17g Breath, .238g Urine.

 

Underage DUI or OVI Testing

An underage driver is considered DUI or OVI at lower test levels: 0.02% whole blood, .03% blood serum or plasma, .02g breath, .028g urine.

 

Drug Testing

Ohio drug testing procedures detect drug concentrations and metabolites, which indicate drug use. Law enforcement systems currently test urine, whole blood, blood serum, or plasma for evidence of seven drugs. These include Amphetamine, Cocaine, Heroin, L.S.D., Marihuana (Marijuana), Methamphetamine, and Phencyclidine.

 

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First-Time Ohio DUI Penalties

First-time DUI or OVI convictions with no alcohol test, low alcohol test, drug-use, and no DUI or OVI convictions in the past 10 years.

Courts have discretion when implementing optional penalties

  • Jail time: 3 to 180 days
  • Fine: $375 to $1,075
  • License suspension: 1 to 3 years, reduce suspension times when the court grants unlimited driving privileges
  • Driving privileges: After 15 days minimum suspension
  • License points: 6
  • Restricted license plates: Optional
  • Drug Intervention Program: Optional
  • Ignition interlock: Required with UDP
  • Treatment: Optional

First-time DUI or OVI Conviction with high alcohol test, or a test refusal with a prior conviction within 20 years

  • Jail time: Minimum 6 days (or 3 days plus drug intervention program) up to 6 months total jail time
  • Fine: $375 to $1,075
  • License suspension: 1 to 3 years, reduce suspension times when the court grants UDP
  • Driving privileges: After 15-days minimum suspension
  • License points: 6
  • Restricted plates required
  • Drug Intervention Program: Optional
  • Ignition interlock: Required with UDP
  • Treatment: Optional

 

Second-Time Ohio DUI Penalties

Second DUI or OVI conviction in 10 years: no alcohol test, low alcohol test, or drug-use

  • Jail time: Minimum 10 days (or 5 days plus 18 days house arrest with an electronic monitor and/or continuous ankle monitoring) up to 6 months total jail time
  • Fine: $525 to $1,625
  • License suspension: 1 to 7 years
  • Driving privileges: After 45-days minimum suspension
  • License points: 6
  • Restricted plates: Optional
  • Ignition interlock: Required if alcohol-related, optional for drug-related
  • Treatment: Alcohol/drug assessment recommended, treatment mandatory
  • Vehicle Immobilization: 90 days

Second DUI or OVI conviction in 10 years with a high test or test refusal within 20 years

  • Jail time: Minimum 20 days (or 10 days plus 30 days HAEM and/or CAM) up to 6 months total jail time
  • Fine: $525 to $1,625
  • License suspension: 1 to 7 years
  • Driving privileges: After 45-days minimum suspension
  • License points: 6
  • Restricted plates: Required for high test, optional for test refusal
  • Ignition interlock: Required if alcohol-related, optional for drug-related
  • Treatment: Alcohol/drug assessment recommended, treatment mandatory
  • Vehicle Immobilization: 90 days

Third-Time Ohio DUI Penalties

Third DUI or OVI conviction in 10 years: no alcohol test, low alcohol test, or drug-use

  • Jail time: Minimum 30 days (or 15 days plus 55 days HAEM and/or CAM) up to 1 year jail time
  • Fine: $850 to $2,750
  • License suspension: 2 to 12 years
  • Driving privileges: After 180 days minimum
  • License points: 6
  • Restricted plates: Required
  • Ignition interlock: Required if alcohol-related, optional for drug-related
  • Treatment: Alcohol and drug addiction program mandatory
  • Vehicle forfeiture: Mandatory for vehicles registered to the offender

Third DUI or OVI conviction with a high test or a test refusal within 20 years

  • Jail time: Minimum 60 days (or 30 days plus 110 days HAEM and/or CAM) up to 1 year total jail time
  • Fine: $850 to $2,750
  • License suspension: 2 to 12 years
  • Driving privileges: After 180 days minimum suspension
  • License points: 6
  • Restricted plates: Required
  • Ignition interlock: Required if alcohol-related, optional for drug-related
  • Treatment: Alcohol and drug addiction program mandatory
  • Vehicle forfeiture: Mandatory for vehicles registered to the offender

 

Operating a vehicle after underage alcohol consumption

One conviction in 1 year

  • Jail time: 0 to 30 days (suspended if UDP granted)
  • Fine: $0 to $250
  • License suspension: 90 days to 2 years, reduced if UDP granted
  • Driving privileges: After 60 days
  • Restricted License: Required if UDP granted
  • License points: 4
  • Ignition interlock: Required if UDP granted
  • Treatment: Optional

Two or more convictions in 1 year

  • Jail time: 0 to 60 days
  • Fine: $0 to $500
  • License suspension: 1 to 5 years
  • Driving privileges: After 60 days
  • Restricted license: Optional
  • License points: 4
  • Ignition interlock: Optional
  • Treatment: Optional

 

Physical control of a vehicle while under the influence, ORC 4511.194

  • Jail Time: 0 to 180 days
  • Fine: $0 to $1,000.
  • Treatment: Optional
  • License suspension: Up to 1 year
  • Restricted license: Optional
  • Restricted plates: Optional

Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer

Contact an Ohio DUI Defense Attorney

When you are arrested for an OVI or DUI crime in Ohio, the consequences can affect the rest of your life. You must have legal representation before you make your first court appearance. OVI and DUI defense attorneys stand with you throughout the legal process. They examine the evidence and help you plan the best course of action for your defense.

OHIO DUI AND OVI DEFENSE ATTORNEY NEAR YOU

Driving or being in control of a vehicle while under the influence is a serious offense. Being charged and convicted of OVI in Ohio could result in severe penalties. If you have been charged with a DUI or OVI, it is essential to contact an Ohio DUI and OVI defense attorney to reach the best possible outcome for your case. This is not something that should be left up to chance. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

 

 

 

 

Process step-by-step

  • 01.
    Initial Arrest
    01

    01. Initial Arrest

    The process to charge someone that’s been accused of a crime begins with an arrest. If the police have reason to believe that someone has committed a crime, the accused can be taken into custody. Police will usually start by asking basic questions like name and address to identify a person, and then they’ll often pivot to more specific questions related to the incident. At some point during this, you should have been read your “Miranda warnings.”

  • 02.
    Reading Your Rights
    02

    02. Reading Your Rights

    You have the right to remain silent to avoid disclosing evidence that could potentially be self-incriminating, as well as the right to an attorney to defend you in court. Those are your unwavering rights that must be recited upon taking someone into custody. Take note of when these rights are read to you, as it could be helpful information for your attorney.

  • 03.
    Booking
    03

    03. Booking

    When you’ve been taken down to the station, police will fingerprint you and get your photograph to update their records. Once this is done, you should be granted the opportunity to contact your criminal defense lawyer. If you don’t have a lawyer, get a loved one to book a consultation with a lawyer on your behalf. It’s important that you do NOT disclose any details about your case over the phone with your loved ones, as those calls are monitored.

  • 04.
    Investigation
    04

    04. Investigation

    After you’ve made it through the booking process, the police may begin conducting their investigation with you. Depending on the situation, this might include a personal search, collecting samples, interviewing/interrogating, police lineups, etc.

  • 05.
    Court Appearance
    05

    05. Court Appearance

    You’ll be held at the station until you can be brought before a judge. The initial court appearance will happen within 48 hours or less of the arrest. Here, the judge will review the case and decide if there’s any reason to keep you in holding or if bail can be granted. If bail is granted, you’re allowed to be released upon certain conditions.

  • 06.
    Hearing
    06

    06. Hearing

    Depending on the seriousness of your allegations, you may have a preliminary hearing at which a judge can determine whether enough evidence exists to charge you with that level of crime. You’ll be able to plead “guilty” or “not guilty.” If you plead not guilty, your case will be sent to trial. You may get the opportunity to enter a plea deal. That’s something your attorney will advise you on.

  • 07.
    Discovery
    07

    07. Discovery

    In the discovery stage, the case against you is made much more transparent. The prosecutor will share the evidence they have against you with your defense attorney. During this time, your attorney can make additional requests for evidence if need be. All of the evidence on the table will be considered, and your lawyer will work with you to form the best plan for your defense.

  • 08.
    Trial
    08

    08. Trial

    If a plea deal is unable to be reached, the case will enter trial. During the trial, the prosecutor begins by presenting the case to the jury. They share any evidence they have against you and have witnesses make their statements for the prosecution. This can be tough to sit through. Afterward, it’s your lawyer’s turn to take the stands and share your side of the story. Your lawyer can question the prosecutor’s witnesses and all of the evidence that was used against you. There are many different strategies that your lawyer will use to defend you during the trial.

  • 09.
    Sentencing
    09

    09. Sentencing

    In a best-case scenario, you will have been found not guilty by the end of the trial, and the charges against you have been dropped. If you are found guilty, the judge must determine what your sentence/penalties will be. The sentencing will happen at another hearing, usually a few weeks after your trial ends.

Ohio Felony Sentencing

Degree
Prison TIme
Maximum Fine
First Degree
3-11 years
$20,000
Second Degree
2-8 years
$15,000
Third Degree
9-36 or 12-60 months
$10,000
Fourth Degree
6-8 months
$5,000
Fifth Degree
6-12 months
$2,500

Ohio Misdemeanor Sentencing

Degree
Jail Time
Maximum Fine
First Degree
Up to 180 days
$1,000
Second Degree
Up to 90 days
$750
Third Degree
Up to 60 days
$500
Fourth Degree
Up to 30 days
$250
Minor Misdemeanor
None
$150

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the penalty for OVI in Ohio?

The penalty for OVI in Ohio will depend on a number of factors. The primary factors are whether the driver has had any previous OVI convictions, as well as the details of their specific arrest. Ohio OVI penalties could include jail time, fines, license suspension, and party plates.

What are the penalties for a first time OVI in Ohio?

For a first time OVI in Ohio, there are a few different penalties that may be imposed. These possible penalties include jail time, probation, fines, license suspension, party plates, ignition interlock requirement, and points on your license.

Is an OVI a felony in Ohio?

An OVI is generally a misdemeanor offense in Ohio, but can sometimes be a felony. In order for an OVI to be a felony the driver generally must have had 3 or more previous OVI convictions in the past ten years (or five or more in the past twenty years). A felony OVI is also possible if someone was seriously injured or killed due to the actions of the impaired driver.

Ohio Courts System

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