OVI License Suspension and Implied Consent

What to Do If Pulled Over for DUI and You Have Been Drinking

By: Madison Mackay


In Ohio, OVI (Operating a Motor Vehicle under the Influence) convictions carry minimum license suspensions depending on the nature and level of the offense. In other words, a judge has no discretion to not give a license suspension when convicted of these offenses.


No. and Type of Offense

Length of Suspension

1st in 10 years

1-3 years

2nd in 10 years

1-3 years

3rd in 10 years

2-12 years

4th or 5th in 10 years OR 6th in 20 years

3 years-life

2nd felony lifetime

3 years-life


Can my license still be suspended if I am ultimately found not guilty of OVI or the charge is dismissed?


Unfortunately, depending on what occurred during your traffic stop/arrest/citation that led to the OVI charge that answer can be yes. O.R.C. 4511.192 contains Ohio’s implied consent statute, which means that a driver in the state has implicitly consented to taking a breath test, blood test, or urine test (otherwise known as a “chemical test”) for the purpose of determining blood alcohol content (BAC), typically indicative of a level of intoxication. BAC is often used in the prosecution of OVI as an element of the offense or an indicator of impairment.


Accordingly, if you refuse to submit to a breath test, blood test, or urine test when requested by a law enforcement officer, you may face consequences through the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV). Specifically, a license suspension known as an Administrative License Suspension (ALS) that is separate and apart from the OVI charge or a subsequent conviction. A refusal of these chemical tests can also result in minimum license suspensions varying by the number of prior offenses or refusals you had in the past.


No. of Refusal/Offenses in 10 years Length of Suspension


1 year


2 years


3 years

4th or more

5 years


Moreover, this license suspension through the BMV can remain on your license despite the outcome of your OVI case. For example, you may go to trial and be found not guilty of the offense of OVI, but if you refused to provide a chemical test when arrest/cited for OVI, you may still be subject to a license suspension. Another example would be the prosecutor decides to dismiss the OVI charges against you for lack of evidence, but you could still be subject to the license suspension if you refused.


Is there any way to avoid an Administrative License Suspension?


Nevertheless, there are multiple reasons for which you can appeal an ALS to avoid such consequences. Some of those include the arresting officer not properly informing you of the consequences of refusing a chemical test, improper service or completion of the ALS BMV 2255 form by the arresting officer, or lack of probable cause for the arrest for OVI. This appeal must be filed within 30 days of your initial appearance.


Though there may be hypothetical benefits to refusing a chemical test when pulled over for OVI, there are definite consequences of which you should be aware. Hiring an OVI defense attorney as soon as you have been charged with an OVI / DUI in Ohio can be vital to understanding the nature of your charges. If you have been charged with any OVI offense in Franklin County, or any of the surrounding counties in Ohio, including Delaware County, Union County, Licking County, Pickaway County, Madison County, and Fairfield County, contact The Tyack Law Firm for a consultation at (614) 221-1342 [or get in touch with us online by filling out this contact form] to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney that is knowledgeable about Ohio’s OVI laws.


A general discussion of the effect of OVI convictions upon a driver's license suspensions is set forth above. This blog post does not detail all of those laws and does not purport to be legal advice.

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