Under What Circumstances Can You Be Charged With a DUI/OVI in the State of Ohio?
It is a criminal offense in the state of Ohio to drive under the influence. While in most states, to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol it is known as a DUI or a DWI, in Ohio it is known as an OVI. This stands for Operation a Vehicle Impaired.
Under Ohio law, there are three different ways that you could potentially be charged with an OVI. These are:
- Operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, any controlled substance, or a combination of the two, in a way that impaired your ability to drive
- Operating a vehicle when your BAC (blood alcohol content) is .08% or greater or a .11% or higher urine alcohol concentration (for certain drivers, these levels may be lower)
- Operating a vehicle with a concentration of certain controlled substances in your body
A “per se OVI” is an OVI charge that is based on the level of drugs or alcohol in your system. This means that the amount of drugs or alcohol in your system is sufficient to prosecute you, and the prosecutor doesn’t need to prove that your driving was impaired.
There are two different types of penalties you can face if you’re charged with an OVI in Ohio. These are administrative penalties and criminal penalties.
What Is the Ohio Administrative Penalty for Driving Under the Influence of Drugs?
If you’re charged with an OVI, your driver’s license privileges can be suspended by the Ohio BMV. Your license privileges can also be suspended if you refuse to take a breath, blood, or urine test after having been arrested under the suspicion of OVI.
Administrative penalties are separate from any criminal penalties you might face.
How long your license is suspended for depends on how many OVI suspensions you’ve received during the last ten years.
Criminal Penalties for a DUI/OVI Conviction in Ohio
When you are charged with driving under the influence of drugs, you can face criminal penalties in addition to administrative penalties. The extent of the criminal penalties you can face are based on both the levels of drugs or alcohol found in your system and the number of convictions you’ve had in the last ten years.
Most OVIs are considered misdemeanors where the penalties get progressively severe for repeat offenses. In addition to fines and license suspensions, these penalties can include jail time, mandatory attendance of a driver’s intervention program, community service, and probation.
OVIs become felony charges if you’ve had four or five offenses in ten years, or six OVI offenses in twenty years. You can also face felony charges if you crash while under the influence of drugs or alcohol and it results in serious injury or death.
Driving Under the Influence of Drugs Penalties Can Be Harsh: You’ll Need Experienced Representation
Whether you’ve received your first OVI in Ohio or you’ve had several in the past, being charged with an OVI can completely upend your life. Having proper representation is essential to ensure that you receive the defense you deserve.
At Tyack Law, we understand how much is at stake when you’re charged with an OVI. Give our experienced OVI Defense lawyers a call today.
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