Posted on Friday, July 7th, 2023 at 8:42 pm
Drinking and driving is a serious offense in all 50 states. The state of Ohio legally refers to this offense as Operating a Vehicle under the Influence (OVI), but many other states commonly know it as Driving Under the Influence (DUI). Prosecutors seriously consider these charges with severe consequences upon conviction. The consequences of an OVI/DUI Charge in Ohio depend on factors such as BAC, injuries, damage, and more.
Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) Limits in Ohio
In Ohio, it’s illegal to operate a vehicle if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08% or higher. For drivers under the age of 21, the limit is 0.02%, and for commercial drivers, it’s 0.04%. It’s worth noting that even if your BAC is below the legal limit, law enforcement officers can still arrest you for OVI if they find probable cause to believe alcohol or drugs impaired your ability to drive.
Ohio’s OVI laws extend to impairment from any controlled substance, prescription drugs, or over-the-counter medications if they affect your ability to operate a vehicle safely. Penalties for OVI offenses can be severe, ranging from hefty fines and license suspension to mandatory alcohol treatment and even jail time.
Be aware that Ohio enforces implied consent laws, which means by driving a vehicle on public roads, you automatically consent to BAC testing.
Consequences of DUI/OVI Charges
Consequences of DUI/OVI Charges in Ohio depend on BAC, damage caused, injuries, and prior convictions. Regardless of the circumstances, even a first-time OVI offense can result in serious consequences.
A conviction can lead to the following Ohio DUI penalties:
- Fines: The financial impact of an OVI charge is often one of the most immediate concerns for individuals. If convicted of OVI, you can expect to pay fines that range from $375 to $10,500. The fine depends on the nature of the offense and any prior convictions. This does not include court costs, increased insurance rates, or fees associated with reinstating your driver’s license.
- License Suspension: Your driver’s license may be suspended from 6 months to a lifetime.
suspension, depending on the circumstances of the case and the number of prior OVI offenses. Even first-time offenders could face a minimum suspension of 6 months. During this suspension period, your ability to drive to work, school, or other necessary activities may be severely restricted. You could also face an immediate Administrative License Suspension at the time of your arrest rather than conviction.
- Jail Time: Individuals convicted of OVI may also face incarceration. Jail time can range from three days to 5 years or more, depending on factors like BAC level, whether the offense resulted in injury or death, and the presence of any prior OVI convictions. First-time offenders may have to serve a minimum of three days in jail.
- Other Consequences: There are other consequences to an OVI conviction beyond fines, license suspension, and jail time. These can include mandatory participation in treatment programs, the installation of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle, vehicle impoundment, and probation.
- Your First Steps After a Cincinnati DUI/OVI Arrest
- The Legal Process Following a Cincinnati OVI/DUI Arrest
OVI conviction has long-term impacts beyond fines, jail time, and license suspension. Some of these long-term effects can include:
- Insurance Increase: Following an OVI conviction, you may see a significant increase in your car insurance rates. Insurance companies view OVI offenders as high-risk drivers, which often leads to increased premiums. These rate hikes can last for several years, adding to the financial burden of an OVI conviction.
- Job Implications: OVI conviction can seriously affect your current job and future prospects. Some employers may terminate employment due to the conviction, especially if your job involves driving. An OVI on your record might make future employers hesitant to hire you, viewing it as a liability.
- Professional License Impact: If you work in a profession that requires a license, such as law, medicine, or education, an OVI conviction could put your professional license at risk. Depending on the regulations of the licensing board, you may be required to report the conviction, which could lead to disciplinary actions, including the suspension or revocation of your professional license.
- Background Checks: An OVI conviction will appear on background checks of your criminal record, which could limit opportunities in various areas of life. This could impact everything from housing applications to volunteer opportunities.
Facing a DUI/OVI Charge in Cincinnati? Then Contact Moermond & Mulligan, LLC Today
At Moermond & Mulligan, LLC, we bring over 50 years of combined legal experience to your defense. Our lead attorney has been a Board Certified Criminal Law Specialist by the National Board of Trial Advocacy since 1997, signifying a commitment to excellence and the highest professional and ethical standards.
With our extensive experience and a deep understanding of Ohio’s OVI laws, we are equipped to handle even the most challenging cases and work tirelessly to protect your rights and mitigate the potential short and long-term impacts of an OVI charge.