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Ohio DUI Laws


Ohio DUI Laws impose tough punishments and sanctions for a DUI offense. In the state of Ohio, a drunk driving case is termed as Ohio drunk driving (OVI). Regardless of the name, aside from some minor differences, the same laws apply.

Ohio laws define two instances when you can be arrested for OVI:

Based on the per se law that states all drivers with a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or more, minors under 21 with BAC of 0.02% or more, and commercial vehicle drivers with BAC of 0.04% or more are subject to a DUI offense.

You can also be arrested if you are driving in an impaired or hazardous manner. This case will be determined by the arresting officer and your BAC won’t matter.

An OVI arrest will trigger two separate cases that you need to face. The first case is in the criminal courts where your penalties and fines will be decided upon. The second case is an administrative one in the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles. This department is in charge of imposing the appropriate license suspension duration.

With the frequency of OVI offense you have committed, there is an equivalent punishment that comes in the form of penalties, fines, and license suspensions. The following are the sanctions:

1. First OVI conviction – jail time of 3 days minimum up to 6 months or attend a Driver Intervention Program for 3 days; license suspension of 6 months to 3 years; and fines from $250 to $1,000;
2. Second OVI conviction – jail time of 10 days minimum and an electronic home monitoring device will be installed from 18 days to 6 months, license suspension of 1 to 5 years, and fines from $350 to $1,500; additionally, vehicle immobilization is set at 90 days and you will be required to attend a driver intervention program;
3. Third OVI conviction – jail time of 30 days to 1 year or jail time of 15 days and an electronic home monitoring device will be installed from 55 days to 1 year; license suspension of 1 to 10 years, and fines from $350 to $1,000; in addition, vehicle immobilization is set at 180 days and you have to attend a mandatory alcohol treatment program;
4. Fourth OVI conviction – will now be classified as a felony offense; jail time will be from 60 days to 1 year, license suspension of 3 years to permanent, and fines from $800 to $10,000; on top of all this, you will stand to lose your vehicle, and you are mandated to attend a drug or alcohol treatment program.

Ohio DUI Laws also impose higher punishments for drivers who registered a BAC of 0.17% or more.