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OVI penalties in Ohio

On Behalf of | Mar 1, 2021 | Criminal Defense

All states try to curb drunk driving with stiff penalties, though they may call it something different. Many states refer to driving under the influence as DUI, but the state of Ohio refers to it as OVI, or operating a vehicle under the influence. A driver in Springboro, Ohio, could face various penalties depending on the circumstances.

Basics of OVI

If a driver registers a blood alcohol content of .08 and visibly impaired, they can get charged with OVI. Many states use .08 as the highest legally allowed BAC for standard motor vehicles, and the BAC limit drops for commercial drivers and drivers under 21.

Drivers may receive a charge if they show impairment after using legal or illegal substances. For example, drivers who show more than 150ng of cocaine or more than 2000 ng of heroin could be charged with OVI. Law enforcement commonly uses urine tests to measure these amounts, and the prosecution doesn’t need further evidence referred to as per se.

OVI penalties

Common first OVI penalties for low-level offenses include the choice between three days in jail or a driver intervention program, probation up to five years, six months to three years license suspension, and a $375-$1,075. Drivers who get a high-level charge with a BAC over .17 usually must buy restrictive license plates and face double jail time. Penalties for a second OVI offense commonly include 18-month DUI school, two to ten years license suspension, 10 days to six months jail, and a $525 to $1625 fine.

For a third OVI offense, drivers face a minimum 30 days of jail, two-year license suspension, and a minimum $850 fine. Some cases may qualify for ignition interlocking devices, which measure the driver’s BAC before they start the vehicle. Drivers who refuse a field sobriety test or register a BAC of .08 or greater could immediately get their license suspended for a minimum of one year.

Criminal defense laws are usually too complex for a convicted driver to represent themselves. An attorney may help the driver negotiate penalties and get them a reduced sentence.