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How to avoid a Fourth of July OVI in Ohio

On Behalf of | Jun 28, 2024 | Criminal Defense

The Fourth of July is a big holiday for parties all over the nation. Your celebration can turn into a legal nightmare if you’re charged with operating a vehicle while impaired (OVI) on the way home.

You can anticipate an increased police presence on the road during the entire July 4th weekend (since a lot of parties are still being held in the days immediately after the actual holiday). All of them are focused on finding drunk drivers. If you want to avoid an arrest, remember these tips.

Don’t go unless you have a plan

If you’re driving to the party, don’t plan on drinking. If you’re planning on drinking, don’t drive to the party. Those are the most important things to keep in mind. Get a designated driver, download the Uber app on your phone or make a deal with a relative or friend to pick you up when you call.

Don’t mix alcohol and drugs (even prescriptions)

Perhaps you’re really good about watching how much you drink, and you only intend to have a beer or two – so you know you won’t need a ride home. Even so, you can end up in trouble if you mix even a small amount of drugs with certain medications. Narcotic painkillers and anti-anxiety medications, for example, can increase the effects of alcohol on your system. So can some over-the-counter allergy medications.

If you’re not sober, stay over

It happens all the time: A party gets rolling and people lose track of how much they are drinking. By the time you realize that you’ve overindulged, it may be too late. Rather than take your chances behind the wheel, ask your host if you can simply stay over. It’s better to spend a slightly uncomfortable night on someone’s couch or floor than in jail.

Ohio is pretty tough on OVI offenders. If you’re convicted, you face a minimum mandatory three-day jail sentence (unless you get into an alternative program), fines, court costs and a six-month license suspension. It’s far better to simply avoid trouble. If you do make a mistake, however, it can be wise to seek legal guidance before you make any decisions about your case.