Ohio OVI Laws
Ohio OVI Charges
Ohio law no longer uses the terms "DUI" and "DWI." Ohio's drinking and driving laws are collectively known as "Operating a Vehicle Under the Influence" (OVI). Drivers who violate the OVI statute face severe penalties.
Here's how the law works. If you are driving a motor vehicle (or street car/trackless trolley) and you are visibly intoxicated by alcohol or have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent of higher, or have any amount of a controlled substance such as marijuana, cocaine, heroin, or methamphetamine present in your system, you are violating the law.
Typically, a police officer will put you through a series of field sobriety tests (FSTs) to determine if you are actually impaired. You don't need a BAC of 0.08 percent or above to be arrested for a OVI. Bad driving and/or poor performance on FSTs can be enough.
A measurement of your BAC is the most common way a police officer can determine whether you're legally impaired.
- 21 or Older: 0.08 percent
- Commercial drivers: 0.04 percent
- Under 21: 0.02 percent
Refusing the Chemical Test
If you have refused any chemical testing for an OVI in Ohio, your license will automatically be suspended, also known as an administrative license suspension. An ALS will occur if a driver refuses chemical testing of the blood, breath or urine. A person whose license has been suspended has 30 days to request a hearing to review the suspension. This suspension is different from a license suspension after an OVI conviction. An ALS is civil in nature and used only for chemical testing refusals, whereas a suspension upon an OVI conviction is a criminal penalty.
If you are convicted of an OVI, your license will be suspended for at least 90 days.
Remember, the higher your BAC, the more severe your penalties may be. Multiple convictions will also result in harsher sentences.
|Code Sections||Ohio Revised Code Section 4511.19|
Over 21: 0.08 percent or higher, Under 21: 0.02 percent Commercial drivers : 0.04 percent or higher
|What is Prohibited?||
OVI: Operating a motor vehicle while visibly impaired by alcohol or drugs or have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or more.
Typical OVI Penalties
It's best to never drink or use drugs and drive. Select a designated driver ahead of time, who will stay sober. If you're impaired and don't have a designated driver, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation. If you do find yourself facing an OVI, you may wish to contact an Ohio criminal defense attorney for assistance.
Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney
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