Drunk Driving In Ohio | Laws, Penalties, & What To Do Next

Drunk driving in Ohio can result in misdemeanor charges, fines, license suspensions, mandatory traffic school, and other penalties.

Drunk Driving In Ohio | Laws, Penalties, & What To Do Next

Driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher in Ohio can result in misdemeanor charges, fines, license suspensions, mandatory traffic school, and other penalties.

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs can increase the risk of motor vehicle crashes, injuries, and death. Charges for operating a vehicle under the influence, or OVI charges, can deter people from drinking and driving.

Repeat DUI charges in the state of Ohio may require a patient to complete an alcohol addiction treatment program.

Drunk Driving Laws In Ohio

The legal limit for blood alcohol levels while driving under Ohio law is 0.08 percent. Certain demographics may be subject to stricter legal limits.

Commercial drivers, or people who operate vehicles as part of their employment, may not drive with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.04 percent or higher.

Drivers under the age of 21 may not drive with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.02 percent or higher.

Sobriety Tests

If you are stopped under the suspicion of driving while under the influence (DUI), law enforcement officers will likely ask you to undergo a sobriety test. The testing methods they use may include a field sobriety test or a breath test.

Ohio drivers are not required to take these tests, and doing so may implicate them for a DUI or OVI charge. However, if law enforcement requires you to take lab tests such as urine tests or blood tests the officers have the right to revoke your driving privileges immediately.

If test results are returned over the legal limit, or if you refuse a lab test, you may be penalized with a driver’s license suspension and be required to pay a reinstatement fee.

Drunk Driving Penalties In Ohio

The severity of an OVI penalty can vary depending on the chemical test results, as well as whether the defendant is a first-time or repeat offender.

First Offense

A first-time Ohio OVI charge, if convicted, may result in fines, up to six months of jail time, and an administrative license suspension as ordered by the court.

If a CDL (commercial driver’s license) holder commits a first-time OVI, their CDL may be disqualified for one year.

The first OVI charge for an underage driver may result in a six-month suspension, taking remedial classes from an approved traffic school, and retaking their driver’s license exam.

Second Offense

A second-time OVI conviction in Ohio may result in more severe fines, jail time, and forfeiture of driving privileges compared to a first-time offense. These penalties may also increase if BAC levels were over 0.17 percent, or double the legal limit, at the time the charges occurred.

If a CDL holder commits a second OVI offense, they may receive a lifetime CDL disqualification.

Repeat Offenses

A person with three or more OVI convictions may be subject to forfeiture of their driver’s license.

Their driving privileges may not be reinstated until they complete a court-ordered rehabilitation program, maintain sobriety for six months after completing treatment, and submit a reinstatement form to the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

What To Do If You Face An Ohio DUI Charge

Facing a DUI or OVI case in Ohio can result in jail time, fines, and remedial classes. The severity of these penalties can be reduced with the help of an experienced DUI attorney.

As an alternative to jail time, a first-time offense may be served through a driver intervention program (DIP), which is a two- to three-day education curriculum about the effects and dangers of alcohol and drug abuse.

If you face an OVI or DUI charge and need an alcohol treatment program, Ohio Recovery Center may be able to help. To learn more, please contact us today.

Written by
Ohio Recovery Center Editorial Team

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This page does not provide medical advice.

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