OVI charges are unique because they impact a wide array of otherwise law-abiding individuals. Teachers, bankers, bus drivers, lawyers, and even grandmothers have all faced OVI charges. An OVI conviction can have many unpleasant consequences, including fines, driver’s license suspension, community service, probation, alcohol or substance abuse treatment program attendance, and even jail time. Besides these criminal justice system-specific consequences, an OVI conviction will affect the cost of car insurance or even one’s ability to obtain car insurance at all. In addition, an OVI conviction, especially if rising to the level of a felony, can hurt one’s ability to get a job. Even voting and gun rights can be affected.

For these reasons, it is imperative that individuals charged with OVI in the state of Ohio contact an experienced Columbus OVI attorney. An attorney will explain your legal rights, explore any possible defenses of the charges against you, and work to protect your rights during this troubling time.

Ohio Has Tough Laws Against Drinking and Driving

Alcohol-related car accidents number well above 10,000 each year in the state of Ohio. Hundreds of these crashes result in death. Because of these statistics, the state has enacted very tough laws to deter individuals from operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or other substances that impair one’s ability to drive. An OVI has occurred when one operates a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration above the state limit. In Ohio, the legal limit is .08 percent. However, this limit is cut in half to .04 for operators of commercial vehicles because of the increased risk these large vehicles pose to Ohio’s drivers and pedestrians when operated in a reckless or negligent manner. Additionally, for drivers under the age of 21 – the age at which one can legally purchase and consume alcohol – a blood alcohol concentration of .02 is grounds for an OVI charge.

Penalties For OVI Conviction In The State Of Ohio

The penalties for an OVI conviction in the state of Ohio depend on whether the conviction stems from a first-time or repeat offense, as well as the specific circumstances leading to conviction. Fines and penalties, license suspension, and imprisonment are all very real consequences. For a first offense, a conviction will result in imprisonment from 3 days to 6 months, fines and penalties from $375 up to $1075, and license suspension from 6 months to 3 years. Penalties increase for second, third, fourth, and additional convictions. An individual convicted for a third or fourth OVI will be required to install an interlock ignition device that prevents him or her from operating a vehicle in the absence of a clean (alcohol free) breath test.

What To Do If You Have Been Charged With OVI In The State Of Ohio

If you have been charged with an OVI in the state of Ohio, contact a skilled and experienced Columbus OVI attorney at Suhre & Associates, LLC today. Much is at stake with regard to the charges against you, and it is essential that you speak with a professional as soon as possible.