Driving Privileges after Your DUI Arrest in Columbus
The Central Ohio Transit Authority covers nearly every part of Columbus. However, if you have planned your day around having a car, COTA will make it difficult for you to meet some of your obligations.
If you have been arrested for a DUI in Columbus, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles suspends your driving privileges. According to the BMV, driving isn’t a right, it is a privilege granted to you by them. Even though you haven’t been convicted of DUI yet, they aren’t taking any chances, especially if you took a breath test and failed.
The court may grant you permission to drive in as soon as 15 days after you tested over the limit, with certain provisions. A state statute grants the court the authority to grant limited privileges to drive for work, school, medical, and vocational reasons. Regardless of the scope of your limited privileges, you will have to show proof of auto insurance.
Most courts want to see some proof that you are employed. The strictest courts will require you to submit your work schedule on company letterhead.
Medical privileges are a little more freely given. The may be granted on an as needed basis, with the instruction that you carry proof like an appointment card. Medical privileges may also be granted before your trial for alcohol and drug assessments, treatment, and AA meetings.
A class schedule on school letterhead will suffice for all courts that require proof in writing. This is almost always obtained without having to disclose the pending charges to the school.
Most other privileges vary from court to court. Even vocational privileges aren’t outlined in the statute. Some courts grant privileges for personal needs once a week for a few hours.
Vocational privileges are not as clear and vary the most among Ohio courts. It is not defined in the statutes. Other provisions may apply to childcare, family needs, school and school activities for children, church, court appearances, and care of young and elderly dependents.
At the very least, you will most likely be able to obtain driving privileges in most every court for work in short order. However, courts are allowed to set reasonable restrictions on the privileges by limiting days and hours to say 50 to 60 hours a week and making you choose a day where you will not drive at all.
They can also add restriction that you have a breathalyzer devise and/or restricted orange license plates installed on your car before you can use the privileges.
Driving in violation of restrictions on a DUI suspension in Ohio is about as serious as the DUI itself. It has a mandatory jail time, a mandatory fine, and can carry up to a one-year license suspension.