Drivers receive DUI charges in Ohio for committing serious alcohol or drug-related traffic violations, known as operating a vehicle while impaired (OVI). DUI and DWI offenses bring OVI penalties to a motorist’s driving record. Ohio drunk driving laws determine the exact penalties that drivers will face as a result of driving while impaired on public roads within the state. Consequences may include a driver’s license suspension, imprisonment and high fines.

When faced with harsh penalties, drivers are encouraged to hire a good DUI lawyer to get help in creating a defense strategy to minimize their charges. For more information and tips on hiring an Ohio defense attorney, continue reading the sections below.

DUI Citations and Convictions in Ohio

A driver may get a DWI ticket for OVI by alcohol or drugs. DWI convictions may be considered either a misdemeanor or felony, especially if they cause the death or bodily injury of other traffic participants. The corresponding penalties for drunk driving are added to the offender’s driving record. In addition, consequences may vary depending on the number of previous offenses and on the severity of the current violation.

Ohio Under the Influence Violations and Penalties

DUI penalties in Ohio vary depending on age and the blood alcohol content (BAC) level in the motorist’s system. Moreover, the severity of a DWI conviction may also vary based on the number of previous traffic offenses.

Drivers will face various consequences for committing DUI or OVI offenses, such as a driver’s license suspension, imprisonment and high driving fines, which may vary from $375 to $10,500, depending on the driver’s specific situation and the number of previous offenses.

First DUI Offense

When charged with DUI in Ohio for the first time, drivers may face several penalties, such as a driver’s license suspension for a period of 6 months to 3 years and jail time for a minimum of 72 hours. In addition, a driver’s first DUI violation will bring a traffic fine which varies depending on the driver’s specific situation.

Second DUI Offense

Committing a second offense will incur more severe penalties which include a driver’s license suspension for a period of 1 to 5 years, a jail sentence of at least 10 days and a steep driving fine. The second DUI offense a driver commits will require payment of certain fines, which are determined based on the specific case.

Third DUI Offense

A third DUI in OH requires drivers to spend 30 days in jail. Drivers will also have their driver’s license suspended for a period of 1 to 10 years. Additionally, committing a DUI for the third time will incur high driving fines, depending on the specific case.

Fourth DUI Offense

Drivers who commit an Ohio DUI offense for the fourth time will sustain more severe repercussions. They will have their driver’s license suspended for a period of 3 years or have their driving privileges revoked permanently. In addition, drivers will be sentenced to 60 days of jail time and will have to pay driving fines that may reach up to $10,500.

Fifth or Subsequent DUI Offense

Committing a fifth or subsequent DUI violation in Ohio will bring drivers the harshest consequences, which surpass the severity of the penalties that apply for a fourth or lesser offense. Therefore, when facing DUI and DWI charges, motorists are encouraged to hire a defense attorney to represent them in court.

Drinking and Driving in Ohio

Impaired driving involves operating a vehicle while under the influence or impaired by alcohol and/or drugs. Drivers will face DUI charges in Ohio when the presence of alcohol and/or drugs in their system reduces their ability to operate a vehicle and make safe driving decisions.

Intoxicated driving may lead to a vehicular manslaughter charge, which is considered a criminal charge if it results in the death of other drivers, passengers or pedestrians. In these situations, offenders should hire the best DUI lawyer available to help minimize their charges and win the case in court.

Ohio DUI Attorneys

An Ohio impaired driving attorney is a legal representative who will try to minimize a violator’s penalties and help them to create a good defense strategy. Drivers are encouraged to hire a defense attorney for trials in a court of law. Before hiring a DUI defense attorney, offenders are recommended to conduct background checks on potential lawyers before choosing the best one.

Open Container Laws in Ohio

Another law that can lead to a DUI if violated is the open container law which prohibits the operation of a vehicle on public roads with the presence of an open alcoholic beverage container. Certain drunk driving charges will be given to drivers who disobey this law and are found to be driving with an open container that is accessible to drivers or passengers of the vehicle.

Drivers may transport alcoholic beverages when the container is sealed or when an open container is stored in the trunk or any other inaccessible area of the vehicle.

Reinstating a Suspended Drivers License in Ohio

In order to reinstate DUI suspended licenses in Ohio, drivers must satisfy several requirements, which vary based on their specific situation. For instance, the usual requirements for a driver’s license suspension reinstatement procedure include the following:

  • Provide identification documents, when restoring in person.
  • Submit proof of SR-22 insurance, if required.
  • Enroll in a DUI-related traffic school.
  • Satisfy court requirements.
  • Reapply for a driver’s license, if required.
  • Pay the applicable reinstatement fees.

Ohio Alcohol Awareness Classes

A completion of DUI classes may be required of drivers who face charges of drunk driving in Ohio. Drivers may be required to enroll in an Ohio DUI course as part of the requirements for the suspended or revoked license reinstatement procedure.

Moreover, drivers are also recommended to enroll in a traffic school course in order to learn the negative repercussions that result from drunk driving. In addition, drivers can enroll in a traffic school course in order to obtain a two-point credit.

SR-22 Insurance in Ohio

Auto insurance for DUI offenders is also known as SR-22 insurance and must be submitted to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) in order to certify that a high-risk motorist is in compliance with state driving laws. Drivers who want to reinstate their OH DUI suspended licenses may be required to provide proof of SR-22 insurance as part of the reinstatement requirements.

Ohio Laws That Pertain to DUI/DWI

Ohio DUI laws serve the purpose of placing a limit on the amount of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) that drivers may have while operating a vehicle. Drivers will be charged with DUI when they break the Implied Consent Law by refusing to submit to a BAC test or when they show a greater BAC level than the legal limit.

In addition, motorists will have charges added to their driving records when they drive with BAC level greater than 0.08 percent for adults, or more than 0.02 percent for minors.

Ohio Hardship License

Drivers who are facing a driver’s license suspension for a DUI may be allowed the option to get limited driving privileges in order to travel to and from work, school and medical institutions. Moreover, motorists who are charged with DUI may not be required to apply for a separate hardship license.

Instead, they may continue driving with certain restrictions added to their suspended credentials. The violation conditions can be found on a motorist’s driving record.

Last updated on Wednesday, March 4 2020.