With St. Patrick’s Day just around the corner, be sure to arrange for a ride service or a designated driver if you intend to imbibe during the holiday. An OVI in Ohio is life-changing, potentially career-altering, and very expensive.
In Ohio, a first-offense OVI is typically a misdemeanor of the first degree under Ohio Revised Code § 4511.19. It occurs if someone operates any vehicle under the influence of alcohol, a controlled substance, or a combination of alcohol and controlled substances. Their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was over the legal limit of .08%. (The minimum impairment levels are much lower if you have a Commercial Driver’s License.) If convicted, the penalties contain mandatory minimum sentences of 3 consecutive days in jail up to 180 days. The Court may allow first-time offenders to enroll in a 3-day intervention program in lieu of jail time. The mandatory minimum fine for a first-time offense is $375 plus court costs. The maximum fine is $1,075. There is a mandatory minimum driver’s license suspension of 6 months, but the Court can suspend up to 3 years.
In addition to the penalties the Court will impose, if, during the traffic stop, the offender refuses, fails the breath test, or failed field sobriety tests, the Ohio BMV will also impose an Administrative License Suspension. The ALS contains a mandatory minimum period of time where no driving privileges are allowed.
This doesn’t paint a very nice picture, does it? The best way to avoid the negative ramifications of an OVI is to not put yourself in a compromising position in the first place. Arrange for a ride service or a designated driver if you intend to imbibe during the holiday.
If you or a friend end up facing an OVI charge, we have the experience at Pickrel Schaeffer and Ebeling to successfully navigate the Court process with you. For assistance in this area, please call 937-223-1130 and ask to speak with L. Michael Bly or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Be safe!