Ohio has detailed laws about what happens when you have been charged with Operating a Vehicle Under the Influence (OVI). Other states call this a DUI. You may be facing fines, jail-time, and loss of your license. But the facts of your particular situation do matter in what kind of punishment you may be subject to.
If this is the first time you have been charged with an OVI, this does help you. The judge might sentence you to a three-day course, Driver Intervention Program, at your cost. This is a drug and alcohol treatment program approved by the court. If you are convicted or plead guilty, then a judge would fine you between $375 to $1,075.
The money drain doesn't stop there. If you are able to have your driver's license reinstated, then that will cost you $475. If it is your first OVI, then the judge will sentence you to a Class Five suspension of your license, which will mean losing it for 6 months to 3 years. However, 15 days after your arrest, you would be eligible for occupational driving privileges. This means you could drive to and from work or school.
How high your BAC was when you were tested also impacts what restrictions are put on your driving privileges. If you tested higher than .17 BAC, then the judge may require you to have yellow plates on your vehicle. A judge could also require you to have an interlock device installed in your vehicle. This device requires you to blow into it in order to start your car, testing your BAC, to ensure that you are not intoxicated before you start driving. Remember, however, that BAC tests can be inaccurate and can be challenged in court.
If you have been convicted or plead guilty to an OVI before, then the penalties get stiffer. You will be facing heftier fines that increase with the number of convictions in your history. If it is your second offense then you could lose your license for 1 to 5 years. You could also be facing 10 days to a year in jail. If it is your third offense, you could be facing between 30 days to a year in jail. You could also lose your license for 1 to 10 years. If it is your fourth offense, then you could be facing 60 days to a year in jail. At this point a judge could take your license away permanently. If you are lucky, you could lose it for a minimum of 3 years. Also, if it is your third or fourth offense, having an interlock device installed in your vehicle would be a necessary punishment imposed on you if your are convicted or plead guilty.
I have worked as a respected Columbus, Ohio lawyer for over 20 years, handling cases in over 30 counties in Ohio and several States. I am a zealous advocate and have been tirelessly defending people who have been charged with OVIs and getting them the results they need. Contact me today for a free, confidential consultation at (614) 263-5297 or fill out the online form.