Were you recently pulled over in Hamilton, Ohio, and charged with a DUI? You are undoubtedly worried if this is the first time you have been accused of drunk driving. And if this is your second or third DUI, you might be fearful of the enhanced consequences for repeat offenses. After all, a lot is on the line whenever the government charges you with a crime.
A DUI conviction can negatively impact your professional, personal, and social life. And because prosecutors take tough stances on drunk driving, it can be challenging to defeat them effectively. However, at Gournari Abboud, LPA, we have over 50 years of collective experience doing just that.
Ohio DUI Statute
Most people are familiar with DUI, DWI, driving while intoxicated, or driving under the influence. The terms are generally used interchangeably, and all have the same meaning. In Ohio, you often hear driving while intoxicated referred to as OVI, which stands for operating a vehicle while impaired.
Specifically, Ohio law prohibits any person from operating any vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances above a specific limit.
Ohio DUI Penalties
The penalties you might face depend on the number of convictions you have on your record (if any) as well as your registered blood alcohol content (BAC).
If the government charges you with a first-offense OVI with a BAC above 0.08%, but below 0.17%, you are looking at the following possible penalties:
- A minimum of three days in jail but up to six months,
- Enrollment in a driver’s intervention program,
- A fine of up to $1,000, and
- The suspension of your driver’s license for up to three years.
If the State charges you with a second OVI within six years of the first, where your BAC is above 0.08%, but below 0.17%, a conviction is punishable by:
- A minimum of 10 days in jail but up to six months,
- A fine of up to $1,600,
- Up to five years of driver’s license suspension,
- Mandatory yellow restricted license plates, and
- The installation of an ignition interlock device.
If charged with a third DUI within six years of the first and second, where your BAC is above 0.08%, but below 0.17%, a conviction is punishable by:
- A minimum 30 days and a maximum of one year in jail,
- A fine of up to $2,700, and
- Up to a 10-year license suspension.
Notably, whether it is your first or subsequent DUI, if your BAC is above 0.17% or you refuse the breathalyzer or blood test, you will face enhanced penalties above what is described above.
Of course, there are other consequences to a DUI conviction beyond jail time and fines. A DUI conviction can affect your reputation among peers and co-workers, lead to increased insurance rates, and make it challenging to obtain or maintain employment. Depending on your immigration status, you may also face immigration repercussions.
Underage OVI Charges
Our DUI attorneys in Hamilton, Ohio, also represent individuals accused of underage DUI. If you or someone you love is under 21 and arrested for DUI, let us help.
While the legal BAC limit for adults over the age of 21 is 0.08%, for individuals younger than 21, that limit is just 0.02%. In reality, even just a few sips of alcohol may be sufficient to land you over the limit. An underage DUI is a mistake that can have lasting consequences on your life.
Are There Defenses to OVI?
It is important to remember that every DUI is unique in some way and what may be pertinent in one person’s case may have no bearing on yours.
With that being said, common DUI defenses include the following:
- Unlawful traffic stop,
- Failure to advise you of Miranda rights,
- Improperly administered field sobriety tests,
- Faulty or improperly administered breathalyzer test,
- Inaccurate blood results, or
- Symptoms of intoxication that are unrelated to alcohol or drugs.
The best way to determine your most robust defense is to meet with our Hamilton DUI lawyers. We will meet with you to discuss what happened and evaluate the evidence together to strategize your defense.
Hamilton, Ohio DUI Lawyers
If you are facing a DUI in Hamilton, there is no doubt you need strong representation. The Municipal Court in Hamilton is located in downtown Hamilton and the Judge that presides over the court is the Honorable Daniel J. Gattermeyer.
At Gounaris Abboud, LPA, we know just how traumatic it can be when the State accuses you of drunk driving. We approach each case carefully, and our clients are never just a number.
We take pride in getting to know each of our clients and providing them with the best chance of success. Let us put our decades of combined experience to work for you. Contact us online or call (937) 222-1515 to set up a no-cost appointment to discuss your case.