In 2020, 11,654 people died in alcohol-impaired driving traffic deaths, which equates to 32 deaths per day. It is probably not surprising that law enforcement takes an aggressive stance against drunk drivers. However, not everyone accused of DUI is a habitual drunk driver. You might have had a brief lapse in judgment and indulged too much before driving home.
If you were recently charged with driving under the influence, you might feel embarrassed and uncertain of what lies ahead. While DUIs are technically traffic violations, they can have significant administrative and criminal consequences. At Gounaris Abboud, LPA, our Middletown DUI lawyers will fight to get you the best possible outcome.
Ohio DUI Laws
Every state has drunk driving laws in place. Commonly referred to as driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving under the influence (DUI), Ohio refers to drunk driving as operating a vehicle while impaired (OVI).
Specifically, Ohio statutes state that no person shall operate any vehicle, streetcar, or trackless trolley if, at the time of the operation, the person is under the influence of alcohol with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or above. The statute also prohibits driving under the influence of drugs.
Unfortunately, the penalties for even a first offense can be steep. Therefore, it is always best to retain DUI attorneys in Middletown to defend against the charges. The Middletown Municipal Court hears cases that originate in Middletown, Trenton, Lemon Township and Madison Township. Judge James E. Sherron has presided over this court since 2017.
Drunk Driving Penalties in Middletown, Ohio
In addition to statutory penalties, there are many unsavory consequences to a DUI arrest and conviction.
The penalties generally depend on your level of intoxication, prior history of DUI convictions, victim injuries, and whether you agreed to or refused a breathalyzer test. If you are convicted of OVI in Ohio, you can face jail time, fines, driver’s license suspension, and installation of an ignition interlock device, among other consequences.
Potential First-Offense Penalties
You will face different penalties for a first-offense OVI depending on the amount of intoxicant found in your system.
The penalties for a first-offense OVI with a BAC above 0.08% but below 0.17% are as follows:
- Minimum of three days in jail but up to six months,
- Driver’s intervention program,
- Up to a $1,000 fine, and
- Up to three years of driver’s license suspension.
The penalties for a first-offense OVI with a BAC above 0.17% or accompanied by a refusal to submit to a breathalyzer test is penalized as follows:
- Minimum of six days in jail but up to six months,
- Up to a $1,000 fine,
- Up to three years license suspension,
- Installation of an ignition interlock device,
- Mandatory yellow restricted license plates, or
- Any combination of the above.
Penalties for Subsequent Offenses
As you might have guessed, the penalties for second or subsequent OVI convictions increase exponentially.
In addition to these statutory penalties, there are many collateral consequences to a DUI conviction, including the following:
- Increased insurance premiums,
- Forfeiture of your vehicle,
- Inability to keep or obtain employment, and
- Immigration consequences.
DUI convictions also carry a negative societal stigma and could adversely impact your personal and professional relationships. Worse, OVI convictions cannot be expunged and will remain on your record indefinitely. It is crucial that you contact our DUI lawyers to avoid these harsh repercussions.
Ohio OVI Defenses
Drunk driving charges can be challenging in part because of the way the laws are written. However, there are several avenues of defense to these charges. Every case is unique, and the facts dictate which defense may be available.
Some common OVI defenses include:
- Challenging the traffic stop (i.e., the police officer did not have probable cause or reasonable suspicion to pull you over),
- Violation of Miranda warnings,
- Improperly administered field sobriety tests,
- Inaccurate breathalyzer test or results,
- False blood tests or results, or
- Signs of intoxication unrelated to alcohol (e.g., diabetes)
Our Middletown DUI lawyers will meet with you, hear your story, assess the evidence, and strategize the best course of action. Our goal is to have the charges dismissed, downgraded, or our client acquitted. Let us get started on your defense today.
Middletown, Ohio DUI Lawyers
A drunk driving conviction haunts you far beyond even the most painful hangover. At Gounaris Abboud, LPA, our DUI lawyers have the necessary resources, skills, and experience to help you fight a DUI charge.
Collectively, we have over 50 years of experience and have represented many clients facing first, second, and subsequent OVI offenses. Contact us online or call (937) 222-1515 today to schedule a no-cost confidential consultation to discuss your options!