The Ohio State Highway Patrol reported nearly 66,000 DUI crashes between 2018 and February 2023. Given the statistics, it’s no wonder law enforcement cracks down on drunk driving harshly. If you were recently pulled over and charged with driving drunk, contact the Springfield DUI law firm of Gounaris Abboud, LPA, today. Even a first offense can have drastic consequences on your life.
What Are the DUI Laws in Springfield, Ohio?
DUI laws are enacted on the state level, and each state has a variation of DUI laws prohibiting drunk driving. Generally, driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while intoxicated (DWI) are synonymous. Ohio law refers to drunk driving as operating a vehicle while impaired (OVI).
Ohio’s OVI statute prohibits individuals from operating any vehicle if, at any time during that operation, that individual is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If consuming alcohol, a motorist’s blood alcohol content (BAC) must be below 0.08% to avoid drunk driving charges. The penalties for OVI are significant, even for a first offense.
It is critical to retain a DUI lawyer in Springfield, Ohio, to avoid the maximum penalties under the law. DUI charges in Springfield are heard in the Clark County Municipal Court located at 50 East Columbia Street, Springfield, Ohio.
What Are the Consequences for an Ohio DUI?
The repercussions of a DUI conviction are far-reaching and can go well beyond jail time and monetary fines.
First-offense penalties will differ depending on your BAC level at the time of your arrest.
If you are convicted for a first-offense OVI with a BAC above 0.08% but below 0.17%, it is punishable by the following:
- A minimum of three days in jail but up to six months,
- Up to a $1,000 fine, and
- Enrollment in a driver’s intervention program.
You also face up to three years of driver’s license suspension.
If you are convicted for a first-offense OVI with a BAC above 0.17% or accompanied by a refusal to submit to a breathalyzer test, a conviction is punishable by:
- A minimum of six days in jail but up to six months,
- Up to a $1,000 fine,
- Up to three years license suspension,
- Mandatory yellow restricted license plates,
- Installation of an ignition interlock device in your car, or
- Any combination of the above.
Our Springfield DUI defense attorneys will work tirelessly to achieve the best possible outcome on your behalf.
Penalties for Second and Subsequent Offenses
Unfortunately, the penalties for a second or subsequent OVI conviction increase drastically. If you are stopped for drunk driving and already have one or two prior convictions, you need a DUI attorney in Springfield.
A second OVI within six years of the first, with a BAC above 0.08% but below 0.17%, becomes punishable by :
- A minimum of 10 days in jail but up to six months,
- A fine of up to $1,600, and
- Losing your license for up to five years.
A third DUI within six years of the first two, with a BAC above 0.08% but below 0.17%, becomes punishable by:
- A minimum of 30 days but up to one year in jail,
- A fine of up to $2,700, and
- Up to a 10-year loss of license.
Second and third convictions can result in mandatory yellow restricted license plates and an ignition interlock device installation. These penalties are steep and unforgiving. Contact an OVI lawyer to discuss your possible defenses.
Collateral Consequences of a DUI Conviction
In addition to the statutory penalties listed above, you also face the following:
- Increased insurance premiums,
- Immigration consequences, and
- The risk of losing your job or an inability to obtain employment.
Driving under the influence is frowned upon by not only law enforcement but by your peers as well.
Convictions carry a negative societal stigma and could harm your relationships.
Unfortunately, OVI convictions are not eligible for expungement and will remain on your record indefinitely. A Springfield DUI defense lawyer can help you avoid these harsh consequences.
Ohio OVI Defenses
OVI charges are challenging to defend but not impossible.
The right OVI lawyer will explore available defenses, including:
- Constitutional violations (i.e., no probable cause or reasonable suspicion for the stop);
- Failure to read Miranda warnings;
- Inaccurate breathalyzer or blood test results; or
- Improper administration of field sobriety tests.
Our Springfield DUI lawyers explore every avenue of defense.
Contact an Experienced DUI Attorney Serving Springfield, Ohio
If you are worried about losing your license or going to jail for an OVI charge, contact the Springfield DUI lawyers at Gounaris Abboud, LPA, as soon as possible. We have more than 50 years of experience protecting people’s rights and freedom. Fill out our online form or call us at (937) 222-1515, and we will get started on your defense right away!
We offer free, no-obligation consultations.