The penalties for a second OVI in Ohio increase with each conviction. If you were arrested after being convicted in the past, your punishment could be far more severe than it was the first time.
First, get an Ohio DUI defense attorney as soon as possible to help fight your charges. Next, you’ll need to understand what to expect from a DUI second offense.
Overview of Ohio DUI Laws
Before getting to the punishments for a second conviction of drunk driving, you need to know the basics. Instead of driving under the influence (DUI), Ohio uses the term Operating a Vehicle Impaired (OVI).
There are two scenarios where you could be arrested for drunk driving in Ohio:
- Police officers stopped you and asked you to take a breathalyzer test, which measured a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or more; or,
- Officers pulled you over and had a reasonable suspicion that you were impaired by alcohol.
Note that two different standards measure your BAC. You’re considered to have a “low” amount of alcohol if a chemical test reveals a BAC of .08% to .17%. However, you may be arrested for high OVI if your BAC exceeds .17%.
Increased Penalties for an Ohio OVI Conviction
If you’re charged with drunk driving under the above circumstances, and you have a prior conviction, you will be charged with an Ohio OVI second offense. Your sentence may include:
- At least 10 days in jail, though a judge could increase this term to up to six months in jail;
- Fines ranging from $525 up to $1,500; and,
- A driver’s license suspension for at least one year and up to four years.
Keep in mind other consequences:
- If your BAC is above .17%, your mandatory jail sentence is at least 20 days.
- When the car you were driving is your own, the police will impound it; you cannot recover it without a court order.
- Though a judge may allow you limited driving privileges, you do not qualify for at least 45 days after your arrest.
Contact an Ohio OVI/DUI Lawyer for Assistance in Fighting the Charges
If you’ve been arrested for a 2nd OVI in Ohio, it’s critical to understand the punishment you could face. A conviction will hit your wallet, but there are also implications for your freedoms.