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How Long Do You Lose Your License After a DUI/OVI in Ohio?

Updated: May 10, 2022
Nicholas G. Gounaris
By Nicholas G. Gounaris

Nicholas G. Gounaris is a skilled trial lawyer and founding partner of Gounaris Abboud law firm. He provides clients of the firm with competent legal representation and focuses his law practice in the areas of DUI Defense, Criminal Defense, Family Law Issues, Federal Criminal Law and Personal Injury cases.

how to get license back after dui

Given the risks that drunk driving poses to the public, the state of Ohio takes drunk driving very seriously.

For this reason, the penalties that one faces if charged with driving under the influence (DUI) or operating a vehicle under the influence (OVI) are severe. 

Aside from the risk of jail time and fines, a DUI conviction in Ohio often leads to license suspension.

The answer to the question of how to get a license back after a DUI differs based on the circumstances of the charge.

If you have prior DUIs, a license suspension lasts longer, and getting your license back is trickier. If you’re facing a DUI charge, it is important to know license suspension lengths and other penalties associated with a DUI in Ohio. 

Like with any other criminal offense, if you face a DUI charge, you are innocent until proven guilty. Thus, the best way to avoid license suspension is to fight the charge with the help of an experienced DUI attorney.

License Suspension for DUIs in Ohio

Ohio state law refers to DUI license suspensions as administrative license suspensions (ALS). The law breaks an ALS into two different time periods. The first period is known as the “hard suspension” period.

During a hard suspension period, driving privileges are revoked entirely. This means that regardless of where you need to go, you are not allowed to drive yourself. 

After the initial hard suspension period, the courts can amend the terms of an ALS to allow for limited driving privileges. You are typically allowed to drive yourself to places like school, work, or medical appointments with limited driving privileges.

The exact terms of limited driving privileges are up to a judge to decide. A judge will typically alter the limited driving terms depending on the case’s circumstances and your own personal circumstances. For example, someone with children in school will often be allowed to drive their children to and from school. 

Ohio ALS Lengths

The key factor that determines your ALS length is whether you have prior DUI convictions. The hard suspension time period in such a case is 15 days. After a first offense, this increases to one to five years total with a 30-day hard suspension period.

A second DUI may bring license plate impoundment and vehicle immobilization for 90 days in addition to the ALS. For third, fourth, and fifth DUI convictions, the ALS period continues to increase.

In addition to prior DUI convictions, a test refusal can increase the time of a license suspension. If you refuse a blood or breathalyzer test, Ohio law treats your ALS period the same as a high-tier second offense.

Thus, your ALS will be between one and five years with 30 days hard suspension. A test refusal may also lead to vehicle immobilization and license plate impoundment for 90 days.

If You Are Facing a DUI/OVI Charge in Ohio

The best way to lessen the severity of an ALS suspension or avoid one entirely is to hire an experienced DUI defense attorney. The DUI defense attorneys at Gounaris Abboud, LPA, have more than 50 years of combined experience.

With them advocating on your behalf, you can be sure that you have the best help available. Gounaris Abboud, LPA, has the distinction of being on the top 100 list of The National Trial Lawyers and the top 100 list of attorneys in Ohio put together by Super Lawyers.

The firm builds its foundation on four primary principles that guide its work: trustworthy, empathetic, honest, and supportive. If you’re facing an Ohio DUI charge, contact Gounaris Abboud, LPA’s DUI attorneys today for a free consultation.

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