Ohio OVI Penalties: What You Should Know
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a serious offense in Ohio that can have steep penalties.
Not only will you pay a fine and do jail time, but you can also lose your driver’s license and end up with a criminal record.
If you are facing charges for drunk or drugged driving in Ohio, you need to learn more about Ohio OVI penalties.
Mandatory Minimum Ohio OVI Penalties for First-Time Offenders
First-time OVI offenders in Ohio still face significant penalties. Ohio DUI penalties are based on whether a person has a “low” or a “high” blood alcohol concentration (BAC).
A “low” BAC is anything above the legal limit of 0.08 = but less than 0.17. The mandatory penalties for a first-time “low” OVI are:
- 3 days to 6 months in jail;
- At least a 6-month suspension of your driver’s license, and a driver’s license suspension of up to 3 years; and
- A fine of at least $375 and up to $1,075.
A “high” OVI conviction, with a BAC of 0.17 or higher, comes with higher mandatory penalties. Just because these are the mandatory minimums does not mean that you should assume this will be the only penalty. Judges can impose sanctions that are higher than these sentences. For example, Ohio only requires that a first-time OVI conviction results in three days in jail, but a judge may order you to spend up to six months in jail. Besides these penalties, you will pay a fee of $475 to have your driver’s license reinstated.
Penalties for Refusal to Submit to a Chemical Test
If you refuse to take a chemical test—a breath test, a blood test, or another test designed to test your blood alcohol concentration—you will face more penalties. By refusing to take a chemical test, you are violating the implied consent law in Ohio. For a first offense, you will face an automatic driver’s license suspension of one year. If your BAC is over the legal limit and you refused to take a test, you will face more penalties.
Subsequent OVI Penalties and Ohio DUI Laws
Subsequent offenses come with steeper penalties. For example:
- Second offense: anywhere from 10 days to 1 year in jail, a fine of up to $1,500, and a driver’s license suspension of up to 5 years;
- Third offense: anywhere from 30 days to 1 year in jail, a fine of up to $1,500, a driver’s license suspension of up to 10 years, and the required use of an ignition interlock device; and
- Fourth offense: anywhere from 60 days to 1 year in jail, a fine of up to $10,000, possibility of a permanent suspension of your driver’s license, and the required use of an ignition interlock device.