Robert R. Hart, Jr., Attorney at Law
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First-time DUI charges

Some Ohio residents who are facing a charge of first-time driving under the influence may be interested in what this involves. Knowing what to expect and what needs to be done to help reduce the consequences is essential.

The formal charge of DUI usually begins when a law enforcement officer feels there is reason to make a traffic stop. The motorist may be asked to perform sobriety tests. If the tests conclude that the driver was inebriated, he or she may be arrested for drunk driving. Aside from the financial cost, the outcome of a DUI arrest might have a significant effect on one's ability to work. It may also result in jail time or community service.

Perhaps the most frightening consequence is the possibility of imprisonment. Emphasis is often placed on the motorist's blood alcohol content level. If the BAC is high, jail time may be a possibility. Since this is a first offense, community service may be exchanged for jail time in some cases. Although DUIs are often classified as misdemeanors, if significant harm was precipitated on another individual as a result of drunk driving, the charge may be classified as a felony with possible prison time.

The financial cost of a DUI is often daunting. There are court costs and fines. Beyond that, the cost of automobile insurance may be dramatically increased. In Ohio, a motorist may lose his or her license for a period of six months and may be required to use an ignition interlock device.

Seeking the advice of an attorney may be beneficial. The attorney might review the case to see if the charge is based on proper documentation. If so, the attorney may help the motorist petition the court to allow a restricted license to travel to work or school.

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