Robert R. Hart, Jr., Attorney at Law
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Most drunk driving arrests are first-time offenders

Most people in Ohio arrested for drunk driving are charged only on one occasion according to a report by The Columbus Dispatch newspaper. Around 66 percent of people charged with DUI in the state are first-time offenders, and their names do not appear again in state arrest records. On the other hand, there is a small group of people who have been arrested on multiple occasions and charged with drunk driving; the newspaper estimates that 1,800 Ohioans have been charged 10 or more times with drunk driving.

Defense lawyers interviewed as part of the report noted that large numbers of their clients are first-time offenders with one estimating that 90 percent of clients had been arrested only once. A few people accumulate large numbers of DUI arrests in the double digits. When people are convicted of drunk driving in Ohio for the first time, they are usually sentenced to a three-day jail sentence or three days of driver education. In addition, their license can be suspended for six months.

For people who have been charged on multiple occasions, their driver's license could be permanently suspended. Ohio state law also allows judges to require the installation of an alcohol ignition interlock device in the car of someone with a DUI conviction. The person must breathe into the device before they can start the car and drive.

People charged with drunk driving in Ohio could face jail or prison time and costly fines in addition to the suspension of their drivers' license. In addition, if convicted of DUI, they could have a criminal record. Those who are facing DUI charges may work with a criminal defense lawyer to mount a defense in the courtroom.

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