What are the penalties for a first time OVI in Ohio?

May 15, 2020 | drunk driving

There are many laws that people in Ohio must follow while they are driving. Some may seem burdensome or unnecessary, but they are generally in place for safety purposes. Speed limits are in place to make sure people do not drive too fast for the area they are in. People need to stop at stop signs and stop lights to ensure collisions do not happen. People must signal turns so other drivers know they are changing lanes in order to avoid hitting each other. People also need to stay off their phones and not drive after drinking too much.

The consequences for violating the different traffic laws depends of the law violated, but some of the most serious consequences result from people drinking and driving. If people have a BAC of 0.08 or higher while driving they could be charged with an OVI. The penalties for a first-time OVI depend on people’s BAC levels at the time of the incident.

BAC 0.08 to 0.17

If people have a BAC between 0.08 and 0.17, they could be sentenced to a minimum of three consecutive days in jail and up to six months in jail. They could also be sentenced to complete an intervention program. However, a judge could decide to order that people complete three days in a drivers’ intervention program instead of serving three days in jail. People could also be required to complete treatment or an education class.

In addition to the jail time and programming, people could also have their driver’s license suspended between one and three years. They could have an ignition interlock installed in their car though and have unlimited driving privileges as long as they comply with the requirements of the ignition interlock program.

People could also be fined between $350 and $1,075.

BAC 0.17 or above 

If people have a BAC 0.17 or greater, they must serve a minimum of three consecutive days in jail and also complete a three day driver’s intervention program. If for some reason the driver does not or cannot complete the driver’s intervention program, they must serve a minimum of six consecutive days in jail.

The license suspensions people and the fines could face are the same as those for people with a lower BAC between 0.08 and 0.17.

There are many people who are charged with OVIs each year in Ohio. The penalties can also affect their lives much longer than the three to six days they may need to spend in jail too. That is why it is important for drivers to know their rights after being charged with an OVI. There could be potential defenses and everyone is innocent until proven guilty. Experienced attorneys understand people’s rights and could guide one through the process.