Your life just got a lot more complicated if you have recently faced a drunk driving charge in the state of Ohio. This state is among those with the toughest penalties for a DUI, including one of the longest suspensions of your driver’s license if you face conviction. If this is your first offense, you may have many questions and concerns about what you can expect from this point on. That is understandable since the process can be quite complicated.
After your arrest, you probably ended up at the local police station, where officers administered a blood, breath or urine test to measure your blood alcohol concentration. They likely photographed and fingerprinted you before letting you go home with a friend or relative. Perhaps you had to spend the night in jail. This is only the beginning of many new and sometimes frightening steps you will have to navigate in the near future.
6 expensive consequences
There is no doubt that a drunk driving arrest can be a humiliating and stressful experience. Following your arrest, you will receive a summons to appear before a judge to answer to the charges against you. Officers may even show the judge embarrassing video footage of your arrest. As much as you may want this experience to be over with quickly, accepting a plea may not be the most advantageous move. A guilty plea is still a conviction, and you may face any of the following consequences:
- A fine, which can reach hundreds or even thousands of dollars, depending on the circumstances
- Jail, which many states are now including as a mandatory penalty, even for a first offense
- Probation, which places restrictions on your actions for a certain time and also costs you money for administration and supervision
- Drug and alcohol assessment, which may result in a recommendation that you attend addiction counseling at your own expense
- Ignition interlock, which will cost you an installation charge, monthly fee, and the annoyance and embarrassment of having to submit to breath tests as you drive
- Higher insurance premiums, which sometimes more than double what you paid before your DUI
Even if a court does not convict you, you may still have to deal with the loss of your driving privileges, which is an administrative process separate from the criminal proceedings. Like other aspects of the DUI experience, you have a limited time to address the suspension of your license and any other ramifications, especially if these consequences may have a damaging effect on your personal or professional life.