In Ohio, the penalties associated with drunk driving are steep. If convicted of OVI or DUI, you could face consequences that may include time behind bars, loss of your driving privileges, expensive fines and more. In addition to the criminal and administrative penalties, you may also find yourself dealing with the loss of your personal reputation, career opportunities and more. A mark on your criminal record, even if it is a first-offense OVI, can impact various areas of your life.
One of the most common penalties for drunk driving is the suspension of the driver’s license. This is inconvenient as it will mean you cannot drive yourself to work or school, or even do things such as go shopping independently. After a suspected drunk driving traffic stop, you may want to know how you can get your license back and what you can do to protect your interests going forward.
What is an administrative license suspension?
It can be quite intimidating to see the flashing lights of a police car in your rearview mirror. It is important to know how to protect your rights and interests during your interaction with police as this could affect the outcome of your case. There are two ways you could face an administrative license suspension after your traffic stop:
- Refusal to test — You declined the police officer’s request to submit to a sobriety test, and your suspension began immediately as the officer has the right to take your license on the spot. Your suspension could last one to five years, and for reinstatement, you must provide proof of insurance and pay a fee.
- Failure of a test — If you submit to a sobriety test, but you fail due to apparent intoxication or a BAC over the legal limit, the officer can take your license immediately. To reinstate your license, you must serve the complete suspension period, pay a reinstatement fee and provide proof of insurance.
Getting your license reinstated after a license suspension is only one of the many complicated factors associated with an OVI in Ohio. It is in your interests to seek an understanding of how you can defend yourself against the criminal charges against you, as well as how you can resolve the administrative penalties you are facing. An assessment of your drunk driving case can help you understand the legal options available to you.