Ohio OVI First Offense Penalties

In Ohio, operating a vehicle under the influence (OVI) is a serious offense. If you are caught driving while impaired, you will face a number of penalties. These can include jail time, fines, license suspension, and mandatory drug and alcohol treatment.

Penalties for First OVI in Ohio

Jail Time

If you are convicted of an OVI in Ohio, you will face a mandatory minimum jail sentence of three days. However, if your blood alcohol content (BAC) was .17% or higher, you will face a mandatory minimum jail sentence of six days. Additionally, if you have any prior OVI convictions on your record, you will face increasingly harsher penalties, including longer jail sentences.

Fines and Fees

In addition to any jail time you may be sentenced to, you will also have to pay a fine if you are convicted of an OVI. The amount of the fine will depend on the circumstances of your case and your prior history. However, you can expect to pay at least $375 in fines if this is your first offense. You may also be required to pay additional fees, such as court costs and the cost of your alcohol and drug assessment.

License Suspension

Your driver's license will also be suspended if you are convicted. For a first offense, your license will be suspended for a minimum of six months. If your BAC was .17% or higher, your license will be suspended for one year. If you have any prior OVI convictions on your record, you will face an even longer license suspension.

Drug and Alcohol Treatment

You will be required to complete a drug and alcohol treatment program. The length and type of program you will be required to complete will depend on the circumstances of your case and your prior history. However, even if this is your first offense, you can expect to spend at least three months in a treatment program.

What Is Ohio's Law on OVI/DUI Misdemeanors

Under Ohio law, you are considered guilty if you operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. You will be considered driving impaired if your blood alcohol level is a minimum of 0.08. But… don't go buy your mobile alcohol test just yet. If a police officer believes a person is impaired, they can charge you with an OVI even if your BAC (blood alcohol content) is below 0.08.

The Ohio law is written to apply both alcohol and drugs when considering whether someone is impaired.

If it's your 1st OVI offense in Ohio, you are looking at jail time of no less than 3 days up to 6 months, fines up to $1,075, having your drivers license revoked for 1 to 3 years, and probation. This of course depends on the court and the judge. It is best not to take any chances when it comes to driving under the influence.

If it's not your first offense, a second DUI within 10 years is also a misdemeanor but carries larger consequences, including mandatory jail time of 10 days (20 days for higher BAC or refusal to test (in the past 20 years)), fines up to $1,625, license suspension up to seven years, 90-day vehicle immobilization, mandatory ignition interlock if due to alcohol, and probation.

Many people think that because it's their first offense, they do not need to seek professional counsel, but as you can see from the consequences listed above, contacting an experienced DUI attorney may be in your best interest. Call us today to discuss your case and allow us to provide you with the best defense possible.

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