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Types of Drunk Driving Charges in Ohio

Home|Blog|Criminal Defense|Types of Drunk Driving Charges in Ohio

Drunk driving is a very serious offense by any standard, but the fact is that there are degrees of seriousness that can elevate the charge you face – and the attendant consequences. Better understanding the types of drunk driving charges in Ohio can help you better prepare your strongest defense. The most important thing you can do, however, to help protect your legal rights in the face of a drunk driving charge is to work closely with an experienced Ohio criminal defense attorney from the get-go. 

Operating a Vehicle under the Influence of Alcohol

Ohio sets out strict laws against OVI (or operating a vehicle under the influence). In Ohio, as in almost every other state, the legal limit for blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08 percent. When the charge is based on a reading from a chemical test that measures BAC, the charge is called a per se OVI. The kinds of chemical tests that are routinely administered include:

  • Breath tests (often called breathalyzers)
  • Urine tests (the BAC limit for urine testing is .11 percent)
  • Blood tests  

For a per se OVI conviction, the prosecution does not have to prove that your level of impairment reached any specific degree – only that your BAC exceeded the legal limit. Both your weight, overall size, and gender can affect your BAC reading. 

Penalties and Fines

The penalties and fines for a first, second, and third OVI conviction are as follows:

  • A first OVI conviction brings from 3 to 6 days in jail, fines of from $375 to $1,075, and a license suspension of from 1 to 3 years. 
  • A second OVI conviction brings from 10 days to 6 months in jail, fines of from $525 to $1,625, and a license suspension of from 1 to 7 years.
  • A third OVI conviction brings from 30 days to one year in jail, fines of from $850 to $2,750, and a license suspension of from 2 to 12 years.  

Aggravated OVI

If you are accused of driving with a BAC of .17 percent or higher, it can lead to the charge of aggravated OVI, which requires that you spend at least three days in jail and that you complete a three-day driver intervention program. A second conviction requires that you spend at least 20 days in jail – or 10 days in jail with 36 days of house arrest involving alcohol monitoring.  

Underage OVI

Motorists who are under the age of 21 can face underage OVI charges for a BAC that is .02 percent or higher (but less than .08 percent). A conviction for underage OVI carries a max of 30 days in jail, fines of up to $250, and a license suspension of from 3 months to 2 years.  

Seek the Professional Legal Counsel of an Experienced Ohio Criminal Defense Attorney

The resourceful Ohio criminal defense attorneys at The VanNoy Firm have an impressive track record of guiding OVI cases like yours toward advantageous outcomes, so please do not wait to contact us for more information today.

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Anthony S. VanNoy

Trial Attorney

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