What Every Driver Should Know About DUI Laws in Ohio
Are you or someone you know facing a DUI charge in Ohio? Or perhaps you just want to familiarize yourself with the DUI laws in Ohio. Whatever your reason for being here, Welcome. We’ve compiled 7 of the most important points every Ohio driver should know before getting behind the wheel, particularly if he’s had a few drinks.
- In Ohio, a DUI by any other name is still a DUI. Ohio law enforcement often prefer to use the acronym OVI, or “Operating a Vehicle Intoxicated,” as opposed to DUI, or the more familiar “Driving Under the Influence.”
- Know thy limit and thy limit is .08%. Unless it’s not. It is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or above in Ohio. If you are a commercial driver or under the age of 21, this limit is lower. For those under 21, your limit is .02%. Commercial driver’s, you’re looking at .04%.
- To consent or to consent. DUI laws in Ohio include an implied consent law. A refusal to submit when a law enforcement office orders a chemical test will result in a fine and suspension of your license, no ifs, ands, or buts. If you submit to the test, however, a DUI attorney in Ohio may be able to help you challenge the results. More on that later.
- $250 or $1,000, the choice is not yours. Under DUI laws in Ohio, a conviction of an OVI will result in a fine of anywhere from $250 to $1,000. This is in addition to the license suspension and possible reinstatement fees, which are outlined in the next two bullet points.
- No more driving for six months. Or is it three years? Once convicted of a DUI in Ohio, you can expect to lose your driving privileges for anywhere from six months to three years.
- No such thing as beginner’s luck. If this is your first DUI in Ohio, you’ll likely have to pay to have your license reinstated, too. That’s an additional $450. We should also mention that even if you’re a first-timer, you may still receive up to six points on your license. And no, this is not a game where he with the most points wins.
- There is help to be had. The good news: if you do receive a charge of a DUI, OVI, or even DWI (“Driving While Impaired”, a DUI lawyer can help. An experienced Ohio DUI attorney can help you protect your rights and guide you through the next steps to help limit any consequences you might face. What can an attorney do in the face of DUI laws in Ohio? Keep reading below to find out.
A few of the things an Ohio DUI attorney can do for you:
- Let the BAC challenge commence. Remember earlier when we talked about the implied consent law governing breathalyzer, blood, and urine tests in Ohio? Well, a DUI attorney can help you challenge those results in court. For instance, any chemical test must be properly administered to be admissible in court. If your test does not meet the requirements for “proper administration,” then, you could be able to have it thrown out. So long, final exams!
- Please can I plea bargain? If you couldn’t or didn’t throw out those BAC test results, and your blood alcohol level was borderline – – i.e. skirting the .08%, .02%, or .04% line, depending on who you are and what you drive – – you may be able to enter a plea bargain. Under DUI laws in Ohio, a borderline blood alcohol level for defendants who have no prior record and in cases where no accident occurred, are open to plea bargains. An experienced DUI lawyer can help you determine if this is the best course for you.
- “Wet reckless,” please. For example, one plea bargain the prosecution may accept is a “wet reckless.” In a wet reckless plea bargain, the charge is reduced from drunk driving to reckless driving. As a result, you’ll typically face fewer punishments and lower fines. These plea bargains are not easy to come by, however, which is why it’s important to partner with a savvy DUI attorney to help you along.