In Ohio, like in all other states, a person who is arrested while driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or higher is guilty of operating a vehicle while under the influence (OVI), which is the same as a DUI in other states. This is not, however, the only way that a person can be convicted of driving under the influence in Ohio, as the state also makes it unlawful to drive after ingesting prescription or illegal drugs if doing so impairs one’s ability to drive safely.
Unfortunately, in their zeal to get unsafe drivers off of the road, law enforcement officers often accuse innocent people of driving under the influence, which can result in serious penalties for those who are later convicted. If you were arrested for driving under the influence, it is critical to speak with an experienced Dayton DUI lawyer about your legal options as soon as possible.
Under Ohio law, a person is guilty of operating a vehicle while under the influence if he or she operates a vehicle:
Unlike alcohol, it is illegal in Ohio for anyone who has ingested a controlled substance to drive a vehicle, no matter how small the amount. This includes everything from marijuana and cocaine to heroin and certain types of prescription drugs. In fact, a person can be found guilty of operating a vehicle while under the influence even if his or her BAC is lower than the .08% legal limit if the individual is under the age of 21 years old. In these cases, a driver can be charged with OVI as long as his or her BAC is at least .02%.
The severity of the penalties faced by those who are charged with this offense in Ohio depends on a number of factors, including the accused’s prior criminal record and his or her degree of intoxication. If, for instance, a person is a first time offender and had a BAC of between .08% and .17%, he or she will spend at least three days in jail, be required to pay a hefty fine, and have his or her license suspended for six months. A first-time offender whose test revealed a BAC of over .17%, however, could face the much higher penalty of up to six months in jail. First-time offenders who are under the age of 21 are also required to wait at least 60 days before having their driving privileges reinstated, must periodically provide proof of insurance and must retake their driver’s license test.
The penalties for repeat offenders are even more severe, as these individuals could be sentenced to up to three years in jail and be required to pay expensive fines, in addition to being obliged to attend and complete an alcohol and drug addiction treatment program, forfeit their vehicles, have their cars installed with an Ignition Interlock Device, and face permanent suspension of their driver’s licenses.
To speak with a dedicated Dayton DUI lawyer about your own arrest or pending charges, please contact the Comunale Law Office via online message, or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org today.
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