Ohio OVI First Offense Penalties

Linda Malek

A first-offense DUI (OVI) in Ohio is a first degree misdemeanor and is not considered a felony until your fourth charge.

Avoiding a felony is important, but misdemeanors can have a serious affect on your life, including your job, family, finances, and reputation.

Regardless of whether it's your first offense or third, DUI's carry mandatory jail time, fines, license suspensions, and create turmoil with your job, insurance, and of course, your criminal record.

What Is Ohio's Law on OVI/DUI Misdemeanors

Under the 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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