In Ohio, operating a vehicle while under the influence (OVI) is a serious legal infraction, and multiple convictions come with increasingly more severe penalties. Eventually, you can face felony charges that have major repercussions on your life, livelihood, and freedom. Here is an overview of the various consequences one can face with repeated OVI convictions in Ohio.
To better understand the progressive nature of OVI penalties, you should first know the consequences of a first offense. A convicted driver can spend anywhere from three days to six months in jail, and they will be fined an amount between $250 and $1,000. A license suspension is also mandatory; you can lose your license for six months to three years.
A second OVI conviction will result in jail time from at least 10 days to one year. Fines range between $350 and $1,500, and a driver's license will be suspended from one to five years.
A third-time OVI offender faces the same monetary penalties as a second-time offender, but other punishments are noticeably harsher. They are given 30 days to one year behind bars, and they could lose their license for a year to 10 years. At this point, the state requires an offender to have an interlock ignition device installed on their vehicle; this device checks a driver's blood alcohol content before allowing them the ability to start the vehicle.
A fourth OVI offense is a felony in Ohio. In addition to having a felony charge on your criminal record, you will also spend anywhere from 60 days to one year in jail. Fines will fall anywhere from $800 to $10,000. At a minimum, you will lose your license for one year. At most, you could lose your license for life. An interlock ignition device is also a requirement at this stage.
If a driver is under the age of 21, the inebriation threshold is lower. An underage individual is considered legally intoxicated when their blood alcohol content (BAC) is at 0.02%; it is 0.08% for drivers of legal drinking age. A first-time offense comes with up to 30 days in jail and a maximum fine of $250. If an underage driver has a BAC of 0.08% or above, they will be given anywhere from 10 days to one year in jail, a fine of $500 to $1,000, and a license suspension of six months to three years. A second underage offense with a BAC of 0.08% or higher includes up to one year behind bars, a fine of up to $1,500, and up to five years without a driver's license.
If you've been charged with an OVI, start building a strong DUI defense as soon as possible. James F. Bogen, Attorney at Law, can help. He has more than 10 years of experience serving clients in the Hamilton County, OH, area. He represents a wide variety of felony and misdemeanor cases, including OVIs and DUIs. Call (513) 503-7251 or visit him online to schedule a consultation with a DUI attorney today.