Ohio Dui Laws

On January 1, 2004 Ohio adopted a new OVI (Operating a Vehicle under the Influence) violation. It replaces violations for DUI (Driving under the Influence) and OMVI (Operating a Motor Vehicle under the Influence).I hear people complaining all the time that it isn’t fair cause so and so went to jail and lost their license for DUI. The excuse is they only did it once or they weren’t that drunk. If you are stupid enough to drink and then drive a car, putting yourself and other innocent people in danger, then you deserve the punishment you receive.

Ohio’s drunken driving laws are swift and sure with license surrender occurring on the spot and suspension starting immediately. Under the ALS law (Administrative License Suspension) effective September 1, 1993, any motorist who is stopped for drunk driving and refuses to take the sobriety test or whose test results exceed the legal limit of .08% Blood Alcohol Concentration will have his or her license taken administratively on the spot, with suspension effective immediately. Depending on previous offenses, the ALS period can range from 90 days to five years. The administrative suspension is independent of any jail term, fine or other criminal penalty imposed in court for an OVI offense.

Based on previous OVI offenses, fines range from $250 to $10,000. Jail time ranges from three days to one year. New provisions of Ohio OVI laws provide courts an option to grant limited driving privileges after a specified “hard time” suspension has been completed by the offender. If privileges are granted, restricted plates are required to be used on the offender’s vehicle if titled in his/her name. Ohio’s restricted plates are yellow with red letters.

When Driving Under Suspension (DUS) for OVI or DUS without proof of financial responsibility, the court is authorized to order vehicle immobilization and impoundment of the license plates at the time of sentencing within a five year period for: First offense: 30 days, Second offense: 60 days Third offense: Forfeit vehicle. For multiple OVI offenders under suspension, the court may also impound the plates of any other vehicle owned by the offender.

For those of you who have loaned a car to someone who was drunk or got drunk after borrowing your car you ought to remember this law and how it affects you. A vehicle can no longer be seized, immobilized or forfeited unless it is registered in the driver’s name. However, a person who loans a car to someone that person knows or has reason to believe should not be driving can be held criminally liable for wrongful entrustment, and can be jailed for up to 180 days and receive a one-year driver license suspension. In addition, the person’s vehicle can be immobilized or forfeited.

Also if you feel you were wrongfully accused of OVI you can challenge it. You must file a challenge to your Ohio OVI suspension within 30 days of the initial court date, or you will lose your license without a hearing.

Please be safe. If you are drinking then don’t drive, call a cab, a friend, a relative, stay where you’re at or have a designated driver before you head out. Don’t drink and drive. If you do then don’t complain when Ohio says were not going to put up with it.

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