Drunken driving or Driving under the Influence (DUI) of any drug is never a good thing but if you get caught driving in any such circumstance then the fines, punishments, and legalities are really strict in Ohio. Operating a Vehicle under the Influence (OVI) is a term which covers any condition in which a person is driving a vehicle in an impaired condition. It can be due to the use of alcohol, drugs or any other intoxication which makes your abilities to drive soundly weak. It is very important that you clearly understand the top DUI laws so that you can remain safe from getting charged in the lack of proper knowledge.
- Minimum BAC limit isn’t standard: In Ohio, the Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) limit is not the same for everyone. While for a person of 21 years of more the legal limit is 0.08%, the limit goes way down to 0.02% for the underage drivers below the age of 18. If you are driving a commercial motor vehicle then the BAC limits are 0.04% and hence it is important that you know the DUI Laws in Ohio before you get too drunk.
- Additional Chemical Testing Rules: DUI Toledo, Ohio laws has additional provisions for chemical testing. It means that apart from blood and urine tests for alcohol in your system you can also be asked to take a Portable Breath Test on the spot. Although you can refuse to take the PBTs or get the chemical tests done on your own in most occasions as per DUI Laws Ohio, still that might not be possible in some cases. Hence, it is important that you understand the situation carefully.
- Penalties for Refusing Chemical Tests: On behalf of the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) your license can be suspended if your refuse to take the chemical tests on the spot. The suspension period and the penalties will hugely depend on the fact that whether you refused to take the test, failed it or were charged with OVI under DUI Laws Ohio.
- Administrative License Suspension (ALS): OVI penalties can be very severe as they not only bring heavy fines and punishment but will also lead to administrative license suspension for longer periods. If you get charged with DUI in Toledo, Ohio then the prospects are not very good. Taking the help of an experienced DUI lawyer in Toledo would be your best bet as he can help you in getting an acquittal or minimum penalties. Administrative License Suspension is however confirmed with such convictions and it is levied separately from all the charges.
- The addition of 6 points to your license: In case you are charged under DUI Laws in Ohio, in addition to the administrative license suspension, you will also have six points added to your license. The points will keep on increasing depending upon the number of repeat offenses committed by you. In case you refuse to take the chemical tests additions six points will be added to your license.
- OVI Offences can lead to severe punishments: If you are found guilty of an OVI offense then the fine and punishments can be severe. If you commit a repeat offense and are charged under that then the penalties will increase sharply. In case you are charged with OVI having BAC levels ranging from 0.08% to 0.17% the punishments would range from:
a. 1st Offence: Mandatory imprisonment of 72 hours or court-ordered intervention program along with a fine from $375-$1075 and a license suspension of minimum 6 months to maximum 3 years.
b. 2nd Offence: Can lead to a maximum 6 months of prison sentence along with a maximum fine of $1625, license suspension up to 5 years and court-ordered drug/ alcohol assessment.
c. 3rd Offence: Can bring one year of prison sentence up to $2750 fine and a license suspension of 10 years.
A BAC level of a higher amount than 0.17% can lead to severe punishment and penalties.
7. Habitual Offender Registry: Your name can be put in habitual offender registry after 5 convictions which will remain in public domain for at least 20 years. This can have serious social and financial repercussions.
8. Heavy License Reinstatement Fees: The license reinstatement fees are very heavy and you will have to pay them separately from all the charges and penalties levied upon you. The reinstatement fees also increase the number of convictions you’ve had and can range anywhere between $100- $600.
In case you are being charged for such an offense getting legal aid is your best defense. A DUI Attorney in Ohio can help you by representing your case in the correct light and getting an acquittal for you. DUI attorney can also fight on the circufmstances of your arrest and the grounds on which you were arrested. So taking the help of an expert DUI Attorney in Toledo, Ohio can help you greatly in getting out of such troubles fast.
The author is a practicing DUI Attorney with more than 3o years of experience in the field of law. He likes to share the knowledge gained from years of experience in the field to help people understand law better and remain safe from getting into trouble due to ignorance of the prevailing norms.