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What are the penalties for drunk driving in Ohio?

Whether it is the first time or a repeat offense, getting arrested for drunk driving in Ohio can have serious consequences. If you are 21 or older, you can be charged with operating a vehicle under the influence (OVI). Those who are underage face being charged with operating a vehicle after underage consumption (OVAUC). Both can result in criminal charges and loss of driving privileges. 

An OVI or OVAUC charge should be taken seriously. Even if it is your first offense, you could face serious penalties if you are convicted.

Criminal penalties for OVIs in Ohio vary depending on the number of offenses that occur within a six year period. The following are potential penalties for an OVI with blood alcohol content (BAC) between .08 and .17 percent. Consequences are more severe for BACs that are .18 or over.

First offense:

  • Mandatory 72-hour imprisonment or court ordered driver intervention program
  • Fine of $375 to $1,075
  • License suspension from six months to three years

Second offense:

  • Imprisonment from 10 days minimum to six months maximum, or house arrest with ankle monitoring combined with prison time
  • Fine of $500 to $1,625
  • License suspension from one to five years
  • Vehicle impounded for 90 days
  • Mandatory alcohol/drug assessment

Third offense:

  • Imprisonment from 30 days minimum to one year maximum, or house arrest with ankle monitoring combined with prison time
  • Fine of $850 to $2,750
  • License suspension from two to 10 years
  • Mandatory alcohol/drug assessment

More than three offenses can result in a felony criminal charge, with up to a two-and-a-half year imprisonment and fines up to $10,500. Juveniles charged with OVAUC face a license suspension from three months to two years as well as possible fines and jail time.

No matter what charges you are facing, it can be in your best interests to hire an experienced defense lawyer. They can protect your rights and advocate for the best possible outcome to your charges.

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Messer Law Firm
40 Clayton Street
Asheville, NC 28801

Phone: 828-398-0823
Fax: 828-251-1578
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