If you’ve been charged for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol for the first time, you may be wondering: what are your choices? Getting your first DUI in Dayton, Ohio doesn’t have to leave you in a panic. 

If you are facing allegations for a first offense of operating a vehicle impaired (OVI), the penalties can be much more serious than you may think. This is why it is critical to invoke your right to remain silent and contact a Dayton criminal defense lawyer right away. Your future depends on it.

What Does the State Have to Prove to Convict You for a First Offense DUI in Dayton?

According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, there were 441 OVI enforcement stops in Montgomery County in 2021. If you’ve been arrested and charged with a first offense DUI in Dayton, you are no doubt trying to figure out what to do next.

To help understand the process and your options, you should know what the state of Ohio needs to prove to convict you. Under Ohio law, a first offense OVI has three elements that prosecutors must prove to a jury at trial.

To convict you, the state must prove:

  • The defendant (you)
  • Operated a vehicle
  • While under the influence of alcohol or drugs

The state usually proves you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs with blood test results. They’ll have to prove that your blood alcohol level is above .08 or that there is presence of a controlled substance in your system.

The state needs to have evidence admitted at trial to prove these three elements beyond a reasonable doubt to a jury. Experienced DUI lawyers will know how to challenge key pieces of evidence against you.

Defenses to DUI/OVI

Getting charged with a DUI, especially for the first time, can be scary. It’s best to seek the advice of a skilled Dayton DUI/OVI attorney who will thoroughly analyze all of the evidence in your case and build a strong defense.

Some strategies used in first offense OVI cases in Dayton may include:

A reputable Dayton criminal defense attorney will be able to look for holes in the prosecution’s case. You’ll have a better chance of getting the charges dismissed if key evidence is thrown out.

What Are the Penalties for a First Offense DUI/OVI in Ohio?

Some people think a first offense OVI is no serious matter. However, even for a first offense DUI in Dayton, the penalties can be quite serious.

If you are convicted or plead guilty to a first offense DUI, the potential punishment includes:

  • A minimum of three days in jail
  • Possibility of up to six months in jail
  • Mandatory participation in a Driver’s Intervention Program
  • A fine between $375 and $1,075
  • Having your driver’s license suspended between 6 months and 3 years
  • Installation of an Ignition Interlock Device
  • If you refused to take a Blood Alcohol Concentration test, you’ll face an administrative suspension of your driver’s license for one year (in addition to court-ordered suspension)

These penalties can be quite intimidating, especially to someone who has never been to jail before.  They can be costly and affect your ability to get to work. Make sure you contact a Dayton criminal defense law firm that has experience with first time DUI/OVI offenses to help you through the process.