In Ohio, prosecutors stopped using the terms driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while intoxicated (DWI) in 1982. The state then decided to use a new term—operating a motor vehicle impaired (OMVI). In 2005, the Ohio General Assembly came to adopt the term OVI after determining that a vehicle could be non-motorized and still be dangerous to drive while under the influence. Though all acronyms refer to drunk driving, it’s important to understand the nuances of the newer term, OVI. 

What Is an OVI Charge?

In Ohio, it is illegal to operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The legal limit for blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08%. However, you can be charged with an OVI even if your BAC is below .08%. This is because the prosecutor only needs to show that your ability to drive was impaired by alcohol or drugs.

The Penalties for a First OVI in Ohio

The penalties for an OVI in Ohio depend on whether you have prior OVI convictions. For a first-offense OVI, you may be fined up to $1,075 and see your license suspended for up to three years. You will also have to spend three days in jail or three days in a driver intervention program. 

You may also be required to attend an alcohol assessment and treatment program and will likely be placed on probation and be required to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle. This prevents your vehicle from starting if it detects alcohol on your breath. 

What You Should Know About Limited Driving Privileges

Many people assume that if their driver’s license is suspended, they will lose their driving privileges entirely. However, this is not always the case. In some circumstances, the court may allow for limited driving privileges, which can be a lifesaver for those who need to drive for work or school. 

There are typically restrictions on limited driving privileges. For example, you may only be allowed to drive during certain hours of the day or week. Additionally, you will probably be required to install an ignition interlock device in your car.

How to Fight an OVI Charge

There are many ways to fight an OVI charge. The best defense depends on the facts of your case. Some common defenses include:

  • The police officer did not have probable cause to stop your car; 
  • The results of the breathalyzer test were inaccurate; 
  • There was no evidence that you were actually driving the car; or 
  • You were not under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of driving.

Your attorney will need to analyze your case to determine the right defense strategy.

The True Cost of an OVI Conviction and Why You Need a Lawyer

The true cost of an OVI conviction goes beyond the monetary fines. It can lead to job loss, as many employers are unwilling to hire someone with a criminal record. An OVI can also lead to difficulty in finding housing, as landlords often perform background checks on prospective tenants. And, of course, there is the personal cost of an OVI conviction. The shame that comes with this charge can be devastating, especially for those who have never been in trouble with the law before.

If you have been charged with an OVI, it is important to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. An experienced attorney will be able to review the facts of your case and determine the best defense strategy for you. Do not try to navigate the legal system alone—the consequences are too great. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and learn how we can help you.

Contact the Dayton DUI Attorneys at Suhre & Associates DUI and Criminal Defense Lawyers For Help Today

For more information, contact the DUI attorneys at Suhre & Associates DUI and Criminal Defense Lawyers give us a call today at (937) 531-0435 or visit us at our Dayton law office.

Suhre & Associates DUI and Criminal Defense Lawyers – Dayton
130 West Second Street #17-129
Dayton, OH 45402
United States