Ohio law provides that it is unlawful for any person under the influence of: (1) alcohol; (2) a drug of abuse; or (3) a combination of alcohol and a drug of abuse to operate a motor vehicle.
Further, it is illegal for any person having blood-alcohol-concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher to operate a motor vehicle. This type of offense, often known as a "per se" violation, would apply regardless of whether the individual is under the influence of alcohol at the time. This means that a person can have alcohol in their system which is not significantly impairing their ability to drive yet still be charged with DUI/OVI.
Ohio law does not require that an individual actually be driving a vehicle to receive a DUI/OVI, rather the individual merely need by in "physical control" of a vehicle while under the influence or with a BAC of 0.08 or higher. "Physical control" is defined as being in the driver's seat of a vehicle and having possession of the vehicle's keys or other ignition device. Generally speaking, penalties for "physical control" offenses are less severe than those for DUI/OVI.
An important difference between and Administrative License Suspension and a DUI/OVI or "physical control" offense is that the former affords the offender the option of contesting his/her license suspension through appeal while the latter requires that the offender appear in court or a warrant will be issued for his/her arrest.