Blog

What Akron Residents Need to Know About Ohio’s OVI Laws

OVI

November 21, 2023

If you’re facing charges for Operating a Vehicle Impaired (OVI) in Akron, it’s important to understand what this means and how it can affect you.

OVI is a term that covers drunk driving cases, driving while intoxicated (DWI), driving under the influence (DUI), and operating a motor vehicle impaired (OMVI). Ohio’s OVI laws have some specifics that you should be aware of.

What is OVI?

OVI means that you were found operating a vehicle while impaired by alcohol, drugs, or both. It’s important to know that in Ohio, you don’t even have to be driving to be charged with OVI.

Just being in “physical control” of a vehicle can lead to an OVI charge. This means if you’re sitting in the driver’s seat and have the keys, even if you’re not driving, you could still face charges.

What is the Legal Limit in Ohio?

In Ohio, it’s illegal to operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. This is known as a “per se” violation. You can be charged with OVI even if you don’t feel impaired, as long as your BAC is over the legal limit.

What Happens If You’re Charged?

In Ohio, being accused of Operating a Vehicle Impaired (OVI) carries serious penalties, which vary based on the level of the offense and prior convictions.

Here’s a breakdown of the potential consequences:

First OVI/DUI in 10 Years (Low Level):

  • Incarceration: Minimum of 3 days in jail or a 3-day Driver Intervention Program (DIP), which may be avoided with an interlock device. Maximum incarceration is up to 6 months.
  • Probation: Possible probation for up to 5 years.
  • Fine: Ranges from $375 to $1,075.
  • License Suspension: 1 to 3 years, with no driving privileges during the first 15 days (30 days if a refusal to take a breathalyzer test).
  • License Reinstatement Fee: $475.00.
  • Restricted Plates: Optional.
  • Interlock Device: Optional.
  • Points on Driving Record: 6 points assessed​​.

First OVI/DUI in 10 Years (High Level or Refusal):

  • Similar penalties as low-level offenses, but the minimum incarceration increases to 6 days of jail or a combination of 3 days DIP and 3 days of jail​​.

Second OVI/DUI in 10 Years:

  • Incarceration: Minimum of 10 days in jail or a combination of 5 days in jail and 18 days house arrest. Maximum incarceration is 6 months.
  • Fine: Ranges from $525 to $1,625.
  • License Suspension: 1 to 7 years, with no driving privileges for the first 45 days (90 days if a refusal).
  • License Reinstatement Fee: $475.00.
  • Restricted Plates: Required.
  • Interlock Device: Required if alcohol-related OVI.
  • Vehicle Immobilization: 90 days if the vehicle is registered to the defendant​​.

Third OVI/DUI in 10 Years:

  • Incarceration: Minimum of 30 days in jail or a combination of 15 days in jail and 55 days house arrest. Maximum incarceration is 1 year.
  • Fine: Ranges from $850 to $2,750.
  • License Suspension: 2 to 12 years, with no driving privileges during the first 180 days (1 year if a refusal).
  • Vehicle Forfeiture: Possible if the vehicle is registered to the defendant​​.

Additional Consequences

An OVI conviction may also result in increased auto insurance rates and difficulty finding employment. OVI convictions cannot be expunged or sealed from your record​​.

How Can an OVI Lawyer in Akron Help?

If you’re facing an OVI charge in Akron, getting legal help should be your next step. An Akron OVI lawyer can guide you through the process, help you understand your rights, and work with you to develop a defense strategy.

This might include challenging the evidence against you, questioning how the police conducted tests, or looking into whether your rights were respected during the arrest.

Contact an Akron OVI Lawyer

If you’re dealing with an OVI charge in Akron, Ohio, don’t wait to get help. The team at DiCaudo, Pitchford & Yoder is here to support you. We understand how stressful and confusing this time can be, and we’re ready to stand up for your rights.

Give us a call at (330) 762-7477 or contact us online to talk about your case and find out how we can assist you.