First DUI Offense Penalties in Ohio

In Ohio, a driving under the influence (DUI) is legislated as operating a vehicle under the influence (OVI). The state does have a 4-star rating from Mothers Against Drunk Driving, but it is lacking significant ignition interlock device (IID) legislation. The state has seen significant decreases in key DUI categories in recent years.

Ohio DUI/OVI by the Numbers (based on 2002-2012 statistics)

With decreases in overall DUI’s and underage DUI’s, Ohio is clearly headed in the right direction. However, some of the numbers, such as overall fatalities, are still rather high and MADD will continue to put pressure on local legislators until laws are in place which organization feels will be a better deterrent to drunk driving in Ohio.

  • 385 fatalities involving alcohol (39 involved under-21 drivers)
  • 18.7 percent decrease in alcohol driving fatalities (32.2 percent decrease in under-21 drivers)
  • 77.4 percent of fatalities involved a driver with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .15 or higher
  • 80.6 of fatal crashes involved a driver with a BAC of .15 or higher
  • 35,629 total DUI arrests with 62 involving drivers under the age of 18

Ohio First DUI/OVI Penalties and Fines

As discussed above, MADD would like to see improvements in this area, specifically the fact that there is no IID required for first and second offenses. Below you will find all penalties and fines for first time DUI convictions in Ohio:

  • Minimum of three days and a maximum of six months in jail
  • Minimum of six months and a maximum of three years license suspension
  • Monetary fines ranging from $250 to a maximum of $1,000
  • No IID required for first time offenders
  • One year license suspension for refusing to take chemical test (due to the fact Ohio is an implied consent state)

Ohio DUI/OVI BAC Levels

Ohio State is on par with most states in the country concerning its BAC levels:

  • Drivers under the age of 21, .02 percent
  • Drivers aged 21 years or older, .08 percent
  • All commercial drivers, .04 percent

Hiring a DUI Attorney in Ohio

With penalties and fines escalating rather quickly, most individuals should consult with a DUI attorney if arrested and charged in Ohio. There is no legislation in place to prevent a wet reckless please, either, so you have a chance to plead out with an attorney to lesser charges on your first offense. To find a local lawyer, fill out the form to get a free case evaluation and recommendations for your specific case.

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