​Law Office of Joshua Hall

Columbus Criminal Defense Attorney

Ohio DUI/ OVI Laws and Penalties

What is a DUI/OVI?

An OVI is operating a vehicle while impaired. Although you may hear it referred to as a DUI (Driving Under the Influence) or a DWI (Driving While Intoxicated), an OVI is the general term used under Ohio Law.

Although most DUI/OVI charges involve alcohol, drivers taking illicit or prescription drugs that impair their ability to operate a vehicle safely can face DUI/OVI charges as well.

How can you be charged with a DUI/OVI?

You can be charged with a DUI/OVI if you have physical control of a vehicle while impaired. This does not require that you are actually driving the vehicle. Under Ohio law, having physical control of a vehicle means that the impaired person is in the driver’s seat, and has keys to the vehicle regardless of whether or not the keys are in the ignition.  

Impairment is usually determined through a Field Sobriety Test or a Chemical Test which determine the driver’s Blood Alcohol Content (BAC). Individuals who fall within the following categories will likely be charged with a DUI/OVI:  

  • Anyone over the age of 21 with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of 0.08% or more.
  • Anyone over the age of 21 driving a commercial motor vehicle with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of 0.04% or more.

An individual under the age of 21 can be charged with an OVUAC (Operating a Vehicle after Underage Consumption) if their Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) is between 0.02% and 0.08%. That individual can be charged with a DUI/OVI if their Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) is above 0.08%.

What testing methods are used to prove a DUI/OVI?

Standardized Field Sobriety Test or Chemical Tests 

What can happen if you are convicted of a DUI/OVI for the first time?

You can face both administrative and criminal penalties that will vary based on your offense, your age, and your driving record. Common penalties for a first time DUI/OVI are listed below:

Administrative Penalties (DMV Penalties)

  • Administrative 90-day license suspension independent of any court ordered license suspension
  • 6 points added to driver’s license
  • License reinstatement fees

Criminal Penalties

  • Fines ranging from $375 to $1,075
  • Driver’s license suspension lasting from 6 months to 3 years
  • Mandatory jail time or remedial driving class
  • Increased car insurance

Have you been charged with a DUI/OVI?

If you are charged with a DUI/OVI, the penalties you face are severe. By hiring a criminal defense attorney, you gain a resource to help you navigate the complex legal system. With over 13 years of experience representing thousands of clients in Ohio, Attorney Joshua Hall is the best resource you can ask for. His knowledge and commitment to his clients can help you gain the best possible outcome. Let us help you. 


Have you been charged with a repeat offense?Click here for related penalties