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medina county OVI lawyerEveryone should understand that driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal. However, people sometimes make mistakes, and even if a person believes that it is safe for them to drive, they may be pulled over by a police officer and arrested on suspicion of drunk driving. For those who have never been in this situation, the thought of facing criminal charges can be very frightening, and they will want to understand the potential consequences they could face for a first-time DUI/OVI conviction.

First-Time DUI/OVI Penalties

While drunk driving is commonly referred to as driving under the influence or DUI, the state of Ohio uses the term OVI, which is an abbreviation for operating a vehicle under the influence. A person may be charged with OVI if a chemical test shows that they had a blood alcohol content of .08% or higher, and Ohio law also specifies the amounts of multiple other types of drugs that will cause a person to be legally intoxicated.

A first OVI offense is a first-degree misdemeanor. A conviction will result in a mandatory jail sentence of at least three days (72 consecutive hours), and the maximum prison sentence is six months. However, a judge may choose to suspend the mandatory three-day jail sentence and require the offender to attend a drivers’ intervention program that will address issues such as traffic safety and drug and alcohol abuse. Participation in an intervention program may also be ordered alongside a jail sentence.

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Medina County personal injury attorney car accident

The holiday season is usually a period when families get together, and people often enjoy some much-needed time off of work as they celebrate traditions and prepare for the year to come. Nothing can destroy the holiday spirit like a serious injury, but unfortunately, the risks of being involved in a car accident may be higher during this time due to increased rates of drunk driving.

Alcohol consumption often increases during the month of December as people get together for holiday parties, and this leads more people to drink and drive. Across the United States, more than 300 people are killed in drunk driving crashes each year in the period between Christmas and New Year’s Day. This trend also affects people in Ohio, where approximately 1,000 drunk-driving-related accidents occur every year in December. 

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Medina County Drunk Driving Defense AttorneyDriving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs in any state is illegal. This violation is commonly known as a DUI in many of states. In Ohio, the term is Operating a Vehicle under the Influence, or OVI. Alcohol or drugs can significantly impair a person’s ability to drive safely. If someone is arrested for an OVI for the first time, and his or her BAC or urine test exceeds the lawful limits, the officer on scene will confiscate his or her driver’s license. This is also true for a refusal of testing. In addition, the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) can suspend a motorist’s license. A driver can challenge the suspension after a period of 30 days from his or her arraignment. Ohio’s OVI laws can be complex, so it is important to understand the legal consequences if you are charged with an OVI and your options for defense.

Penalties for OVI

If you are lawfully arrested for an OVI in Ohio, there can be serious consequences, such as license suspension and fees, even if you are not convicted of an OVI in criminal court. The penalties for a first OVI offense depend on your intoxication level, or blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at the time of the arrest.

A BAC of less than .17% is considered a “low-level” OVI, but you can still be sentenced to:

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