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The serious consequences of driving drunk

At Lopez, Severt & Pratt Co., L.P.A., we know how serious a drunk driving conviction can be. In Ohio, if you are charged with operating a vehicle under the influence, this is the same as being charged with driving under the influence or driving while impaired. OVI, DUI and DWI convictions all carry stiff penalties, even if this is your first conviction.

FindLaw adds that there are two Ohio statutes under which you can be charged. In addition to the OVI statute, the Operating a Vehicle After Underage Consumption statute applies if you are under 21 years of age. This OVAUC offense is also known as Ohio’s zero tolerance law.

Penalties for a first conviction

Ohio has mandatory minimum penalties for a first-time OVI conviction, and these penalties apply not only to driving while under the influence of alcohol, but also to driving while under the influence of illegal or prescription drugs. You can face three or more days in jail, a large fine and suspension of your driver’s license for six months. This is if your blood alcohol concentration at the time of your arrest fell within the “per se” category; that is, your BAC was between 0.08 percent and 0.16 percent. If your BAC was 0.17 percent or above, this puts you into the “enhanced penalty” category where the penalties are greater, even if this was your first offense.

As mentioned, Ohio has zero tolerance for people under the age of 21 driving while impaired. If you are a young person, your BAC only need be 0.02 percent for you to be arrested and charged with OVI. For more information on this subject, please visit this page of our website.

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Lopez, Severt & Pratt Co., L.P.A. 18 East Water Street Troy, Ohio 45373 Phone: 937-335-5658 Fax: 937-339-6446 Map & Directions