Ohio DUI law makes it a crime to operate a motor vehicle while having any amount of alcohol and/or drugs that impairs physical or mental abilities to an appreciable degree. Ohio DUI law overview: Ohio DUI laws have recently been amended, making Ohio’s DUI code the most frequently updated criminal code by far in the last 2 decades. The new Ohio amendments and general DUI law are summarized below:
In Ohio DUI or drunk driving offenses are commonly referred to with several different abbreviations including, OVI (Operating a Vehicle under the Influence), DUI (Driving Under the Influence) , or Ohio OMVI which stands for Operating a Motor Vehicle under the Influence. Again each state varies slightly in what they call the offense of drunk driving but generally they refer to the type of crime that is more broadly referred to as DUI or DWI.
Ohio DUI law is similar to other states in that when arrested for DUI (or OVI) you are charged with the drunk driving offense along with the per se law which makes it illegal to drive with a BAC (blood alcohol level) of .08% or greater.
Don’t confuse the 2. They are 2 seperate charges, the Ohio drunk driving charge of OVI falls under Ohio Revised Code 4511.19 and the ALS (Administrative License Suspension) charge is found in R.C. 4511.191.
The first Ohio DUI/OVI charge for drunk driving is limited to your ability to operate the vehicle safely. This means that the officer determined that you were impaired enough that you were unable to safely operate your motor vehicle.
The second charge, the ALS charge is more commonly referred to as the per se law which only means that you had a blood alcohol level (BAC) of .08% or greater at the time you were operating the motor vehicle. It says nothing about your ability to operate the vehicle safely.
Here’s what you can expect:
If you are stopped for DUI and you decide to refuse to take the chemical test(s), or if your chemical test results exceed the allowable limit Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC), the officer will take your driver's license at arrest, and your drivers license suspension will begin immediately.
Depending on whether or not you have any previous offenses or refusals, you could have your drivers license automatically suspended for a period of 90 days to five years. Remember, the administrative suspension is independent of (not associated with) any jail term, fine or the other criminal penalties handed down in court for your DUI offense. You are entitled to fight the ALS (administrative license suspension) by appealing the courts decision to suspend.
The court must hold the administrative license suspension hearing within (5) days of the arrest. The appeal is heard at this initial appearance if requested. The scope of the appeal is confined to 4 issues:
Note: A court may still issue a suspension even if issues 1-4 are proven by the defendant (or defendant’s counsel) if the court finds the person to be a threat to the general public’s safety.
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