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Top OVI Lawyers in Ohio

Finding An OVI Lawyer in Ohio

Operating a vehicle while impaired (OVI) is a serious offense in Ohio.  and anyone charged with an OVI offense should seek the assistance of an experienced Ohio OVI lawyer. An Ohio OVI conviction can result in severe consequences, including fines, license suspension, and even jail time.

The more you know about the OVI charges you face, the better off you will be. This can also help you find the best OVI lawyers in Ohio for your specific charges. In this article, we will explore the difference between OVI and DUI in Ohio, the penalties for an OVI in Ohio, and how getting an Ohio OVI lawyer can help you beat an OVI charge.

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OVI vs DUI in Ohio

In the state of Ohio, the terms OVI (Operating a Vehicle Impaired) and DUI (Driving Under the Influence) are often used interchangeably. However, the correct legal term used in Ohio is OVI. Both terms pertain to the operation of a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both.

The key distinction is more semantic and jurisdictional rather than substantive but there are nuanced differences in how each term encompasses different elements of impaired driving. The principal differences lie in the breadth of the definition (OVI’s inclusion of any “vehicle”) and the specific criteria for what constitutes impairment.

OVI in Ohio

According to Ohio Revised Code § 4511.19, Ohio law enforcement defines OVI as operating any vehicle if the driver is under the influence of alcohol, a controlled substance, or a combination. OVI not only includes motor vehicles but also any “vehicle,” which is broadly defined to include bicycles, horse-drawn carriages, and even certain motorized devices not classified as vehicles in other states. Two key metrics for alcohol impairment in Ohio are:

  1. Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of 0.08% or greater for individuals 21 years old or older.
  2. BAC of 0.02% or greater for individuals under 21 years old.

In Ohio, being charged with an OVI carries serious legal consequences that can include fines, imprisonment, and license suspension. Advanced technology like breathalyzers, blood tests, and field sobriety tests are used to determine impairment levels. Refusal to submit to such tests could result in immediate license suspension, per Ohio’s “implied consent” laws.

DUI in Ohio

DUI is a more commonly used term across various U.S. jurisdictions and typically involves the operation of a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol or drugs. However, Ohio law has mostly replaced this term with OVI. In states that do use the term DUI, it usually doesn’t include non-motorized forms of transportation, unlike Ohio’s broader definition of OVI.

OVI Arrest Rates in Ohio

According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, there were 57,065 OVI arrests made in Ohio from 2019 to 2021. This is an average of just over 19,216 OVI arrests per year. Between April of 2022 and April 2023, there were 15,473 OVI arrests in Ohio which shows that this is trending down, although the number of OVI arrests in the state is still significant. The majority of OVI arrests in Ohio occur in Franklin, Cuyahoga, and Hamilton counties.

Penalties for OVI in Ohio

The penalties for OVI in Ohio can be severe, depending on the circumstances of the case. The following is a general overview of the penalties for OVI in Ohio:

First OVI in Ohio

  • A fine of up to $1,075
  • License suspension for six months to three years
  • Possible participation in a drug and alcohol treatment program
  • Possible jail time of up to six months

Second OVI in Ohio

  • A fine of up to $1,625
  • License suspension for one to seven years
  • Possible participation in a drug and alcohol treatment program
  • Possible jail time of up to one year

Third OVI in Ohio

  • A fine of up to $2,750
  • License suspension for two to 12 years
  • Possible participation in a drug and alcohol treatment program
  • Possible jail time of up to one year

Ignition Interlock Devices

In addition to the above penalties, Ohio also requires the installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) for some OVI offenders. An IID is a device that is installed in a vehicle that requires the driver to blow into it before the car will start. If the device detects alcohol on the driver’s breath, the car will not start.

In Ohio, an IID is required for:

  • All repeat offenders
  • Some first-time offenders, at the discretion of the court

The cost of installing and maintaining an IID can be substantial, and it is important to discuss the potential requirement of an IID with your Ohio OVI lawyer.

How an Ohio OVI Lawyer Can Help You Beat an OVI Charge

One of the main ways that an Ohio OVI lawyer can help you beat an OVI charge is by investigating the circumstances surrounding your arrest. This includes reviewing the police report, blood alcohol content (BAC) test results, and any other evidence that may have been gathered by the arresting officer. Your Ohio OVI lawyer may also question the officer’s conduct during the arrest to determine if your rights were violated in any way.

Additionally, an Ohio OVI lawyer may also challenge the legality of the traffic stop that led to your OVI charge. In order for a traffic stop to be legal, the officer must have had reasonable suspicion to believe that you were violating a traffic law or engaging in other criminal activity. If the officer did not have reasonable suspicion, any evidence collected during an improper or illegal traffic stop may be rendered inadmissible and subsequently thrown out.

Top Ohio OVI Lawyers

If you have been charged with an OVI in Ohio, it is essential to seek the legal advice of a top-rated Ohio OVI lawyer. An experienced Ohio OVI lawyer and their criminal defense law firm can provide you with the legal counsel and representation you need to help you beat your OVI charge.

More Ohio OVI Resources

If you need an OVI lawyer in a specific city in Ohio, we also have pages for OVI lawyers in cities across the state of Ohio. Read our helpful and informative articles below to find an OVI lawyer near you. Also, you can call 1-888-839-4384 anytime to schedule a free consultation.

Find The Top-Rated DUI Lawyers Near You

We have listings for the top DUI lawyers in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Find the best DUI lawyer for you by clicking on your state here.

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