Making Sense of DWI and OVI Charges in Central Ohio

Making Sense of DWI and OVI Charges in Central Ohio

Were you pulled over on your way home from work, a concert, a night out with friends or following a campus sporting event? If you have been charged with a DUI/OVI or drunk driving, do not panic. I am Ohio DUI and OVI defense attorney Michael S. Probst, and I can help make sense of your DUI/OVI or DWI charges and protect your rights.

If you are facing drunk driving charges of any kind, it is important to seek experienced legal representation. Contact me, an Ohio criminal defense lawyer, online or call 614-232-8890 to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case.

Experienced Defense Against All Drunk Driving Charges

As a former assistant prosecutor with more than a decade of experience, I understand how to provide a vigorous defense against all types of drunk driving charges, including:

Ohio Breathalyzer Tests

A Breathalyzer test is the most common means of testing for blood alcohol content used by police. If your blood alcohol content as measured by your breath is .08 or higher, you will be charged with a per se violation of Ohio Revised Code Section 4511.19, which means you are considered, as a matter of law, to be under the influence of alcohol. If you are under .08, you will not be charged with a per se violation, but you can still be charged with OVI (also known as DUI), if there is other sufficient evidence that you were driving while impaired. However, if you are under the age of 21, you can be charged with Operating a Vehicle – Underage Consumption, if your breath level is .02 or above.

Test Refusal

If you refuse to submit to field sobriety tests or a breath, blood or urine test, you will be arrested for a DUI or OVI. Refusal or failure of a chemical test will result in a mandatory administrative driver’s license suspension (ALS). The term of the ALS differs depending on whether you refused the chemical test or failed the test. Refusal means the suspension will remain in place, even if you are subsequently acquitted of the OVI charge. Failure of a test will result in a suspension of varying length, depending on the number of offenses.

Administrative License Suspension Terms for OVI/DUI/DWI Offenses

A sample of ALS terms is as follows:

No. of Refusals in Last 6 Years Length of Suspension Driving Privileges Restricted Plates Immobilizing or Disabling Device
1st 1 year after 30 days optional optional
2nd 2 years after 90 days optional optional
3rd 3 years after 1 year optional optional
4th or more 5 years after 3 years optional optional

Failure of Breathalyzer Test Chemical Test — Ohio Revised Code Section 4511.191(C)

No. of Convictions in Last 6 Years Length of Suspension Driving Privileges Restricted Plates Immobilizing or Disabling Device
1st 90 days after 15 days optional optional
2nd 1 year after 45 days optional optional
3rd 2 years after 180 days optional required alcohol opt drugs
4th or more 3 years after 3 years optional required alcohol opt drugs

Potential Penalties

If you are convicted of a OVI, DUI or DWI charge, penalties can be severe. A sample of OVI/DUI/DWI penalties is as follows:

DUI OVI Penalties — Ohio Revised Code Section 4511.19

No. of Offense Incarceration Fine License Suspension Driving Privileges
1st in 6 years and low alcohol test or drug charge 3 days jail and/or intervention program up to 6 months jail $375-$1075 180 days-3 years after 15 days
1st in 6 years and low alcohol test or refusal w/ prior in 20 years 6 days jail or 3 days jail & 3 days intervention program up to 6 months in jail $375-$1075 180 days-3 years after 15 days
2nd in 6 years and low alcohol test or drug charge 10 days jail or 5 days jail & 18 days house arrest and/or monitoring up to 6 months in jail $525-$1625 1-5 years after 45 days
2nd in 6 years and either high alc. or refusal w/ prior in 20 years 20 days jail or 10 days jail & 36 days house arrest and/or monitoring up to 6 months in jail $525-$1625 1-5 years after 45 days
3rd in 6 years and low alcohol test or drug charge 30 days jail or 15 days jail & 55 days house arrest and/or monitoring up to 1 year in jail $850-$2750 2-10 years after 180 days
3rd in 6 years and either high alc. or refusal w/ prior in 20 years 60 days jail or 30 days jail & 110 days house arrest and/or monitoring up to 6 months $850-$2750 2-10 years after 180 days

You Are Not Alone

Believe it or not, more people are arrested for drinking and driving and other alcohol-related offenses than any other traffic or criminal charge. Prosecutors take these cases seriously, but there are defenses to drunk driving charges. As an experienced DUI attorney, I know many ways to help clients protect their rights and minimize negative consequences that may arise from a drunk driving arrest.

Contact a Columbus DUI Attorney

Drunk driving charges are serious and require a serious defense. Contact me, a Columbus drunk driving defense lawyer, online or call 614-232-8890 for a free initial consultation.