Can You Afford an OVI?


It’s no secret that getting an OVI can be expensive.

You’ve probably seen all the recent ad campaigns discouraging drinking and driving by using the cost of being found guilty of Operating a Vehicle while Impaired (OVI), Ohio’s version of Driving While Intoxicated (DUI). Have you been wondering how accurate these ads are or just how pricey it can be to be convicted of an OVI? It can be difficult to truly understand just how much of a financial burden an OVI is until you’re facing one. At Probst Law Office, we believe that knowledge is power, and that’s why we’ve come up with this guide to the true costs of an OVI conviction in Ohio:

Prior to Court:


The first time you are arrested for an OVI, there is a state required 72-hour minimum jail holding time. If you are arrested for your second OVI within 10 years, the minimum jail time is 10 days and the maximum jail time is six months. For a third OVI conviction, the minimum required jail time is 30 days and the maximum is up to a year. Regardless of how much jail time you are facing, you don’t want to sit in a cell longer than you have to, which means you’ll be looking at posting bail. On average, bail for an OVI ranges anywhere from $150 to $2,000. If you are facing additional charges along with the OVI such as endangerment, vehicular manslaughter, or evading arrest, the jail time and bail amounts may be much higher.

Towing and Impound

When you are arrested for an OVI, the officer won’t give you a free pass or allow you to leave your vehicle on the side of the road to pick up after you serve your jail time or post bail. It will be towed and impounded by the city, and you will receive the bill and are responsible for paying for it. Generally, the city does not shop around to find a tow company that is the cheapest or covered by your auto-insurance. Towing and impounding your vehicle can cost $100 to $1,000, but keep in mind that impound fees accrue daily, meaning the longer your car is in the impound lot, the more you will be paying to get it out.

Court Costs

Attorney’s Fees

Having an OVI on your record can make everything from finding a rental home to finding a steady job incredibly difficult, and your best chance at reducing the penalties and protecting your record is hiring the right DUI attorney in Columbus. Although fees will vary from attorney to attorney, no one wants to have to pay for attorney’s fees if they don’t have to. It is not a good idea to avoid attorney fees altogether and face an OVI alone. Experienced DUI attorneys in Columbus know the law, are familiar with local judges, and can get you the fairest deal. If you are facing an OVI, attorney fees may be a small price to pay compared to what the consequences you can face without experienced legal consult.


Fines, just like jail time, are dependent upon how many OVIs you’ve had in the past 10 years. If this is your first offense, you’ll be looking at court fines between $375 and $1,075. If this is your second offense, the fines will be between $525 and $1,625, and if this is your third offense, the fines will be between $850 and $2,750.

Other potential court costs to be aware of:

  • $100 – Penalty Assessment
  • $50 – Alcohol Abuse Education Fund
  • $100  – State Restitution Fund
  • $37 – Jail Cite-and-Release Fee
  • $37 – Breathalyzer/Blood Test
  • $500 – License Reissue Fee
  • $375 – Alcohol Awareness School
  • $150 + Monthly fees – Ignition Interlock.

After Court


Once you have an OVI on your record, your auto insurance rates will skyrocket. Auto insurance companies assume that if you drove drunk once, you are likely to do it again. Since auto accidents involving drunk drivers tend to be devastating and costly, insurance companies don’t want to take the risk of insuring your risk of accidents. Driving while under the influence is a high risk behavior and auto insurance companies will charge the high-risk driver rate, which can be quadruple your current rate. As with jail time and court costs, the more convictions that are on your record, the higher your insurance rates will be, and some insurance providers may refuse to cover you.


If your license is suspended, which is highly likely in cases involving multiple OVI offenses or OVI in conjunction with other charges, such as would be in the event of an accident or underage passengers at the time of arrest, transportation may become an issue. You may find yourself paying for public transportation, which is an expense you may not have been previously used to.

Lost Wages

While you are serving your jail time, presenting yourself in court, and attending mandatory counseling and classes, you will likely be missing days at work. In some case, you may even lose your job if driving or a security clearance was a hiring requirement. The time that you are out of work is money not coming into your bank account.

Don’t face an OVI alone.

On average, being convicted of an OVI in Ohio will cost you around $7,000. Hiring the right DUI attorney as quickly as possible is essential for your case, and they may be able to minimize or even eliminate the consequences of your OVI financial charges. Contact us at Probst Law Office today to get started with a free consultation with an experienced DUI attorney who is on your side.