Consequences of Underage Drinking and Driving in Ohio
The legal drinking age in Ohio is 21 years old. Possessing and or consuming alcohol under the age of 21 is a first-degree misdemeanor. The maximum penalty on a first offense is six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. Though this is rarely imposed, there is the chance that the judge could “make an example” of you and actually levy the full maximum penalty. There are three elements of underage drinking – possessing, consuming, and public intoxication – and any one of these elements or any combination can be cause for arrest, citation, and possibly lead to conviction.
The really tough penalties for underage drinking come when drinking is combined with driving. Underage OVI (operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol) is also a first-degree misdemeanor. First offense court costs can be about $170, and fines up to $250. There is a mandatory $100 driver training class, and reinstating your driver’s license after it has been suspended for three to six months will cost a whopping $475. For the bonus jackpot, your insurance rates will increase, costing hundreds of extra and unnecessary expense over many years.
In addition, whereas an adult must have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 to be charged with OVI, if you are under 21 you may be charged with OVI for only having .02 BAC – a relative trace of alcohol in your system. If the chemical tests (breath, blood or urine) show a BAC above .02 but less than .08, the charge is Operating a Vehicle after Underage Consumption (OVUAC). If you happen to test above .08, the charge becomes more serious as an OVI.
Need a Criminal Defense Attorney in Columbus, Ohio?
If your child is facing underage DUI or OVI charges in Columbus, Ohio, you need an experienced attorney who will review your case and create a strategy to either win the case or mitigate the potential damage to their record. This will protect their driving record, their license, and possibly even their future opportunities. The skilled, trusted legal representation at Probst Law Office offers the help you need to be sure you have the best representation possible in fighting underage DUI/OVI charges. Get the experience that you need and deserve when you hire Michael Probst as your attorney. Contact Michael today for your free consultation, or call now at (614) 232-8890.