Multiple DUI / OVI Offenses

The legal consequences of multiple OVI / DUI convictions in Ohio are very serious, and can severely damage both your personal and professional life. It is important that you contact an experienced Columbus OVI attorney to understand the legal ramifications of OVI / DUI repeat offenses in Ohio.

OVI / DUI “Look-Back” Period in Ohio

Under Ohio law, a prosecutor is permitted to “look back” through the last ten (10) years of the criminal history of a person charged with an OVI / DUI offense in Ohio to see how many OVI / DUI offenses they have been convicted of within that time period. These additional OVI / DUI convictions can be used to enhance the penalties of a person charged with an OVI / DUI in Ohio, even if any or all of the prior OVI / DUI convictions occurred in another state.

If a person charged with an OVI / DUI refused to submit to a requested chemical test, then the prosecutor is permitted to “look back” through the last twenty (20) years of the offender’s criminal history and use any OVI / DUI convictions within that time period to enhance the penalties of a person charged with an OVI / DUI offense in Ohio.

If an alleged offender has already been sentenced to a felony OVI / DUI, then any subsequent OVI / DUI offense will be treated as a second felony OVI / DUI—regardless of timeframe.

Notably, it is a fourth-degree felony offense where a person has been convicted of their sixth OVI / DUI offense in twenty (20) years.

OVI / DUI “Look-Back” Period in Columbus

If an OVI / DUI offense was committed in the City of Columbus, and the alleged offender is charged under the Columbus City Code, then there is no limited “look-back” period. Instead, a Franklin County judge may consider all prior OVI / DUI convictions regardless of the time frame.

Consequences of Two OVI Convictions

Multiple DUI convictions in Ohio carry serious penalties for the offender. Foremost, these include mandatory jail time, a lengthy license suspension and hefty court fines/fees. If two DUI / OVI convictions have occurred within 10 years of the first conviction, the following penalties must be imposed.

The mandatory minimum sentencing is:

  • 10 days in jail (or 5 days in jail and 18 days of house arrest with electronic monitoring (HAEM) and/or continuous alcohol monitoring (CAM));
  • License suspension of at least one year; and
  • $525.00 fine

If the offender has BAC of .17 or higher at the time of their arrest or refused a chemical test, the mandatory minimum jail time is increased to 20 days (or 10 days in jail and 36 days of house arrest with electronic monitoring (HAEM) and/or continuous alcohol monitoring (CAM)).

It is also possible, depending on judicial discretion, that the maximum penalties are imposed for those convicted of multiple DUIs. These include:

  • Six months in jail;
  • Seven-year license suspension; and
  • $1,625.00 fine

The court may also order that the offender installs a vehicle ignition interlock device, registers their vehicle with yellow license plates and attends substance-abuse counseling. Repeat offenders may also be placed on probation and be court ordered to wear a SCRAM device, which enforces constant alcohol surveillance.

Third and Subsequent OVI/DUI Offenses

If a person is convicted of additional OVI/DUI offenses Ohio within a 10-year period of their previous offense, the penalties continue to increase in severity.

Those who commit a third DUI will be sentenced to the mandatory minimum of:

  • 30 days in jail (or 15 days in jail and 55 days of house arrest with electronic monitoring (HAEM) and/or continuous alcohol monitoring (CAM));
  • License suspension of at least two years (but may be reduced to one year by judge); and
  • $850.00 fine

If the offender has BAC of .17 or higher at the time of their arrest or refused a chemical test, the mandatory minimum jail time is increased to 60 days (or 30 days in jail and 110 days of house arrest with electronic monitoring (HAEM) and/or continuous alcohol monitoring (CAM)).

Third OVI / DUI offenses within ten years carry a maximum sentence of:

  • One year in jail
  • 12-year license suspension; and
  • $2,750.00 fine.

If the vehicle operated by the accused at the time of the OVI stop and arrest was registered to the defendant, then vehicle forfeiture may be required, provided that law enforcement and/or the State follow the necessary vehicle forfeiture process. The court will also order the offender to register their vehicles with yellow license plates and to attend alcohol and/or substance-abuse counseling. If the OVI convictions are alcohol-related, then an interlock device is required.

Felony OVI / DUI in Ohio

Should a person be convicted of repeat DUI offenses following a third, the offender will then be charged with a fourth-degree felony.

The penalties include a minimum of

  • 60 days in local jail or prison;
  • $1,350.00 fine; and
  • Three-year license suspension.

If the offender has BAC of .17 or higher at the time of their arrest or refused a chemical test, the mandatory minimum jail time is increased to 120 days in jail or prison (with option of additional 6 to 30 months).

Felony OVI / DUI offenses within carry a maximum sentence of:

  • One year in jail or 60–120 days in prison (with option of additional 6 to 30 months);
  • Lifetime license suspension; and
  • $10,500.00 fine.

If the vehicle operated by the accused at the time of the OVI stop and arrest was registered to the defendant, then vehicle forfeiture may be required, provided that law enforcement and/or the State follow the necessary vehicle forfeiture process. The court will also order the offender to register their vehicles with yellow license plates and to attend alcohol and/or substance-abuse counseling. If the OVI convictions are alcohol-related, then an interlock device is required.

A second felony DUI conviction requires a mandatory minimum sentence of 120 days in prison and a maximum sentence of five years.

What Constitutes an OVI / DUI Offense in Ohio

Under Ohio law, “it is unlawful for any person to operate or attempt to drive a motorized vehicle in the state of Ohio while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, intoxicants or any combination thereof with a blood alcohol concentration level of .08% or greater.”

However, it is possible that drivers with a BAC under .08% can also be arrested if they show signs of impairment detrimental to their ability to operate a vehicle. In these instances, a field sobriety test would determine whether the driver is fit to operate their vehicle. For more information about general DUI / OVI offenses in Ohio, check out some of our firm’s Driving Under the Influence info here.

Tyack Law Firm | Multiple DUI / OVI Offenses

If you have been arrested for multiple DUI /OVI offenses, contact an experienced OVI lawyer at the Tyack Law Firm to discuss the facts of your particular situation. Our skilled Columbus DUI defense attorneys will make every effort to help you avoid the most serious repercussions and consequences for your alleged OVI offense.

Contact the Tyack Law Firm at (614) 221-1342 for a consultation about your OVI charges in Franklin County, and the surrounding counties of Pickaway County, Madison County, Delaware County, Licking County, and Fairfield County in Ohio.

 

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