Operating a Vehicle Under the Influence in Ohio (“OVI”) means driving a motor vehicle while you are impaired with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) level of .08 or higher after drinking alcohol, taking a controlled substance (or substance), and/or using other chemical substances.
An OVI conviction can result in fines, community service, probation, license suspension, and even, in some cases, jail time. Multiple OVI convictions will likely lead to more severe penalties, including loss of employment, driver’s license, and educational opportunities.
At Tyack Law, we understand that drunk driving and underage drunk driving charges are very serious. As with any criminal charge, there is a lot at stake if you have been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. Our experienced criminal defense attorneys have a reputation for providing skillful legal OVI representation during administrative license hearings, plea negotiations, pre-trial hearings, trial, and post-trial proceedings.
The acronyms DUI, DWI, OMVI and OVI all refer to the same thing: operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The most commonly used terms are “DUI” (Driving Under the Influence) and “DWI” (Driving While Impaired).
In 1982 the Ohio legislature enacted a law that referred to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs as “OMVI” (Operating a Motor Vehicle Impaired). The current acronym in Ohio that refers to driving under the influence is “OVI” (Operating a Vehicle Impaired), which reflects the Ohio legislature’s prohibition on operating any vehicle while impaired, including non-motorized vehicles such as bicycles and horse-drawn carriages.
Under Ohio law, a person who is at least 21 years old is operating a vehicle impaired when their Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) or Breath Alcohol Content (BrAC) is .08 or greater. The permissible BAC drops to 0.04 for commercial truck drivers. If a person is under the age of 21 and is operating a vehicle, the legal limit for BAC or BrAC is .02.
There are also “legal limits” for the concentration of alcohol in a person’s blood serum or plasma and urine. For a urine sample, you will be over the “legal limit” if the alcohol concentration in your urine sample is .11 or greater. While Ohio still considers this a valid way to determine alcohol content, many states have done away with urine testing because handling and testing procedures have produced errors.
Not Just Alcohol
Individuals who get taken into custody for suspicion of driving while drunk or under the influence of drugs will be asked to voluntarily provide breath, blood, and urine samples for alcohol and drug testing. The drugs law enforcement officers specifically look for are
Administrative License Suspension
Testing over the legal limit will result in immediate arrest and an administrative license suspension, or ALS. Nearly all OVI/DUI suspects have the right to refuse to participate in breath, blood, and urine testing, but exercising that right to avoid providing evidence that may incriminate them also results in an ALS. Asking police to allow you to consult with a Columbus, Ohio, DUI attorney before you decide to submit to alcohol and drug testing can help you weigh your options.
The experienced OVI attorneys at Tyack Law can assist you with appealing an administrative license suspension and/or obtaining limiting driving privileges during the pendency of your case.
Potential Consequences of OVI / DUI Conviction in Ohio:
Depending on the number of prior OVI / DUI convictions a defendant has (including those from other states); how close in time the defendant’s prior OVI / DUI conviction(s) are to the unresolved OVI / DUI charge; whether the OVI / DUI caused death or serious bodily injury to another person; and the level of the person’s blood alcohol content (BAC) at the time of arrest all factor into the potential consequences of an OVI / DUI conviction. These direct consequences include:
In addition to these potential direct consequences of an OVI / DUI conviction in Ohio, a criminal defendant may also face several indirect or collateral consequences as a result of their OVI / DUI conviction.
It is important to seek advice and representation from an experienced DUI defense attorney as soon as possible following an arrest for drunk driving. Our Tyack Law Firm OVI lawyers can challenge field sobriety test assessments, as well as breath, blood, and/or urine test results on your behalf.
It is important to seek legal representation as soon as you are arrested, because you have a limited amount of time to appeal and prepare for an administrative license suspension hearing.
Contact The Tyack Law Firm at (614) 221-1342 for a consultation about your criminal defense to OVI / DUI charges in Columbus (Franklin County) Ohio, Union County, Licking County, Fairfield County, Delaware County, Madison County, Pickaway County, and other central Ohio counties.