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Ohio Administrative License Suspensions / Limited Driving Privileges

Your St. Clairsville OVI lawyer can provide valuable insights on license suspensions in Ohio. The Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) is responsible for issuing license suspensions, as it is considered a civil punishment rather than a criminal consequence. The BMV may suspend your license for two reasons: refusing to undergo a chemical BAC test or having a BAC higher than the legal limit.

If you refuse a chemical test, the duration of your suspension depends on your previous driving record. A first-time refusal or no prior OVI convictions will result in a one-year license suspension. If you have previously refused a chemical test once, your suspension will last two years. For two prior refusals, the BMV will suspend your license for three years, and for three or more refusals, the suspension will be for five years.

If your BAC is above the legal limit but you have never refused a chemical test, your license will be suspended for 90 days. A second offense will lead to a one-year suspension. Two prior incidents with a BAC exceeding 0.08 percent will result in a two-year license suspension, and three or more incidents will lead to a three-year suspension.

It is possible to appeal an administrative license suspension; however, strict timelines must be followed. You must file a hearing request within 30 days of your arraignment, which is also your first court appearance date. It is advisable to contact a St. Clairsville OVI lawyer promptly upon receiving the BMV’s suspension letter. They can act swiftly on your behalf and represent you at the hearing.

Can I Get Limited Driving Privileges While My License Is Suspended?

It is possible to regain certain driving privileges after fulfilling a portion of your suspension. These privileges may include commuting to work or school, attending court hearings, and visiting healthcare providers. However, it is important to note that travel is restricted exclusively to these designated destinations.

Specific guidelines govern the eligibility for limited driving privileges. In the case of a license suspension due to a failed BAC test, a minimum suspension period of 15 days (for a 90-day suspension), 45 days (for a year-long suspension), or 180 days (for a two-year suspension) must be served. For individuals with a three-year suspension resulting from testing over the limit on four occasions, the request for limited driving privileges will not be considered.

There are slightly different requirements for individuals whose licenses are suspended for refusing to undergo a chemical test. For a year-long suspension, a minimum service period of 30 days is required before applying for limited driving privileges. This minimum duration increases proportionally with the length of the suspension: 90 days for a two-year suspension, one year for a three-year suspension, and three years for a five-year suspension.

The loss of driving privileges is just one of the many consequences of Operating a Vehicle Impaired (OVI), which can severely impact various aspects of life and initiate a chain of negative events. It can result in job loss, homelessness, and the inability to provide for oneself and loved ones. Even limited driving privileges are better than none at all. Therefore, it is advisable to request permission to drive for work, school, court hearings, and medical appointments during a license suspension. To navigate the complexities of OVI defense and regain your driving privileges, seek assistance from an experienced St. Clairsville criminal lawyer. Call (330) 992-3036 for further guidance.

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