In Ohio, getting pulled over for driving drunk results in a charge of Operating a Vehicle while under the Influence of drugs or alcohol. Otherwise known as OVI, it is the same crime as a OVI (Driving under the Influence of drugs or alcohol), just with a different name. If you are arrested for OVI, you need the assistance of a Youngstown OVI Lawyer like Sean Logue.
OVI Laws in Ohio
Drunk driving laws in Ohio are listed in the Ohio Revised Code (also known as ORC), Section 4511.19. They state that if you operate a motor vehicle in Ohio under one of the following conditions, you are operating it illegally:
- Have a Blood Alcohol Content of 0.08 percent or higher
- Are under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or some combination thereof
There Is More Than One Way You Can Be Charged With OVI
You can be over the legal limit of 0.08 percent of alcohol, which is what is most commonly associated with OVI. This limit is lowered for holders of commercial driver’s licenses to 0.04 percent if the person is driving their commercial vehicle.
Or, you can be under the legal alcohol limit but also under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or a combination of drugs and alcohol.
In Ohio, drugs of abuse are defined in the ORC in section 4506.01. The definition given is that any dangerous drug, over the counter medication, or controlled substance that is capable of impairing a person’s reflexes and judgement when consumed in higher than normal doses is a drug of abuse.
The Ohio Revised Code defines dangerous drugs in Section 4729.01. Prescription medications are included in this section. If you take a drug that was legally prescribed to you and legally purchased by you from the pharmacy and it causes you to be impaired, you can be charged with and convicted of Operating a Vehicle while under the Influence. The courts do not accept the fact that they were legal prescriptions as a defense.
You are responsible for reading the drug facts sheets that come with every prescription and knowing what might happen if you take them and drive. You are also responsible for being certain of your reaction to the drugs before getting behind the wheel.
Being arrested for OVI does not make you guilty. There are numerous defenses available, depending on the charges. A well-trained and experienced Youngstown OVI Lawyer will be familiar with them, and will be able to guide you down the best path for you and your case.
Are There Differences Between a OVI Charge and an OVI Charge?
OVI can also be called DWI and OMVI in some places. Each state uses a different term, and the definitions of each vary somewhat. For example, in Pennsylvania, drunk driving is called OVI. Here in Ohio, it’s called OVI. There are also minor differences in penalties for conviction and in the things a prosecutor must prove. But, all the charges are boiled down to drunk driving.
In Ohio, there are particular things a prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt in order to convict a person of OVI. These things are listed below:
- The prosecutor must prove you were operating a motor vehicle. This is not the same as driving it. Sometimes, just having the key in the ignition or the engine on while the car is parked is enough.
- The prosecutor must prove you were actually intoxicated. He will use your Blood Alcohol Content or a positive result from a test for drugs of abuse to do this.
- The prosecutor might try to prove that your physical or mental state demonstrated your intoxication, without an over the limit BAC or a positive drugs of abuse test. In this case, he will use footage from the cop’s chest or dash camera, or his testimony.
If you are facing OVI charges, call us at (330) 625-9199 for a free consultation. Someone is available 24/7 to take your call.