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Penalties for First OVI

Most of the people arrested for OVI in this area have no previous criminal records. A Youngstown OVI lawyer with extensive experience defending drunk drivers will be a huge asset to someone in this situation.

A first-time OVI charge in Ohio is costly. An offender will pay a fine anywhere from $375 to $1,075, plus court costs. On top of that, to get his or her driver’s license back, he or she will have to pay a fee of $475.

At the same time, the offender’s income has taken a hit, because he’s probably spent a night or weekend in jail, and then had to take time off for court hearings and to meet with an attorney. This can be a scary position to be in.

There are other consequences to an OVI, in addition to the fines, fees, and court costs.

If the offender’s blood alcohol content, assuming he submitted to chemical testing, was between .08 and .17, the judge in his case will sentence him to either three days in jail or three days in something called a Driver Intervention Program. The offender must pay whatever costs are associated with the course, which is an additional burden, but the value of the class generally far outweighs the costs. The program is a specially designed 72-hour seminar, approved by the court, that educates drivers about drugs and alcohol.

If the offender had a blood alcohol content that was higher than .17 percent, the judge has two options: sentence him to three days of Driver Intervention Program plus three days in jail, or six days in jail. This is also the case if the offender has previously refused a breath test and was subsequently convicted of OVI in the last 20 years.

If you are arrested for a first-time OVI, your license is automatically suspended administratively, which means by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. The judge can impose a further suspension, called a Class Five license suspension. This suspension will be at least six months in length, though it can be as long as three years. After a certain period of time has passed, you can ask for what’s called “occupational driving privileges.” If approved, this will allow you to drive to and from work or school, but that’s it.

You could be required to pay for an installation of an ignition interlock device on your car if your blood alcohol content was over .17 percent. Or, you might be required to have yellow license plates, commonly called party plates. An ignition interlock device is an apparatus installed in your car or truck that you have to blow into before you can start the vehicle. If you show an amount of alcohol in your breath, the car won’t start. It also randomly retests you, so you can’t have someone else breathe into it so you can drive drunk.

First OVI ALS Suspensions

If you are a first-time OVI offender and you refuse to submit to a blood, breath, or urine test, your license will be administratively suspended by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles for a full year. If you submit but your BAC is over .08 percent, the suspension will last 90 days. In addition, the judge will further suspend your license for six months to three years.

First OVI Driving Privilege Limitations

After you are arrested for OVI, you can ask to have limited driving privileges granted to you. To do this, you must file a petition with the court that has jurisdiction over the place you were arrested. This could be a county court, a municipal court, or a mayor’s court. For a driver under the age of 18, the petition has to be filed in juvenile court.

Getting Driving Privileges Reinstated after a First OVI

To get your license back after a conviction for First-OVI, you must complete a set of requirements. These requirements are laid out in the Ohio Revised Code Section 4510.038 and include paying a fee, serving the suspension the judge ordered, and sending a copy of your proof of insurance to the BMV at the address below.

Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles
Attn. Reinstatement (RE) Fee
P. O. Box 16520
Columbus, Ohio 43216-6520

Summary of Penalties for a First-OVI in Youngstown, Ohio
1st OVI w/ Low BAC1st OVI w/ High BAC1st OVI w/ Refusal
Jail3 days to 6 months6 days to 6 months3 days to 6 months
Fines$375 to $1,075$375 to $1,075$375 to $1,075
License Suspension6 months to 3 years6 months to 3 years1 year ALS, 6 months to 3 years court suspension
Driving PrivilegesEligible after 15-day period beginning at date of offense (ALS)Eligible after 15-day period beginning at date of offense (ALS)Eligible after 30-day period beginning at date of offense (ALS)
“Party” PlatesOptionalMandatoryOptional
Ignition InterlockOptionalOptionalOptional

If you have been arrested for your first OVI, call Sean Logue today. He has the experience necessary to help you.

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