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DUI / OVI Defense

Ohio is unique when it comes to DUI / OVI. For starters, the state is one of the few in the nation that classifies driving under the influence (DUI) as operating a vehicle under the influence (OVI). Before the crime was changed to OVI in 1982, the state classified the crime as operating a motor vehicle impaired (OMVI).

A more recent change to Ohio law removed the requirement that a vehicle must be motorized for an alleged offender to commit the crime. Now, it’s a crime to operate just about any vehicle in the state while impaired by alcohol or drugs.

Many people arrested for driving under the influence are facing criminal charges for the first time. While you may have no previous criminal history, law enforcement will not take that into account, and they will arrest you if they discover you are driving under the influence.

There are many charges you could face when arrested for an OVI in Ohio. They can include DUI with property damage, physical control and numerous others. All of these crimes come with penalties such as jail time, expensive fines and a suspended driver’s license.

To mitigate the charges against you, it is imperative you contact an experienced DUI defense attorney as soon as possible.

DUI / OVI Defense Lawyer in Columbus, OH 

By visiting this page, you already understand the seriousness of the charges you are facing. Take the first step in building your defense and contact Joslyn Law Firm. Call (614) 300 - 3025 to schedule a confidential consultation.

Joslyn Law Firm represent clients in central Ohio counties including Franklin County, Delaware County, Union County, Madison County, Pickaway County, Fairfield County and Licking County.


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How is DUI Charged in Ohio?

A good time can turn sour when you are pulled over for suspicion of drunk driving. If you are arrested, there are a number of ways you could be charged. How you are charged will depend on whether or not it was your first offense. If convicted of driving under the influence, you could face the following charges and penalties:

First DUI Offense: The first time you are convicted of OVI in Ohio, you will be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor. This may not seem serious, but it has the potential to leave a permanent mark on your criminal record. If you are convicted, you will face the following penalties:

  • A minimum of 72 hours in jail, but up to six months
  • A fine between $375 and $1,075
  • A license suspension lasting for six months to three years
  • Limited driving privileges for 15 days

Second DUI Offense: A second DUI offense is also charged as a first-degree misdemeanor. A second offense may be charged the same as the first, but it entails heightened penalties. Some of these penalties include:

  • A minimum of 10 days in jail but no more than six months
  • Between $525 and $1,625 in fines
  • A license suspension lasting one to seven years
  • Limited driving privileges for 45 days

Third DUI Offense: You will be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor for your third DUI conviction. If convicted, you could face the following penalties:

  • A minimum of 30 days in jail, but no more than a year
  • Between $850 and $2,750 in fines
  • Attend a mandatory drug and alcohol addiction program
  • A license suspension that can last for two to 12 years
  • Limited driving privileges for 180 days

Any fourth or subsequent OVI offense is charged as a felony. You could be penalized with up to $10,500 in fines, more than a year in jail and a license suspension for life.


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DUI with Property Damage

Many intoxicated driving accidents result in damage to property. Ohio doesn’t have a specific statute for DUI with property damage; so instead, you will face a charge for property damage on top of charges for DUI.

Under the Ohio Revised Code, you could be charged with property damage if you operate a vehicle in willful or wanton disregard of the safety of others or property. Damaged property can include just about anything, such as run over mailboxes, damages lawn decorations, fences and vehicles.

Charges for property damage can range from a minor misdemeanor to a third-degree misdemeanor, depending on previous convictions. The crime is penalized with a fine ranging from $100 to $500.

The criminal penalties for damaging someone’s property should be the least of your worries. The property owner may file a claim against you in civil court. They can sue you for financial compensation to cover the cost of repairs or to replace the property you damaged.


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What is Physical Control?

There are circumstances where you could be charged with a DUI related offenses, even if you aren’t driving a vehicle. This is called physical control, and it’s defined under section 4115.194 of the Ohio Revised Code as:

  • Being in the driver’s position in the front seat of a vehicle or the driver’s position of a streetcar or trackless trolley and being in possession of the vehicle’s key or another ignition device.

If you are intoxicated and in the driver’s position of a vehicle and possess the keys, you could be charged with physical control. This charge is typically handed down when a driver decides they are too intoxicated to drive home, so they try and sleep it off in their car.

This crime is charged as a first-degree misdemeanor. There are no minimum penalties for physical control, but you could spend up to 180 days in jail, a fine up to $1,000 and a license suspension for up to a year.


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Ohio DUI / OVI Laws

Understanding the laws governing DUI / OVI crimes in Ohio is essential to building a strong defense. Knowing and understanding state laws also makes you a better-informed Ohioan.

Section 4511.19 of the Ohio Revised Code governs DUI/ OVI in the state. The first laws in this section define conditions where it’s illegal to operate any vehicle, streetcar, or trackless trolley. These conditions include:

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol, a drug of abuse, or a combination of both.
  • Driving with a BAC of 0.08% or more but less than 0.17% per unit of alcohol in the driver’s breath.
  • Driving under the influence of the following substance:
    • Amphetamine
    • Cocaine
    • Heroin
    • LSD
    • Marijuana
    • Methamphetamine

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What is an OVI High Test?

When you are pulled over for the suspension of drunk or drugged driving, a law enforcement officer will conduct a chemical test to determine the level of alcohol or controlled substance in your system. A chemical test is one test you do not what to get a high score. The higher your OVI test, the more severe the penalties will be.

Chemical tests are conducted by taking either breath, blood or urine sample. Listed below are high test per substance:

SubstanceBreathUrineBlood
Alcohol0.17 or higher0.238 or higher0.17 or higher
MarijuanaN/A10 ng or higher2 ng or higher
CocaineN/A150 ng or higher50 ng or higher
MethamphetamineN/A500 ng or higher100 ng or higher
HeroinN/A2,000 ng or higher50 ng or higher
AmphetamineN/A500 ng or higher100 ng or higher
LSDN/A25 ng or higher10 ng or higher

An OVI high test can result in increased jail time, more expensive fines and an extended license suspension.


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Does Ohio Have Implied Consent Laws?

By accepting an Ohio driver’s license, you agree for the state to test your breath, urine or blood. This is defined as implied consent, and it’s under section 4511.191 of the Ohio Revised Code.

You can refuse to submit to a chemical test, but when you are taken into police custody, you are required to submit. If you do refuse a chemical test, you will be penalized. You won’t spend any time in jail, or be required to pay any fines, but you will have your license suspended.

The length of the suspension will depend on the number of times you’ve refused a chemical test, but it can range from one to five years.


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Additional Resources for DUI / OVI Charges in Columbus, OH

Ohio’s OVI Laws | Ohio Revised Code– Follow this link to read the full text of the statute governing OVI crimes in Ohio. You can read the precise legal definition of the crime and how it’s penalized. The code can be read on the Ohio Laws and Rules website.

Implied Consent | Ohio Revised Code – Visit the Ohio Laws and Rules website to read the statute governing implied consent and physical control in the state. You can read the exact legal definition of both crimes and how they are penalized.


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DUI Defense Attorney in Columbus, OH

A DUI / OVI conviction has the potential to drastically alter your life. Because of this, you will need the guidance of an experienced defense team from Joslyn Law Firm. Call (614) 300 - 3025 to schedule a confidential consultation.

We defend clients in central Ohio counties including Franklin County, Delaware County, Union County, Madison County, Pickaway County, Fairfield County and Licking County.


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