If you have been charged with a DUI or OVI in Ohio, you probably have an administrative license suspension as well, commonly referred to as an ALS.
What is an Administrative License Suspension?
Any person who is charged with a DUI and either refuses to provide a chemical test or provides a test that is over the legal limit will be immediately placed under an Administrative License Suspension (ALS). This suspension goes into effect before court proceedings ever begin.
How long is the suspension?
There are two categories of ALS suspensions. First, is the person who provided a chemical test result over the legal limit. Second, is the person who refused to provide a chemical test. Further, the length of the suspension on either of the above is determined by whether the person has a prior DUI offense or prior offenses within the last 6 years. By following below you can find the length of the suspension that applies to your situation. If you refused a Chemical Test the following applies: 1) 1st refusal in 6 years = 1 year; 2) 2nd refusal in 6 years = 2 years; 3) 3rd refusal in 6 years = 3 years; 4) 4th or more in 6 years = 5 years. If you took a chemical test and the test was over the legal limit: 1) 1st in 6 years = 90 days; 2) 2nd in 6 years = 1 year; 3) 3rd in 6 years = 2 years; 4) 4th or more in 6 years = 3 years. Please Note - It is possible to submit to a chemical test that produces a result under the legal limit and still be charged with DUI. If this happens to you, be aware you are NOT under an administrative license suspension and can freely drive your vehicle assuming you are not on any other type of suspension. At your first hearing the court has the power to issue what is known as a "public safety" suspension, however this is not mandatory.
Can I get driving privileges?
Yes. When you can get privileges is set forth here: If you refused the chemical test you are eligible for privileges: 1) 1st refusal in 6 years = After 30 days; 2) 2nd refusal in 6 years = After 90 days; 3) 3rd refusal in 6 years = After 1 year; 4) 4th or more in 6 years = After 3 years. If you took the chemical test and you tested over the legal limit you are eligible for privileges: 1) 1st in 6 years = After 15 days; 2) 2nd in 6 years = After 30 days; 3) 3rd in 6 years = After 180 days; 4) 4th or more in 6 years = After 3 years.
Can I challenge the Administrative License Suspension?
Yes. An ALS is challenged through an appeal that can be filed at the initial 5 day hearing or within 30 days after that hearing. The scope of the appeal is limited to whether one or more of the following conditions have not been met: 1)Did the arresting officer have REASONABLE GROUNDS to believe that you were in violation of the DUI law, and were you placed under arrest? 2) Did the officer REQUEST you to submit to a test? 3) Did the officer INFORM you of the consequences of taking or refusing the tests? 4) Did you REFUSE, or did you FAIL the chemical test.
When does the ALS terminate?
If you tested over the legal limit the ALS terminates if you are found "not guilty" at trial. If the case is dismissed the Judge may terminate the ALS suspension, but is not required to do so. If you refused the chemical test the ALS will stay in effect if you are found not guilty or if the case is dismissed unless the court declares the ALS void, or you win your appeal of the ALS.
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