Ohio OVI/DUI License Suspensions Explained
For anyone who has been charged with ORC 4511.19 Operating a Vehicle Under the Influence (OVI) in Ohio knows that the most immediate collateral impact of being charged comes from the inability to drive.
Administrative License SuspensionsThere are a number of different scenarios that can lead to the imposition of an ALS suspension, but the most common are a suspect’s breath test over the legal alcohol limit of .08 or a suspect’s outright refusal to provide a breath sample. The easiest way to explain the consequences of each decision is to first start with the number of OVI charges an individual client has. For purposes of this article I’m assuming my client has not previously been charged with OVI.
On the night of this client’s arrest for OVI they will be given the option at the police station to provide a breath sample. If this client decides to give the police officer evidence and provides a breath sample over .08 there is an immediate imposition of an ALS suspension. However, because the client did provide a sample, there is only a 15 day waiting period before a judge can issue driving privileges. If the client, on the night of their arrest, decides not to give the police officer evidence and declines to provide a breath sample there is, again, an immediate imposition of a license suspension. The refusal to provide a sample results in a 30 day waiting period before a judge can issue driving privileges.
The legislature further complicates the issue of driving privileges by taking a look back at the suspect’s history. If the suspect has previously been convicted of OVI, the rules change. If the suspect gives a urine sample, the rules change. The law around the imposition and enforcement of ALS suspensions is complicated, at best. Anyone charged with an OVI should consult with an attorney immediately to clear up any issues there may be with the license suspension imposed by the BMV.
Driving Under SuspensionIt should also be noted that it’s a terrible idea to drive before privileges are issued, or outside of the privileges granted by a judge. The mandatory minimum penalty upon conviction for such offense results in a mandatory minimum 3 day jail sentence, up to a maximum of 6 months. The OVI charge that put the suspension in place also carries a mandatory minimum 3 day jail sentence. Each charge is significant and should be taken seriously. Consultation with legal counsel is imperative.