A DUI charge (called "OVI" in Ohio) is a serious offense. Although charged as a first degree misdemeanor, a first DUI conviction in Ohio includes mandatory penalties, including three days in jail, high fines, and a license suspension for up to three years.
The potential penalties you could face on a first DUI charge in Ohio depends on whether you took a breath or other chemical test and whether you blew above or below a certain breath alcohol threshold.
“Low Test” OVI
If you were arrested for an OVI, opted to take a breath test, and blew below a .17, you would likely be charged with a "low test" or "per se" OVI. The potential penalties for a "low test" or "low tier" OVI include:
(1) 3 days to 6 months in jail: Often, if the minimum penalty is imposed, this mandatory jail time can be served in a certified driver intervention program.
(2) Six month to three year license suspension: After a certain period of time has passed, the judge might be willing to grant limited driving privileges for work and/or school.
(3) Fines: $375 to $1075.
"High Tier” OVI
If you were arrested for an OVI, opted to take a breath test, and blew at or above a .17, you would likely be charged with both a "per se" OVI and an additional "high tier" OVI charge. The potential penalties for a "high tier" OVI conviction are as follows:
(1) 6 days - 6 mothts in jail: If given the minimum 6 days in jail, 3 days may be served in jail and 3 days in a driver's intervention program.
(2) Fines: $375 to $1,075
(3) Driver's License Suspension: 6 months to 3 years. Driving privileges might be granted by the judge following a mandatory waiting period.
(4) Yellow "Party" License Plates: Mandatory
(5) Ignition Interlock: Judge might impose at his or her discretion.
In addition to these court-imposed penalties, a DUI conviction can affect future job prospects, car insurance rates and many other areas of your life. In many cases, there are defenses available to fight your Columbus first offense DUI charge. Speaking with a Columbus DUI attorney about potential defenses in your case is highly recommended to avoid jail time and other long-term consequences of a DUI conviction.
If you or a loved one need to speak with an attorney, Call Martin E Goff Today at (567) 298-4661
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