OVI And Ignition Interlock Laws In Ohio

ignition interlockOhio uses the term operating vehicle impaired (OVI) to classify drunk drivers, and the state’s OVI laws have been under scrutiny recently as some lawmakers push for ignition interlock program for all offenders in an attempt to decrease OVI-related deaths and injuries.

A first OVI offense in the state of Ohio will result in the following penalties:

•    Jail time for 3 days up to 6 months
•    Fines ranging from $375 to $1,075
•    Court imposed driver’s license suspension ranging from six months to 3 years
•    Possible alcohol and drug assessment and treatment program
•    Ignition interlock program is possible after six months of driver’s license suspension

Ohio also has administrative penalties that are separate from court-ordered penalties and are effective as soon as you blow into a breathalyzer and register a blood alcohol content (BAC) over .08 or if you refuse a breathalyzer test. First time offenders will have their driver’s license immediately seized and it will remain suspended for a period of 3 months.

A second OVI offender in Ohio will be subject to the following penalties:

•    Jail time from 10 days up to 6 months
•    Fines payable from $525 up to $1,625
•    Administrative license suspension for 1 year
•    Court ordered license suspension for 1 to 5 years
•    Possible house arrest with alcohol monitoring
•    Possible vehicle seizure for 90 days
•    Possible ignition interlock if driver is eligible for a restricted driver’s license after one year suspension

Ohio currently does not have an ignition interlock law requiring first offenders to install the device in all vehicles they drive, but that’s set to change if Annie’s Law is passed. The law was named for Annie Rooney, an attorney in Ohio who was killed by a drunk driver. As of late 2014, Annie’s Law was still being debated.

For more information on Ohio’s OVI laws, visit Guardian Interlock’s Ohio page.

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