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Will an OVI plea carry points on my Ohio Driver’s License?
Yes, a typical OVI conviction carries six (6) points on your Ohio Driver’s License. Also, be sure to review your citation to confirm exactly what you have charged with. It is common for drivers to receive accompanying charges in these traffic situations. For example, in OVI related matters, the police take an interest in the driver if their vehicle is swerving on the road. Thus, it is common for the driver to be cited for “Marked Lanes” in addition to the OVI. Marked Lanes carries 2 points, which is in addition to the 6 points for the OVI. It is important to remember that once a driver accumulates 12 points on their Ohio Driver’s License, they will receive a license suspension.
What are field sobriety tests?
Generally, when a driver is suspected of drunk driving, the police need to determine whether or not the driver may be under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicants. Think of field sobriety tests like pieces of a greater puzzle. None of the specific field sobriety tests will likely confirm that the driver is intoxicated. However, if the driver fails multiple field sobriety tests, then there are more pieces of the puzzle available for the police to build their case. Common examples of field sobriety tests include: one leg stand, walk and turn, heel to toe, HGN “pen test”, touching fingertip to nose, and portable breathalyzer test.
Are there other OVI clues that police look for?
Erratic driving and field sobriety tests are not the only indicators of drunk driving that the police may find. Impaired drivers may reveal other indicators of being under the influence such as slurred speach, glassy and bloodshot eyes, odor of alcohol, open or empty alcohol containers inside the vehicle, and in many times the driver will be cooperative with police and truthfully admit previous consumption.
What is the legal limit for alcohol in Ohio?
In Ohio, a driver is considered to be legally intoxicated if they have a blood alcohol level of .08 or greater. For drivers below age 21, this limit is substantially lower at .02 BAC. This is an important distinction and is intended to reduce underage drinking. Many drivers who are deemed to be legally intoxicated do not “feel drunk.” Factors such as your personal tolerance level, body size, and recent food intake may mask your level of intoxication. The best advise: If you have been drinking, get a designated driver or arrange for alternate transportation.
Does OVI automatically mean alcohol?
No, OVI stands for Operating a Vehicle under the Influence of an intoxicant. Most often, an OVI involves the use of alcohol, but the law applies to multiple other intoxicating sources. Some of the less common intoxicants may include marijuana, prescription medications, heroin, combinations of medications and drinks that have a negative reaction on the driver, and more. If you are taking a newly prescribed medicine, be sure to understand how it affects you before driving.
What are the penalties for an OVI conviction?
Most OVI convictions are a Misdemeanor of the first degree (M-1). In Ohio, 1st degree misdemeanors carry a maximum of 180 days in jail and up to a $1,000.00 fine. These are the two main consequences that people think of, but there are several more consequences that can make an OVI very costly: suspension of driver’s license, increased insurance rates, 6 points on your Ohio Driver’s License, attorney fees, court costs, medical expenses such as an alcohol assessment and possible post assessment medical treatments, BMV reinstatement fees, loss of work due to incarceration or lack of transportation, years of probation, and more. Of course, the biggest consequence could involve the injury or death of another person.
Repeat OVI offenders can expect an increased likelihood of extended jail time, higher court fines, and more extensive terms of probation. In certain situations, an OVI can be categorized as a felony.
While it is not guaranteed, many first time offenders are offered the alternative of attending a Driver Intervention Program (DIP). These programs have an associated fee and generally last about 3 days. The defendant is expected to remain onsite for the entire duration of the program.
What is the difference between OVI and Reckless Operation?
An OVI is generally considered to be a more serious offense than a Reckless Operation citation. While Reckless Operation can apply to poor driving, it can sometimes apply in alcohol or substance related cases. Under the Ohio Revised Code, a standard OVI conviction carries six (6) points on your Ohio Drivers License, whereas this version of Reckless Operation generally carries only four (4) points. Both are moving violations. Depending on the circumstances, the Prosecutor may offer a reduced charge of Reckless Operation (Misdemeanor 2nd Degree) in an OVI case for reasons such as evidentiary concerns or if the driver had a blood alcohol content barely over the legal limit. While the maximum amount of fines and jail time may be less than on OVI, harsh penalties can still be had. Before accepting any plea offer, you should consult with a skilled Toledo, Ohio OVI Defense Attorney. Loosely speaking, in many jurisdictions both OVI and Reckless Operation are considered to be related to some degree.