Following an OVI (Operating a Vehicle Under the Influence) charge, it is very common for individuals to have questions. OVI defense in Ohio can be difficult, and if you have been charged with this offense, you need to be aware of the laws and penalties surrounding this crime.

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions related to OVI.


Do all cities in Ohio have the same OVI codes and penalties?

No. Depending on which city or municipality you find yourself in, you may have to deal with stricter sentencing procedures. Municipality codes have priority over state codes, which means that each individual city is able to set its own sentencing procedures.

According to Ohio OVI law, what are some of the penalties that follow convictions?

If found of guilty of OVI or an OVI-related offense, individuals may have to deal with hefty court costs, fines, license suspension, increased costs for license reinstatement, mandatory enrollment in a drug and/or alcohol treatment program, or an ignition interlocking devices on your vehicle that prohibits you from driving until you are able to confirm your sobriety.

Is it legal to drink and drive in Ohio if I am not impaired?

No. Even if you are not impaired, you can still be charged with OVI if you are found consuming an alcoholic beverage while operating a motor vehicle in the state of Ohio.

Can I still be charged with OVI if my blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level was below the legal limit?

Yes. If the law enforcement officer conducting your traffic stop deems you too impaired to operate a motor vehicle, you can still be charged with OVI.

Does my car have to be in motion for me to charged with OVI?

No. You can still be charged and convicted of OVI if you are found to be in physical control of your motor vehicle while impaired. Physical control is typically defined as being in possession of the vehicle’s ignition key and being located in the vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.

Can I refuse to take a field sobriety test?

Drivers in Ohio have the right to refuse a field sobriety test, but this can come with consequences. You may receive an administrative license suspension if you choose not to submit to a law enforcement officer’s field sobriety testing.

Do police officers have the right to conduct a blood test without approval first receiving approval from a judge?

Under current laws, law enforcement officials are able to conduct a blood test without court invention. Police officers are allowed to use whatever force they deem necessary to obtain a blood sample if the suspect has been convicted of 2+ OVI offenses within the previous 5 years, or 5+ offenses within the previous 20 years.

Can I contest my OVI charges if I failed a field sobriety test?

Individuals who have failed a field sobriety or chemical test still have the right to contest their charges. Defendants who plan on fighting their charges should always first receive consultation from a criminal defense attorney experienced in handling cases related to OVI.

How long does it take to contest an OVI charge?

The length of your case will be unique to you. Case length is always dependant on the unique circumstances of the situation at hand.

Is it easy to reduce an OVI charge?

In some cases, individuals who are facing their first OVI charge may be able to completely dismiss their charge, or reduce it to something less severe, such as reckless operation or obstruction of highway. However, this is dependant on many different factors, such as the unique facts of your specific case. First-time OVI charges are sometimes able to be reduced, but it is always recommended to speak with a criminal defense attorney before setting any expectations.

Is it bad to have multiple OVIs?

Yes. While a first OVI may carry minimum consequences such as small fines and a short driver’s license suspension, receiving a second, third, and subsequent OVI conviction will carry severe consequences, including lengthy jail sentences that are mandatory upon being convicted of this crime.

What is implied consent?

According to Ohio law, individuals who possess and utilize their driver’s license (by driving on public roads) have implicitly consented to a chemical test in order to measure the chemical concentration of alcohol (or drugs) in an individual’s blood, urine, or breath upon being arrested for OVI. Refusing this testing can result in an administrative license suspension.

Can I represent myself in my OVI case?

Ohio citizens and citizens across America have the right to self-representation, but this is never recommended. Legal experts around the country all agree that legal self-representation can lead to terrible consequences.

Most people do not understand the many factors of OVI defense. In the state of Ohio, each municipality has its own sentencing procedures. As a result of this, each individual courtroom, judge, or prosecutor may differ, resulting in unique obstacles that may not be able to be overcome by solely relying on self-representation. By hiring a criminal defense attorney, you will be able to align yourself with a legal professional that understands the process of OVI defense.

Resources for OVI in Columbus, Ohio

Ohio Impaired Driving Law Chart - This link takes you to a resource created by the Garfield Heights Municipal Court. Here, you can learn more about the penalties of OVI, and the consequences of a failed or refused chemical test in Ohio.

Ohio Revised Code, Section 4511.19 - This takes you to the official website of Ohio Laws and Rules. Here, you can read Section 4511.19 of the Ohio Revised Code, where you can learn more about the details of what is considered OVI (Operating a Vehicle Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs) in the state of Ohio.

Sabol Mallory | OVI Defense Lawyer Columbus OH

OVI convictions can have a lasting negative impact on your life. It has the power to make your auto insurance rates more expensive. It has the power to cause your license to be suspended for years at a time, resulting in a lifestyle disruption and an overall decrease in independence. It can cause you to attend court-mandated anti-alcoholism programs, and it can even cause you to lose your career.

Don’t let your Columbus, Ohio OVI charges ruin your life. With the help of Sabol Mallory LLC, you may be able to dismiss or reduce your charges. Our team of experienced litigation experts has been working with OVI and OVI-related cases for years, and our priority is making sure you have a proper defense to your charges. Contact us today at 614-300-5088 to learn more about our legal services and schedule your free consultation with a member of our team.

The information provided on this site is for general information purposes only. The information you obtain at this website is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your own individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contact Us today for more information.
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