On April 6, 2017, House Bill 388, commonly known as “Annie’s Law,” went into effect. This bill increased the penalties for DUI / OVI in Ohio. This legislation is not one law, but a revision and update of almost 20 statutes and the creation of a new one. The law provides for increased driver’s license suspensions, encourages the use of ignition interlock devices, and allows for more individuals to be punished as repeat offenders.
Does Annie’s Law Change Anything for First Time DUI / OVI Offenders?
Yes. The previous law required DUI / OVI offenders to serve three or six days in jail if the individual did not have a previous DUI / OVI conviction within the past six years depending on the results of a chemical test (i.e., breathalyzer, urine or blood test). This six year rule is called a “look back period.” The new law extends the look back period to ten years.
Also, the previous law required a minimum driver’s license suspension of six months, with individuals being able to apply for limited driving privileges. Annie’s law requires at least a one year license suspension, but the suspension can be reduced to six months if the offender requests and the court grants limited driving privileges with an ignition interlock device.
Finally, the court can suspend all of the jail time if the person did not test positive for alcohol. However, if the individual tested positive for alcohol, the court must impose a jail term.
Changes for Repeat DUI / OVI Offenders in Ohio
For second time DUI / OVI offenders, the previous law required a minimum one year driver’s license suspension with a maximum suspension of five years. However, Annie’s Law increases the maximum suspension to seven years. Moreover, the previous law required 90 days immobilization, but the new law allows the court to suspend the immobilization period of the individuals has limited driving privileges with ignition interlock.
For third time DUI / OVI offenders, the previous law required a minimum driver’s license suspension of two years with a maximum suspension of ten years. Annie’s Law increases the maximum suspension to twelve years, but the court may cut the suspension in half if the offender has an ignition interlock. This would allow for a minimum driver’s license suspension of one year.
Ignition Interlock Strongly Encouraged for Ohio DUI / OVI
Annie’s Law incentivizes the use of ignition interlock devices. An ignition interlock devices requires the driver to blow into a tube for the vehicle to start and remain running. If the driver tests positive for alcohol, the vehicle will not start or will turn off. While the law does not require defendants to use ignition interlock devices, it strong encourages courts to do so.
Previously, the scope of driving privileges that a court could grant was limited. Annie’s Law, however, provides an option for first time DUI / OVI offenders to obtain “unlimited driving privileges” if the person uses an ignition interlock device. The new law also permits courts to reduce the length of the driver’s license suspension it must impose by up to half if the person uses ignition interlock.
Moreover, the new law requires that the court suspend any jail term for a first time DUI / OVI. This means that a first time DUI / OVI offender can be granted unlimited driving privileges with ignition interlock, have the driver’s license suspension reduced from one year to six months, and avoid serving any jail term.
However, if the person violates a term or condition imposed by the court who granted unlimited driving privileges, the offender will be sanctioned. While the law is ambiguous on what sanctions can be imposed, it appears that a violation of the order will result in a jail sentence, longer driver’s license suspension and the use of a SCRAM (secure continuous remote alcohol monitoring) device.
Annie’s Law Will Increase the Number of DUI / OVI “Repeat Offenders” in Ohio
In Ohio, if a person has a prior conviction for DUI / OVI, their sentence will be enhanced if the prior DUI / OVI occurred during the “look back period.” This “look back period” has been increased from six to ten years. For example, if a person was convicted of DUI / OVI in 2009 and convicted of a second DUI / OVI in 2017, the person would only be subject to a mandatory three day jail sentence because the second DUI / OVI did not occur within the six year look back period.
However, with Annie’s Law, the look back period would now cover the 2009 DUI / OVI conviction and the individual would be subject to a mandatory 10 day jail term.
Columbus and Delaware, Ohio DUI / OVI Attorney
If you have been charged with DUI / OVI in Columbus or Delaware, Ohio, contact Johnson Legal, LLC and speak with an experienced Columbus and Delaware, Ohio DUI / OVI attorney. Attorney David Johnson of Johnson Legal, LLC will discuss your case and assist you in fighting the charges. Call (614) 987-0192 or send an email to schedule a consultation regarding your DUI / OVI case.
Johnson Legal, LLC serves the following cities in the central Ohio area for DUI / OVI Defense:
Westerville, Worthington, Columbus, Polaris, Reynoldsburg, Grandview Heights, Shawnee Hills, Bexley, Pickerington, Gahanna, Sunbury, Powell, Upper Arlington, New Albany, Dublin, Hilliard, Lewis Center, Galena, Clintonville, Huber Ridge, Blacklick, Grove City, Delaware, Marysville, Groveport, Newark, Canal Winchester, Obetz, Marion, Mt. Gilead, Pataskala, Granville, Whitehall, Franklin County, Morrow County, Licking County, Union County, Madison County and Delaware County