Until recently, the scope of driving privileges in Ohio for DUI / OVI suspensions was quite limited. A person on limited driving privileges was not permitted to go to the grocery store, drive their children to extra-curricular activities, care for an elderly parent, or even attend counseling unless it was court-ordered. However, this changed recently when the state legislature revised Ohio’s law regarding limited driving privileges.
The revised law in Ohio can be found under R.C. 4510.021. That section provides courts with the authority to grant limited driving privileges for driver’s license suspensions, including DUI / OVI suspensions. It has been revised on several occasions. Prior to 2004, the law provided only for occupational driving privileges. However, in 2004 the statute was revised to expand driving privileges and permitted courts to grant them for the following:
- Occupational, educational, vocational, or medical purposes;
- Taking the driver’s or commercial driver’s license examination;
- Attending court-ordered treatment.
The recent September 2016 change further expands the scope of permissible driving privileges by including the above-listed purposes and the new catch-all, “Any other purpose the court determines appropriate.”
This expansion of permissible limited driving privileges applies for both types of driver’s license suspensions in Ohio – Administrative License Suspension and DUI / OVI Court Suspension. An Administrative License Suspension is imposed by the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles is a person refuses a breath, urine or blood test or tests over the legal limit. A DUI / OVI Court Suspension is imposed by the judge as part of the sentencing of a person if the person enters a guilty plea or is found guilty at trial.
With this revision to the driving privileges law, judges have almost limitless discretion regarding limited driving privileges. A judge can now take into account a person’s unique situation and authorize driving privileges to accommodate those circumstances, such as caring for an elderly parent.
However, the application of this new provision will depend, in large part, upon the judge. The permissible scope of driving privileges now is very broad – from no driving at all to driving for any purpose the judge deems appropriate. Each judge will have a different opinion on what he or she deems appropriate.
In addition to different approaches on what is appropriate for limited driving privileges, each court has different procedures. Some courts require a person to pay all of their fines and court costs before driving privileges will be granted. Other courts require a favorable alcohol assessment prior to granting limited driving privileges. This process for applying for limited driving privileges can take a few minutes to several weeks. Unfortunately, the revised law regarding the scope of limited driving privileges does not set forth a uniform standard on the process of obtaining them.
DUI / OVI Attorney – Columbus and Delaware, Ohio
If you have been charged with DUI / OVI in Columbus or Delaware, Ohio, contact Johnson Legal, LLC and speak with an experienced 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 and Delaware County