OVI in Ohio stands for “operating a vehicle while impaired.” This is the legal term for the more commonly phrased “DUI” or “DWI.” In Ohio, OMVI was the term used for OVI prior to 2004. It stood for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Thereafter, the law was changed in Ohio and the requirement that the vehicle be motorized was removed. Under current law, you will be charged with OVI. Thus, there is no difference between all of these terms as they are different ways of stating the same thing: operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
Under Ohio law, it is unlawful to operate a vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of 0.08 or above. For underage drivers, the BAC level is 0.02 or above. The penalties for a DUI/OVI in Ohio depend on a number of factors, including whether you have any previous DUI/OVI convictions, whether you cooperated with law enforcement as required under Ohio’s implied consent law, and whether there was an accident.
For a 1st DUI/OVI conviction, you are facing a mandatory minimum of 3 days in jail and a maximum 6 months in, a fine of $375-$1075, and a driver’s license suspension of 6 months to multiple years. These penalties escalate for subsequent DUI/OVI offenses and for “high-test” DUI/OVI offenses (where the person’s BAC is 0.17 or above).
In addition to these penalties, you are facing higher car insurance rates, points on your driver’s license, a reinstatement fee, yellow license plates, ignition interlock device, secure continuous remote alcohol monitoring (SCRAM), and negative effects on your employment and professional licenses. Repeat DUI/OVI offenders may be placed on the Habitual Offender Registry.
If you have been charged with DUI/OVI in Ohio, it is imperative that you consult with an attorney immediately. Your attorney will begin by filing for discovery, reviewing the evidence and dashcam video, and filing suppression motions. This time is also critical for developing a defense for your case.
There are several prominent defenses in Ohio for DUI/OVI. First, the testing of your blood, urine or breath can lead to false results if the tests were not administered properly. These tests can be inconclusive, tainted by outside factors, or the machine you were tested on (breathalyzer) may not have been calibrated properly.
Other possible defenses include the arresting officer not properly administering field sobriety tests, drawing improper conclusions from those tests, not reading you your Miranda rights, violating your Miranda rights, and not having probable cause to stop your vehicle.
Columbus and Delaware, Ohio DUI/OVI Defense Attorney
If you have been charged with DUI/OVI in Columbus or Delaware, Ohio, contact Johnson Legal, LLC and speak with an experienced criminal defense 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.