What’s The Difference Between An OVI And A DUI In Ohio?

Alcoholic drink on a glass with ice and car keys

Is There a Difference Between OVI and DUI in Ohio?

DUI (Driving Under the Influence) and OVI (Operating a Vehicle while Impaired) are interchangeable terms, so while OVI is a common term used in Ohio, both DUI and OVI refer to driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. It is a crime to operate a vehicle while impaired in Ohio.

OVI and DUI Defined

DUI and OVI refer to the same thing: driving or operating a vehicle while impaired or under the influence of drugs or alcohol. And while most people associate vehicles with cars only, it is essential to note that vehicles include automobiles, bicycles, motorcycles, and even horse-drawn carriages. In Ohio, operating a vehicle while impaired means that you were doing one or more of the following:

  • Operating your vehicle with a 0.08% blood alcohol content level or a urine alcohol concentration of 0.1% or beyond.
  • Driving a vehicle with a specific type of illegal controlled substance in the body.
  • Driving while under the influence of certain illegal drugs, regardless of their concentration in the urine or blood.

What Happens If You Get Charged with an OVI?

To be charged with OVI in Ohio, you must have a blood alcohol content of 0.08% and higher. The concentration level reduces to 0.02% for drivers under 21 years and 0.04% for commercial drivers. In addition, to be charged with operating a vehicle while impaired, the arresting officer will acknowledge that you were exhibiting erratic behavior at the time of the arrest. You will be convicted of an OVI if it is proven beyond reasonable doubt that you operated the vehicle while impaired.

It’s important to note that Ohio operates under implied consent law meaning, if you operate any vehicle on private or public property, you’re acknowledging that you have given consent for a drug or alcohol content test. If you fail to comply with the test, you may face additional drunk driving penalties, hefty fines, and a license suspension.

To be convicted of an OVI, the prosecutor must prove that you were impaired by alcohol and/or drugs while operating a motor vehicle. Sometimes, your OVI charge might be reduced if you do not have a prior OVI record.

The Penalties for a first lifetime OVI or DUI

OVI offenders in Ohio must face penalties for the offense. Here are the common penalties that come with a first ever simple OVI conviction in Ohio:

  • Jail time of between 3 days to 6 months
  • License suspension for at least six months to 3 years
  • A license reinstatement fee of $475
  • A fine of between $375 and $1075

In addition, you may also face additional penalties like:

  • Increased insurance rates
  • Denial of particular professional licenses
  • Limited educational and job opportunities

Get in Touch with a Cincinnati DUI Attorney

At Herzner Law, we acknowledge that blood testing and breathalyzers are prone to errors and that the police might poorly carry out their investigations. Therefore, we maximize on these issues to ensure your rights are upheld. Contact us to schedule a consultation, and let’s establish a defense strategy that suits your best interests.

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