In 2012, The Ohio State Highway Patrol reported 24,520 arrests for driving under the influence (DUI), amounting to a three percent increase from 2011 in statewide DUI arrests. While a DUI arrest may be a frightening experience, understanding Ohio DUI laws and getting competent legal advice is the most important step in facing a DUI charge.

There are a number of possible legal penalties for a DUI offense in Ohio including fines, points on your driver’s license, license suspension, vehicle impoundment and forfeiture, and even possible jail or prison time. Beyond the legal consequences, a DUI conviction will dramatically increase your insurance premiums, and you could be dropped by your carrier. There is also the potential for an DUI conviction could detrimentally impact your employment opportunities.

Considering all the ramifications of a DUI arrest, knowledgeable legal advice and skilled representation is crucial in order to protect your rights and prevent the most serious, life altering consequences.

Blood Alcohol Concentration

If you are pulled over by a police officer and suspected of DUI, you will be asked to take a sobriety test that involves a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test. Under Ohio’s implied consent law, if you refuse to submit to a BAC test you will be subject to a fine and automatic license suspension of at least one year.

In Ohio, there are three categories of DUI offenses with different presumptive BAC limits.

  • .02 BAC for drivers under the age of 21
  • .08 BAC drivers over the age of 21
  • .04 BAC for commercial vehicle drivers

It’s important for Ohio drivers to know that the presumptive BAC level is the level at which you are automatically considered to be legally impaired. Being under the presumptive BAC level does not mean you are not impaired if the roadside sobriety check indicates otherwise. You may be charged with DUI even with a BAC which measures below the legal limit. The only absolute legal alcohol limit is zero.

Ohio DUI Penalties

In Ohio, DUI is usually a misdemeanor crime. However, if you have three or more DUI convictions within the last six years, or five or more convictions within the last 20 years, an additional DUI offense would become a felony charge.

The following possible legal penalties for DUI are determined by the number of DUI convictions over a six year period. (Each may include additional penalties not listed – consult a Medina Attorney for exact penalties.)

1st DUI Conviction

  • Jail – 3 days minimum up to 6 months or,
  • Driver Intervention Program – For 3 days
  • Jail – 6 days for BAC of.17 or above
  • Fine – From $250 to $1,000
  • License Suspension – From 6 months to 3 years

2nd DUI Conviction

  • Jail – 10 days minimum and,
  • Electronic Home Monitoring – From 18 days to 6 months
  • Jail – 20 days for BAC of.17 or above
  • Fine – From $350 to $1,500
  • License Suspension – From 1 to 5 years
  • Yellow DUI license plates
  • Breath alcohol ignition interlock device required
  • Vehicle immobilization – 90 days
  • Driver Intervention Program

rd DUI Conviction

  • Jail – 30 days minimum
  • Jail – 60 days minimum for BAC of.17 or above
  • Fine – From $850 – $2750
  • license suspension – from 2 to 10 years
  • Mandatory alcohol treatment program
  • Vehicle forfeiture

More than 3 DUI Convictions in 6 years or more than 5 in 20 years (Felony Offense)

  • Lengthy jail or prison terms
  • Fine – From $1,350 to $10,500
  • License Suspension – From 3 years to life
  • Mandatory alcohol treatment program
  • Vehicle forfeiture

Your Legal Options

So what are your legal options if you are charged with DUI in Ohio.

The best legal option is to contact an experienced DUI attorney. If you have been arrested for DUI in the Brunswick, Medina, or Wadsworth Ohio areas, you will need an aggressive attorney who understands Ohio DUI law. Experienced criminal defense attorney Thomas Erb Jr., can help you in your effort to achieve the best possible outcome of your DUI case.

The Law Office of Erb Legal LLC located in Medina, Ohio offers convenient payment options for Ohio DUI cases, including flat fees and retainer agreements. Flat fees are offered on a case by case basis. For more information, contact the Law Office of Erb Legal LLC at {P:P3:SUB:PHONE}.

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