OVI / DUI Administrative License Suspension

Administrative License Suspensions For DUI / OVI In Columbus And Central Ohio

Administrative License Suspensions (A.L.S.) are separate from license suspensions imposed by the court as part of the DUI / OVI sentence. If you are found guilty of DUI / OVI, the court will impose a ‘Court Suspension’ of your driver’s license as part of the sentence. The A.L.S., on the other hand, is imposed by the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles immediately if you refuse a breath test, blood test, or urine test, or if the result of the test is over the 'legal limit'. Details about the relationship between the A.L.S. and the court suspension are discussed on the Court Suspensions page of this website.

Implied Consent For Ohio DUI / OVI Cases

Ohio law contains a theory called “implied consent”. Anybody operating a vehicle in Ohio has implicitly consented to take a chemical test to determine the concentration of alcohol or drugs in that person’s blood, breath, or urine if that person is arrested for DUI/OVI or Physical Control. Implied consent also applies to any person that is dead or unconscious, or otherwise incapable of refusing the test.

If you are arrested for DUI / OVI, the arresting law enforcement officer will request that you consent to a breath test, blood test, urine test, or a combination of those tests. If you refuse to consent to a chemical test, an Administrative License Suspension is immediately imposed. If you consent to the test and the test result is at or over the prohibited concentration of alcohol or drugs, an Administrative License Suspension is imposed. If you consent to the test and the test result is below the prohibited concentration, no administrative license suspension is imposed.

In some cases, law enforcement may conduct a blood test even if you do not consent. If you refuse a chemical test, the law enforcement officer can obtain a search warrant to draw your blood involuntarily. For repeat offenders, Ohio law says law enforcement officers may use whatever reasonable means necessary to ensure that you submit to a blood test, even without a search warrant. The Constitutionality of an involuntary blood test without a warrant is questionable after the United States Supreme Court decision in Birchfield v. North Dakota.

If you are placed under an Administrative License Suspension, you may apply to the court for limited driving privileges. There is a waiting period to apply for driving privileges, and the length of the waiting period depends on the number of prior DUI / OVI convictions and the number of prior chemical test refusals.

A.L.S. TABLE FOR REFUSAL OF CHEMICAL TEST
Number of Refusals or Convictions in 10 yearsLength Of SuspensionWaiting period for driving privileges
1stone year30 days
2ndtwo years90 days
3rdthree yearsone year
4th or morefive yearsthree years
A.L.S. TABLE FOR TEST RESULT AT OR OVER PROHIBITED CONCENTRATION
Number of convictions in 10 yearsLength Of SuspensionWaiting period for driving privileges
1st90 days15 days
2ndone year45 days
3rdtwo years180 days
4th or morethree yearsthree years

Disclaimer: The A.L.S. law is complex and changes often. The information on this page reflects the basics of the A.L.S. law when this page was revised in 2017.

Strategies For Appealing The A.L.S. In DUI / OVI Cases

Although the A.L.S. is considered civil in nature and separate from the DUI/OVI case, the A.L.S. can be addressed in the context of the DUI / OVI case. The first hearing in the court process, the arraignment, is also a hearing on the Administrative License Suspension.

At or before the first hearing, your DUI / OVI attorney should address the A.L.S. in two ways. First, your attorney should file an appeal of the A.L.S. predicated upon the four bases established in Ohio law. Second, your attorney should file a motion to terminate the A.L.S. based on the officer’s lack of compliance with the A.L.S. procedures required by Ohio law.

At most arraignments, the court will not be able to hold a full hearing on the appeal and the motion to terminate, so the court may be willing to grant a stay of the A.L.S. If a stay is granted, your license is returned until a hearing can be held. If a stay is not granted, your attorney should request limited driving privileges that will be effective as soon as the waiting period concludes.

You can learn more about implied implied consent issues in my blog posts about Administrative License Suspensions.

Attorney For DUI / OVI Cases In Columbus And Central Ohio

The Dominy Law Firm is focused on DUI / OVI defense, and Shawn Dominy has extensive experience dealing with Administrative License Suspensions in Columbus and Central Ohio. For more information, please see the attorney profile, and the firm overview. You can also read what clients say and review past case results. Shawn Dominy limits the number of cases he accepts so he can provide outstanding service to his clients. If you would like to discuss how he can help with your DUI / OVI case, complete this CONTACT FORM or call 614-717-1177 to arrange a free consultation.