OVI / DUI Annie's Law In Ohio

Annie’s Law* Now In Effect For Ohio DUI / OVI Cases

Annie’s law became effective on April 6, 2017. Although the name “law” suggests it is one law, it actually involves one new statute and the revision of about 20 other statutes. The law, House Bill 388, impacts Ohio DUI / OVI in many ways, but there are three primary effects of the law:

  • License suspensions and other penalties increased
  • Ignition interlock devices are strongly encouraged
  • More individuals are categorized as ‘repeat offenders’
Annie’s Law Increases Driver License Suspension Length

In all OVI convictions, one mandatory aspect of the sentence is a driver license suspension. Annie’s law increased the length of the suspensions. This table summarizes the driver license suspensions for Ohio DUI / OVI convictions:

Offense In Ten Years

Old License Suspension

New License Suspension


6 months to 3 years

1 year to 3 years *


1 year to 5 years

1 year to 7 years


2 years to 10 years

2 years to 12 years


3 years to life

3 years to life

*This suspension length may be decreased, as described below.

Annie’s Law Strongly Encourages Use Of Ignition Interlock Devices

For a first-time offender, the use of an ignition interlock device has possible advantages. First, a defendant may be granted unlimited driving privileges (instead of limited driving privileges) with an ignition interlock. If a defendant is granted unlimited driving privileges with interlock, the length of the license suspension can be cut in half, so it can be as little as six months for a first offense. In addition, a defendant who is granted unlimited driving privileges with interlock has the jail sentences suspended.

Obtaining unlimited driving privileges with interlock has some possible disadvantages. The privileges are granted by court order. If there is a violation of the court order, three sanctions occur. First, the length of the license suspension is increased. Second, the defendant is required to undergo SCRAM monitoring. Third, the defendant must serve the jail sentence previously suspended.

Annie’s Law Leads To More Drivers Categorized As ‘Repeat Offenders’

In this context, ‘repeat offenses’ means those DUI/OVI convictions which occur within a certain period of time. That period of time is called the ‘lookback period’. For each DUI / OVI conviction within the lookback period, the penalties increase. Before Annie’s Law, the lookback period was six years. With the passage of Annie’s Law, the lookback period is ten years. That means any person convicted of a second offense (or more) within ten years, rather than six, will face increased penalties for the repeat offenses.

Additional Information About OVI / DUI In Ohio

Annie’s Law is an illustration of how complex Ohio DUI / OVI law has become. To help you learn more about DUI / OVI, this website has a multitude of pages about DUI / OVI topics. Most pages also have informational videos, and videos are also located on our YouTube channel,  the Dominy Law Firm YouTube channel. For a concise resource which answers most questions in one document, you can read the e-book ‘Ohio DUI / OVI Guide’. You can purchase the guide online in paperback and other formats, or you can download the free e-book version here.

OVI / DUI Law Firm In Columbus And Central Ohio

The Dominy Law Firm practices criminal defense with a focus on DUI / OVI defense in Columbus and Central Ohio. More information about us is available on the firm overview page. If you’re interested, you can also read our client reviews and past case results. We limit the number of clients accepted in order to provide outstanding service to each client. If you would like to discuss your DUI / OVI case, send us a message by email or call 614-717-1177 to arrange a free telephone consultation.

*Why Is It Called Annie’s Law?

The law is named for Annie Rooney. Annie was an attorney in Chillicothe, Ohio and was a member of the Ohio Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. In 2013, Annie was killed in an accident with a drunk driver, and the driver reportedly had multiple DUI / OVI convictions. Annie’s family lobbied the Ohio legislature to increase penalties for OVI convictions, and their efforts focused on repeat offenders and increased use of ignition interlock devices. With the support of M.A.D.D. and ignition interlock companies, the law was passed by the Ohio General Assembly in December of 2016.

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