FAQ - Driver License Issues In DUI/OVI Cases

Q: Are there different types of license suspensions in DUI/OVI cases?
A:
There are two types of license suspensions associated with DUI/OVI cases - Administrative License Suspension, and Court Suspension. Administrative License Suspensions are administered by the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles when an individual charged with DUI/OVI refuses to take a chemical test, or if the defendant tests over the legal alcohol and/or drug limit. A Court Suspension of a driver license is ordered by the judge. It is part of the sentence if an individual is found guilty of DUI/OVI.

Q: What are Limited Driving Privileges?
A:
Limited Driving Privileges are issued by the court and allow a defendant in a DUI/OVI case to drive for specific reasons. In most cases, the scope of the driving privileges is limited to the following: work, school, medical appointments, license examination, and court-ordered treatment. Some courts also permit defendants to drive for other purposes.  In some cases, the court may impose conditions on the limited driving privileges. The court may require yellow license plates, an ignition interlock device, or a S.C.R.A.M. device. 

Q:  What Are Unlimited Driving Privileges?
A:  For first-time-offenders, courts can grant unlimited driving privileges with use of an ignition interlock device.  If this happens, driving is unlimited, the length of the license suspension may be reduced, and the jail sentence is suspended.  However, violating the driving privileges order leads to jail time, increased license suspension length and SCRAM monitoring.

Q: Is there a waiting period for Limited Driving Privileges?
A:
Yes, there is waiting period to apply for driving privileges. The waiting period varies based on the number of prior DUI / OVI convictions and the number of prior chemical test refusals. With an Administrative License Suspension (ALS), the waiting period is different for cases involving refusal of a chemical test and testing over the legal limit.

In ALS cases involving a refusal of a chemical test within a ten year period, the waiting period is as follows: first refusal or conviction is 30 days; second refusal or conviction is 90 days; third refusal or conviction is one year; and fourth (or more) refusal or conviction is three years. In ALS cases involving a chemical test over the legal limit within a ten year period, the waiting period is as follows: first conviction is 15 days; second conviction is 45 days; third conviction is 180 days; and fourth (or more) conviction is three years.

With a court suspension, the waiting period is as follows: no prior conviction in ten years is 15 days; one prior conviction in ten years is 45 days; two prior convictions in ten years is 180 days; and 3 prior convictions in ten years, or six prior convictions in 20 years is three years.

Q: Do I get a driver license with Limited Driving Privileges?
A:
No, you do not get a driver license with limited driving privileges. When a defendant is granted limited driving privileges, he or she does not receive a driver license card. Instead, defendants are given a judgment entry issued by the Court. The judgment entry identifies the exceptions of when and where a defendant may drive. The judgment entry must be kept with the driver at all times when operating a vehicle. In some cases, the defendant may be required to keep a driving log.

Q: How long will my license be suspended?
A:
The length of a driver license suspension varies for each case, depending on prior DUI/OVI convictions. In Administrative License Suspension (ALS) cases involving refusal of chemical test within a ten year period, the length of suspension is as follows: first refusal or conviction is one year; second refusal or conviction two years; third refusal or conviction is three years; and fourth (or more) refusal or conviction is five years. In ALS cases involving a chemical test over the legal limit within a ten year period, length of suspension is as follows: first conviction is 90 days; second conviction is one year; third conviction is two years; and fourth (or more) conviction is three years.

With a court suspension, the length of suspension is as follows: no prior conviction in ten years is six months to three years; one prior conviction in ten years is one to five years; two prior convictions in ten years is two to ten years; and 3 prior convictions in ten years, or 6 prior convictions in 20 years is three years to life.