FAQ - Underage DUI / OVI
Q: What is the key difference in an Underage DUI / OVI case?
A: The key difference in an underage DUI / OVI case is that the blood alcohol limit is significantly lower for a driver under the age of twenty-one. The prohibited blood alcohol level for an underage driver is .02, one-fourth as much as the .08 blood alcohol level prohibited for a person twenty-one years of age or older.
Q: Do officers treat underage DUI / OVI stops differently than a regular DUI / OVI stop?
A: Even though the blood alcohol limit is much lower in an underage drunk driving case, law enforcement officers conduct the same DUI / OVI investigation as they would for a twenty-one or older driver. In either instance, officers look for clues that a vehicle is being operated by an individual who is under the influence. Officers observe the vehicle while it is moving and also during personal contact with the driver after stopping the vehicle. If the officer finds clues that the driver is intoxicated, the officer will administer field sobriety tests. After administering field sobriety tests, if the officer still feels that the driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the officer will arrest the driver and ask the individual to submit to a chemical test (breath, blood, or urine). If the driver is underage, he or she is charged with DUI / OVI, Operating a Vehicle after Underage Consumption (OVUAC), or both.
Q: What are the charges for underage drunk driving?
A: In Ohio, an individual under the age of twenty one who has a blood alcohol test result over .02, but under .08, is usually charged with Operating a Vehicle after Underage Consumption (OVUAC). If the blood-alcohol test result is over .08, the underage individual is charged with OVI / DUI “per se”, and receives an Administrative License Suspension. In addition to the OVUAC or OVI “per se” charge, there is often a charge of OVI (DUI) “impaired”. An OVI “impaired” charge is based on impaired driving ability, and does not depend upon the result of a chemical alcohol test.
Q: Are underage drunk driving charges filed in adult or juvenile court?
A: If the driver is 18 or over, the charges are filed in adult court. If the driver is under 18, charges are filed juvenile court. If the charges are filed in juvenile court, the court process is slightly different. Sentencing for an individual under the age of twenty-one differs depending upon whether the case is in adult court or juvenile court.
Q: What are the penalties for Operating a Vehicle after Underage Consumption in adult court?
A: An individual convicted of OVUAC in adult court may face the following sentence for a first offense: 1) imprisonment up to thirty days; 2) a fine of up to $250; 3) a license suspension of up to two years; 4) yellow license plates; 5) alcohol treatment program; 6) sixty-day mandatory waiting period for limited driving privileges; and 7) probation. An individual convicted of a second O.V.U.A.C. in adult court may face the following sentence: 1) imprisonment up to sixty days; 2) a fine of up to $500; 3) a license suspension of up to five years; 4) yellow license plates; 5) alcohol treatment program; 6) sixty-day mandatory waiting period for limited driving privileges; and 7) probation.
Q: What are the penalties for Operating a Vehicle after Underage Consumption in juvenile court?
A: An individual convicted (adjudicated) of OVUAC in juvenile court may face the following sentence (disposition): 1) a license suspension of up to two years; 2) a fine; 3) alcohol treatment program; and 4) probation. For an individual adjudicated of OVI in juvenile court, the disposition may also include confinement in a detention facility for up to five days.
Our practice is focused on DUI / OVI defense, and we have experience with underage DUI / OVI cases. For more information about us, please see the firm overview. You can also see what clients say and review our past case results. We limit the number of cases we accept so we can provide outstanding service to our clients. If you would like to discuss how we can help with your DUI / OVI, EMAIL US or call us at 614-717-1177 to arrange a free consultation.