OVI / DUI Sentences In Ohio

Penalties For DUI / OVI Convictions In Columbus And Central Ohio

The sentence for an Ohio DUI / OVI conviction always consists of jail time, a license suspension, a fine, court costs, points on your license, and a license reinstatement fee. The sentence may also include yellow license plates, an ignition interlock device, vehicle immobilization or forfeiture, secure continuous remote alcohol monitoring (S.C.R.A.M.), alcohol/drug treatment, and probation. The sentence for repeat DUI/OVI offenses is increasingly severe and may lead to inclusion in the DUI/OVI habitual offender registry. The table below summarizes the sentences imposed by judges for DUI/OVI convictions. In addition to the sentence imposed by the judge, there are secondary consequences of Ohio DUI / OVI convictions that can be devastating.

Alternatives To Harsh Penalties For Ohio DUI / OVI Convictions

You do not have to plead guilty to a DUI/OVI and accept the harsh consequences. In most cases, hiring an effective DUI / OVI lawyer in Columbus, Ohio and contesting the charges leads to a better outcome. Some people believe it’s impossible to get DUI/OVI charges dismissed or reduced, and other people seem to believe it’s easy. The truth is somewhere in between. It’s not easy, but it’s possible, and it happens in most of my cases. You cannot get your case over with quickly and get the DUI/OVI charge dismissed or reduced; you will have to choose one or the other. If you are interested in contesting the DUI / OVI charge, you will need an attorney with expertise in field sobriety tests, breath tests, blood tests, and urine tests, as well as experience with DUI / OVI investigations and the DUI/OVI court process.

Specific Sentences For DUI / OVI Charges

For Ohio DUI/OVI convictions, there are mandatory minimum sentences, and there is also a wide range of possible sentences. For example, on a first offense, the mandatory minimum jail sentence is three days (and can be satisfied by a driver intervention program), but the jail sentence can actually be as long as six months. The minimum and maximum sentences depend on how many times you have been convicted of DUI/OVI in the last ten years and the last 20 years.

The following table summarizes the sentences for DUI / OVI. If the conviction is for a ‘high test’ (blood alcohol concentration over .170) or a ‘test refusal with prior conviction’ (in the last 20 years), the minimum jail sentence is doubled. As a disclaimer, please note that this table is a very simplified summary of DUI/OVI sentencing, there are variations to these sentences, city codes may have different details, and the sentences seem to be changed frequently by the state legislature.

Offense Number Jail Sentence Fine License Suspension Time w/o Privileges Immob. Forfeiture Yellow Plates
First in
10 years
3 days to 6 months$375 to $1,0751 year to
3 years
15 daysNoMaybe
Second in
10 years
10 days to 6 months$525 to $1,6251 year to
7 years
45 days90 daysYes
Third in
10 years
30 days to 1 year$850 to $2,7502 years to 12 years180 daysForfeitureYes
Felony (First)60 days to 30 months$1,350- $10,5003 years to Life3 yearsForfeitureYes
Felony (Second)60 days to 5 years$1,350- $10,5003 years to Life3 yearsForfeitureYes
Attorney For DUI / OVI Cases In Columbus And Central Ohio

My practice is focused on DUI / OVI defense, and I represent clients charged with DUI/OVI in Columbus and Central Ohio. For more information about me, please see my profile, and for more details about my practice, please see the firm overview. You can also read what clients say and review my past case results. I limit the number of cases I accept so I can provide personal service to my clients. If you would like to discuss how I can help with your DUI / OVI case, EMAIL ME or call me at 614-717-1177 to arrange a free consultation.