Ohio DUI Laws

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Ohio DUI laws state that any driver over the age of 21 cannot have a blood-alcohol level of 0.08% or higher. For drivers under the age of 21, the limit is 0.02%.
Each year, over 10,000 people in the US are killed on the road as a result of drunk driving crashes.
Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a dangerous crime and penalties vary by state. Even a first-time offense can cost drivers up to $10,000 in fines and legal fees—and it will most certainly impact your car insurance rates, too.
The car insurance comparison and broker app Jerry has compiled everything you need to know about DUI laws in Ohio.
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What is a DUI, DWI, or OVI?

A DUI refers to driving under the influence while a DWI means driving while intoxicated or impaired. OVI is a more uncommon term and means operating a vehicle under the influence.
Terminology and associated laws can vary by state. Ohio primarily uses OVI in reference to anyone driving with alcohol, drugs, or a combination of the two in their system.

DUIs in Ohio

In Ohio, it is illegal for drivers ages 21 and older to operate a vehicle with a blood-alcohol level of 0.08% or higher. For drivers under 21, that level is just 0.02%.
Drivers who are noticeably impaired with any blood alcohol level or above a certain threshold for controlled substance concentration can be charged with an OVI per se.
A BAC of 0.17% or higher constitutes an aggravated OVI, which carries more severe penalties.
Every state has an implied consent law stipulating that you consent to be tested if you’re suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
If you’re lawfully arrested for an OVI, you must submit to a urine, blood, or breath test. You do not have a right to consult with a lawyer before completing the test.

Penalties for DUI in Ohio

In Ohio, penalties for an OVI become more severe with each subsequent offense.
First offense
PenaltyDescription
Fine$375 to $1,075
Jail3 days to 6 months
License suspension1 to 3 years
Substance treatmentOptional
Limited license eligibilityAfter 15 days
Second offense
PenaltyDescription
Fine$525 to $1,625
Jail10 days to 6 months
License suspension1 to 7 years
Substance treatmentMandatory after assessment
Limited license eligibilityAfter 45 days
Third offense
PenaltyDescription
Fine$850 to $2,750
Jail30 days to 1 year
License suspension2 to 12 years
Substance treatmentMandatory after assessment
Limited license eligibilityAfter 180 days
Third-time offenders must complete all court-ordered treatment programs and attend community addiction services.

Restricted license

All drivers are eligible to apply for a restricted license, which offers limited driving privileges. An approved restricted license requires use of an ignition interlock device and continuous alcohol monitoring.
The conviction will outline the time you must wait before becoming eligible for a restricted license.
Key Takeaway Penalties for an OVI in Ohio are usually more severe if you had a high blood-alcohol concentration or if you’ve had previous offenses.
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Does a DUI impact car insurance in Ohio?

Yes, insurance companies take OVIs very seriously and you’ll be classified as a high-risk driver.
With an OVI on your record, you can reasonably expect that insurance carriers will charge you significantly higher rates or refuse to insure you entirely. That’s where Jerry can help. Jerry quickly gathers your info and presents you with quotes from dozens of top providers so that you don’t have to spend time reaching out to each company one by one.
Your insurance company will also be required to fill out an SR-22 to prove you have the state-mandated minimum insurance coverage.

Other effects of a DUI

Beyond the conviction penalties and higher insurance rates, OVIs can have some other lasting impacts on your life.
License revocation: After an OVI, you run the risk of having your license revoked if you’re charged with other serious offenses.
Ignition interlock device: All states have some type of ignition interlock program requiring drivers convicted of an OVI to install an interlock device in their vehicle to disable the engine if alcohol is detected on their breath.
Background checks: Your OVI will show up on a background check indefinitely, which can cause issues for future employment endeavors.

How to find cheap insurance after a DUI

Finding affordable insurance after an OVI conviction can be difficult on your own. No matter what your record looks like, Jerry can help. Once you choose a policy, Jerry will handle the phone calls, paperwork, and renewals for your top pick so that you don’t have to.
When your policy is up for renewal, Jerry is still on the job and will send you new quotes so you’re always paying the best price.
“I have a really bad record, so all of my previous insurance quotes were pretty high. I started using Jerry and the fantastic app saved me $130 a month on my insurance.” —Jett A.
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