DUI Laws in Ohio

Laws and penalties for DUI in Ohio.

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In Ohio, you can get a DUI if you drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher, regardless of whether your driving ability was actually impaired. And the law in Ohio says that if you are driving a vehicle, you have given consent to submit to a chemical test for the purpose of determining the amount of alcohol in your blood. Here are some details on the consequences of refusing to take a chemical test in Ohio and other details about Ohio DUI law.

In Ohio, what are the consequences of refusing to take a chemical test (usually a breathalyzer or blood test) when suspected of DUI?

Here are the consequences for not taking a breathalyzer or blood test in Ohio, broken out by whether this is your first, second, or third offense:

1st offense

2nd offense

3rd offense

1 year suspension of license

2 year suspension of license

2 year suspension of license

 

In Ohio, when do police have to measure your blood alcohol content (BAC)?

In Ohio, law enforcement officers are supposed to measure your BAC at the time of driving. However, prosecutors may be able to prove your culpability for DUI even if your BAC is taken later than this time.

What is the maximum BAC for drivers under 21 in Ohio?

In Ohio, the maximum blood alcohol content (BAC) for drivers who are under 21 (considered minors under some drinking and driving laws) is .02%.

What are the minimum jail times for a DUI in Ohio?

Here are the minimum jail times for a DUI in Ohio, broken out by whether this is your first, second, or third offense:

1st offense

2nd offense

3rd offense

No minimum required jail term

10 days jail

30 days jail

 

How long will prior DUI convictions remain relevant for sentencing purposes in Ohio?

In Ohio, prior DUI convictions stay on your record (and can be counted against you when you are being sentenced for another DUI/DWI offense) for 6 years.

Can a DUI be “pleaded down” to a "wet reckless" in Ohio?

In some circumstances, a plea bargain of "wet reckless" might be accepted by the prosecution in your state. A "wet reckless," or a conviction of reckless driving involving alcohol, is usually made as a result of a plea bargain in which a charge of drunk driving is reduced to a case of reckless driving. A plea bargain of wet reckless might occur when the amount of alcohol is borderline illegal, there was no accident, and the defendant has no prior record. But if there is a subsequent drunk driving conviction, the "wet reckless" is usually considered a prior drunk driving conviction; the resulting sentence can be what's required for a second DUI/DWI conviction. If you are interested in trying to make a plea for a wet reckless, you'll need the help of a lawyer.

If you are interested in contacting a lawyer, you can find a DUI lawyer in your area in Nolo's Lawyer Directory.

Are ignition interlock devices (IIDs) required for convicted DUI offenders in Ohio?

They are not required but if a defendant wants to drive during the period of license suspension (which is, at a minimum: 6 months for first offense; 1 year for second offense; 3 years for third offense), the person may drive if they use an ignition interlock device..

Where can I get more information about DUI laws in Ohio?

Nolo's DUI/DWI topic has many helpful articles, including a Drunk Driving, DUI, and DWI FAQ. For more help after a DUI arrest, see Nolo's Lawyer Directory, where you can view in-depth profiles of Ohio DUI attorneys in your area.

Last updated on 09/01/2010.

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