what are the penalties for underage dui in ohio
Underage DUI in Ohio carries serious penalties, such as hefty fines, potential jail time, and license suspensions. Young drivers might not be aware that these consequences far outweigh the consequences of being pulled over for other infractions such as speeding. The message is simple – there is no excuse to drink and drive, no matter your age.
In Ohio, the law is clear and simple: If you are under the age of 21 and caught behind the wheel with any amount of alcohol in your system, you are considered a Driving Under the Influence (DUI) offender and can face penalties for breaking the law. First-time offenders will face a minimum $375 fine, an alcohol/drug use assessment or educational class, and a drivers license suspension lasting anywhere from six months to three years or more.
Ohio also has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to underage drinking, meaning that if you are under the age of 21 and caught with any measurable amount of alcohol in your system when pulled over, you can face DUI charges and the consequences that come with them. Penalties within Ohio can also vary based on the age of the offender, the amount of alcohol that was in the offenders system, and whether or not there were any other offenses involved.
So what else can you expect if you are pulled over and charged with an underage DUI in Ohio? You risk having your vehicle impounded and your drivers license suspended or revoked, and you may be required to take part in court-ordered alcohol/drug education or assessment programs. Depending on the severity of your offense, you could even serve a jail sentence or be placed on probation.
Furthermore, you should also be aware of an ignition interlock device, which you will be required to install in your car after a DUI violation. Ignition interlocks are devices that prevent your car from starting until you blow a breath sample into the interlock device, which measures your BAC. After you register a BAC below the set limit, the car will start.
If you choose to move out of state following an underage DUI conviction in Ohio, you will still have to complete any remaining education or assessment classes. Also, if you choose to move out of state, any fines you still owe or further license suspensions will still be applicable in Ohio, even after youve gone.
Another consequence of an underage DUI in Ohio is that you may be prevented from entering or visiting other countries, including Canada. While technically you are not a criminal under Ohio law until you have been convicted, the Canadian government currently regards anyone who has been charged with an underage DUI as a criminal in their country and may deny entry altogether.
Finally, the aftermath of an underage DUI can follow you even after youve paid your fines and served your license suspension. Many states, including Ohio, require employers to ask applicants about prior convictions for DUIs. This can impact your ability to find a job and may limit your educational options, as many colleges may also ask about prior convictions.
If you are convicted of a second or third DUI offense in Ohio, you may face further penalties such as a longer license suspension and higher fines. You may also be required to attend mandatory substance abuse counseling or treatment, as well as an additional ignition interlock restriction. Repeat offenders may also face longer jail sentences or even vehicle forfeiture.
In addition, if you are charged with a DUI in Ohio, your auto insurance rates may go up. This is on top of your fines, which may range from a few hundred to thousands of dollars. Furthermore, many insurance companies refuse to write policies for those convicted of DUI offenses, so you may need to search for an insurer willing to provide coverage.
You should also be aware that if there were any minors in the car at the time of the incident, you may face additional charges such as endangering children and/or contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Depending on the case, these are serious charges and can lead to further consequences such as longer license suspensions and even jail time.
Finally, you must also consider the court costs associated with an underage DUI, such as legal fees, license reinstatement fees, and fees associated with the educational programs and assessments. These fees can add up to thousands of dollars and will remain on your record regardless of how much time has passed.
Its important to remember, however, that being charged with an underage DUI in Ohio does not mean you will be convicted. Depending on the details and severity of the case, you could appeal your charges and reduce or eliminate the penalties that come with a conviction. Its essential to seek legal advice and be proactive with your defense so that you understand your rights and can make informed choices.
Its also important to know what your options are in terms of getting around and getting to work after a license suspension. For instance, Ohio allows for an Occupational Drivers License to be issued in certain cases. An Occupational License still confirms you are a licensed driver but is restricted in certain ways, such as allowing you to drive between home and work only.
In terms of how to prevent getting charged with an underage DUI in Ohio, the best solution is to not drink and drive. There are plenty of other viable options such as public transportation, ride sharing services, or having a designated driver. Its far safer and more cost-effective to plan ahead for a safe ride home than to risk being charged with an underage DUI.
What’s more, alcohol-related fatalities are much higher for younger drivers. A driver under the age of 21 is much more likely to be killed or injure someone in an alcohol-related crash than any adults so the message here is simple – dont risk your safety or the safety of others, even if it means taking public transportation or even just walking.
Remember, an underage DUI is not worth the potential risk, so be sure to be smart and plan for a safe trip home. Dont let a mistake you make today have consequences that will follow you for years to come.
In terms of legal avenues for underage DUI offenders in Ohio, there are also options available. Offenders can appeal their convictions and seek legal assistance to help lessen their penalties or plea down to lesser charges. Furthermore, there are a few programs available that can help those convicted of an underage DUI learn better decision-making in the future, such as Mopar’s “Don’t Drive Dumb” program.
One final thing to consider is how an underage DUI conviction may impact the offender’s future. A DUI offense on your criminal record can seriously hinder opportunities for employment, education, and other important aspects of life. Even if the offense occurred years ago, it will always stay on your record and could follow you for the rest of your life.
For these reasons and many more, it is important to understand the risks associated with underage drinking and driving in Ohio. Always plan ahead whenever youre going to be consuming alcohol and understand the possible consequences of an underage DUI. Be smart, be responsible, and never risk your safety or the safety of those around you by drinking and driving.