what is the difference between a dui and an ovi in ohio
The law in Ohio is strict when it comes to people caught drinking and driving. You may have heard of the terms DUI (Driving Under the Influence) and OVI (Operating a Vehicle Impaired) as penalties for drinking and driving in this state. But what, exactly, is the difference?
When a DUI is issued, this typically means that the driver was caught driving with a BAC (blood alcohol content) higher than the legal limit, neglecting their duty to exercise reasonable care, or both. If you are showing impaired driving behavior, like weaving in and out of lanes, or driving recklessly, you can still be charged with a DUI even if your BAC was lower than the legal limit.
In comparison, an OVI is based solely on your BAC. The legal limit in Ohio is .08, and if a driver is pulled over with a BAC higher than that, they will be issued an OVI. Since the OVI relies solely on the BAC, it is usually easier to challenge an OVI in court, as prosecutors have to prove that the BAC was over the limit beyond a reasonable doubt for the charge to stick.
Both of these charges can carry serious penalties. For a first-time offender, a DUI in Ohio carries a mandatory suspension of your drivers license for six months. Additionally, you may get a fine of up to $1000 and up to six months in jail. An OVI, on the other hand, carries a mandatory suspension for at least one year. The fines can be up to $1000 and up to six months in jail; however, these sentences can be higher with a repeat offender.
Furthermore, drivers charged with a DUI or OVI may need to complete an alcohol education program and have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicles. Both of these charges also stay on your criminal record, which can make it difficult to find work, housing, or even get approved for certain loans and mortgages. The best course of action is to avoid drinking and driving altogether.
In addition, you can mitigate some of the consequences of a DUI or OVI if you exercise your legal rights when charged and seek a qualified attorney with experience in these charges. A DUI or OVI lawyer can provide you with better insight and judgment to challenge the charges and get the best outcome achievable.
The second part of this topic involves discussing the impact of a DUI or OVI on insurance and driving privileges. A DUI or OVI can cause a driver to incur massive costs after the fines, court fees, and increased insurance premiums. This means that it can cost more to insure an individual who was issued a DUI or OVI, and they may face the possibility of a higher deductible. In some cases, the drivers insurance company may drop them after the charge.
In addition to the cost of insurance, a DUI or OVI can affect a drivers privileges significantly, such as their ability to legally drive certain vehicles, transport people or property, or even get authorized to drive for certain jobs. A DUI or OVI can stay on your driving record for five years, and even after that, violations are still visible to potential employers. As such, its incredibly important to remain aware of the potential consequences of drinking and driving.
Similar consequences follow for CDL drivers as well. Aside from spending time in jail and paying fines, CDL drivers can face additional consequences from a DUI or OVI conviction. These repercussions may include automatic disqualification from driving a commercial vehicle, as well as suspension or revocation of the users license or the privilege of operating one. CDL holders carry a higher burden of responsibility when it comes to drinking and driving offenses, and its important for them to assess all of the potential penalties, should they be caught doing so.
Finally, it’s important to consider the implications that a DUI or OVI can have on your life that can last long after any time or fines that you may have served. Drivers charged with a DUI or OVI can still be considered at-fault should they be involved in an accident in the future, regardless of whether or not they had been drinking. Additionally, when applying for a new job, you may be asked about any past DUI or OVI charges, even if you were not convicted.
Above all, it’s important to remember that drinking and driving is never a good choice. Even the slightest misstep can leave you facing serious consequences. Understanding your legal rights if you are ever charged with a DUI or OVI can help protect you and help you get the best outcome possible. Its also important to keep in mind the lasting implications of a drinking and driving charge; many employers and insurance companies look for DUI or OVI convictions in your record. Choosing not to drink and drive in the first place is usually the best course of action.