driving

Ohio’s New Drunk Driving Laws | Yousef M Faroniya

This month Ohio’s drunk driving laws were revised, increasing penalties and expanding the use of ignition interlock devices (a vehicle breathalyzer like at the end of “The 40 Year Old Virgin”). The changes make potential penalties tougher, but they also provides some additional alternatives for those finding themselves in this unfortunate situation (and the potential of avoiding mandatory jail sentences).

So, what changes have been made?

  • The mandatory minimum driver’s license suspension for a first-time offender is increased from six months to one year.
  • First-time offenders are permitted unlimited driving privileges with the use of an ignition interlock device. (Previously, Defendants were permitted privileges at the court’s discretion for work and school purposes.)
  • If a first-time offender obtains an ignition interlock device then the mandatory jail time (3 days) is suspended.
  • The court has the discretion to reduce the one-year suspension for a first-time offender to six months if there are no ignition interlock violations.
  • If there are violations of the ignition interlock device, the court shall impose the suspended jail time and double the license suspension without any driving privileges.
  • The lookback period (the time from which a second OVI charge is considered a repeat offense) is increased from six years to ten years. The City of Columbus has a lifetime lookback period.
  • If a person gets an ignition interlock device, they must obtain a restricted license or risk a Driving Under Suspension charge.

 

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