Of the 818 traffic fatalities on Ohio highways in 2004, 391 of them involved a driver who was over the legal limit for alcohol. 276 of those deaths had a driver with a Blood Alcohol Content of more than twice the legal limit.
Ohio provides two standards for drunk driving: (A) driving while under the influence of alcohol, a drug of abuse, or a combination of the two and (B) driving with a Blood Alcohol Level of .08 or greater.
In court, both the chemical test that demonstrates that BAC level and officer testimony about the driver’s performance in field sobriety tests are admissible to establish these standards.
Misdemeanor of the First Degree
$250 - $1,000 Fine
Mandatory minimum of three days (72 hours) in jail. There is a maximum jail time of 6 months.
However, this may be suspended if the court decides that a three day Driver Intervention Program would be more beneficial to the individual
License Suspension for 6 months to 3 years
Second Offense in 6 Years:
Misdemeanor of the First Degree
$350 - $1,500 Fine
Mandatory minimum of 10 days in jail. Maximum of 6 months.
The minimum term may be sentenced as a mixture of jail time and (1) electronic home monitoring, or (2) alcohol monitoring, or (3) both.
The court may also require a Driver Intervention Program
License Suspension for 1 – 5 years
The Court will also impound or immobilize the driver’s car for a period of 90 days.
Third and Subsequent Offenses in 6 Years:
Minimum 30 day jail time. One Year maximum.
At the court’s discretion, a mixture of jail time and (1) electronic home monitoring, or (2) alcohol monitoring, or (3) both may be imposed.
License Suspension for 2 – 10 years.
$550 - $2,500 Fine.
A third offense may result in the criminal forfeiture of the vehicle. Under this statute, if the driver is the sole owner/operator of the vehicle, the court has discretion to allow the state to repossess the vehicle.
Three or Four Violations in 6 Years & Five or More Violations in 20 Years:
Fourth Degree Felony
The court may impose a sentence of either
1 – 5 years in prison
60 days – 1 year in jail, followed by a period of house arrest and electronic monitoring
$800 - $10,000 Fine.
License Suspension for 3 years – Life
This results in a criminal forfeiture of the vehicle. Under this statute, if the driver is the sole owner/operator of the vehicle, the court has discretion to allow the state to repossess the vehicle.
The Court may also require participation in an Alcohol and Drug Addiction Program.
If you are under 21 and are arrested for driving with a Blood Alcohol Concentration of .08 or over, the adult prosecution standards apply.
If you are under 21 and are arrested for driving with a Blood Alcohol Concentration of between .02 and .08, the following penalties apply:
Fourth Degree Misdemeanor
License suspension for 3 months – 2 years
Third Degree Misdemeanor
License suspension for 1 – 5 years
Implied Consent Statute
By driving on Ohio highways, you have given your implied consent to chemical testing for Blood Alcohol Concentration. You can always refuse the testing, but the following penalties will apply in addition to any other criminal penalties:
First refusal: 1 year license suspension
Second refusal in 6 years: 2 year license suspension
Third refusal in 6 years: 3 year license suspension
Fourth and subsequent refusal in 6 years: 5 year license suspension