In this edition of Criminal Law and DUI, we look at some of the very basic questions regarding first time DUI penalties in Ohio. If convicted of an OVI (operating a vehicle while intoxicated) or DUI (as it is commonly called), the judge will sentence you to a jail term, a fine, a drivers license suspension and likely probation. The maximum jail sentence is 180 days. The fines range from $375-$1075. The judge will issue a Class Five drivers license suspension.
The jail time is usually most people’s biggest fear (and it should be). If a person is convicted of a BAC (blood or breach alcohol concentration) of between .08 and .17 the judge will issue a minimum sentence of three days in jail OR three days in a drivers intervention program (DIP). If the person tests higher than .17 BAC or they refuse the breath test while having a prior DUI conviction in the past 20 years, the judge may issue a sentence of at least six days in jail and three days in the DIP.
Regarding the fines, most judges sentence defendants to an amount that’s somewhere in the middle of the above stated range. Regarding the drivers license suspension, a Class Five suspension is anywhere from six months to three years. A person with such a suspension can ask for occupational driving privileges. There is also the drivers license reinstatement fee.
A criminal law and DUI case is serious. Ohio first time DUI penalties are stiff with an intention of deterring drinking and driving. It pays to have a criminal and DUI lawyer review the case with you and possibly litigate it by filing a motion to suppress or going to trial on the case. Consult with an experienced DUI lawyer to get the best possible outcome in your case.