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Ohio DUI / OVI Laws and Penalties

If you have been charged with an Ohio DUI, it is helpful to be informed of the Ohio DUI / OVI Laws and penalties that may affect you.

To view a list of penalties in the form of a chart, click here.

First DUI in Ohio

For a simple OVI or low BAC test, this is considered a first degree misdemeanor with the following mandatory penalties:

  • Minimum 3 day jail sentence OR participation and completion of a 72-hour certified driver intervention program upon approval from a judge
  • Maximum 6 month jail sentence
  • Fines between $375 – $1,075
  • Driver’s license suspension for a minimum of 6 months to 3 years

The following are optional penalties that may be imposed:

  • Limited driving privileges after 15 days from the initial charge
  • Participation in alcohol treatment and educational programs
  • Restricted yellow license plates
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle

For a high BAC test or chemical test refusal, this is considered a first degree misdemeanor with the following mandatory penalties:

  • Minimum 6 day jail sentence OR participation and completion of a 72-hour certified driver intervention program upon approval from a judge
  • Maximum 6 month jail sentence
  • Fines between $375 – $1,075
  • Driver’s license suspension for a minimum of 6 months to 3 years
  • Restricted yellow license plates

The following are optional penalties that may be imposed:

  • Limited driving privileges after 15 days of the initial charge
  • Participation in alcohol treatment and educational programs
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle

Second DUI in Ohio

For a simple OVI or low BAC test, this is considered a first degree misdemeanor with the following mandatory penalties:

  • A minimum 10 day jail sentence and up to a maximum of 6 months
  • Fines between $525 and $1,625
  • You may be required to serve your jail sentence under house arrest and/or with a SCRAM bracelet. You will also be on probation for this period of time.
  • Driver’s license suspension for a minimum of one year and up to a maximum of 5
  • Limited driving privileges after 45 days from receiving the initial charge
  • Restricted yellow license plates
  • Participation in an alcohol assessment, alcohol treatment and educational programs

For a high BAC test or chemical test refusal, this is considered a first degree misdemeanor with the following mandatory penalties:

  • A minimum 20 day jail sentence and up to a maximum of 6 months
  • Fines between $525 and $1,625
  • You may be required to serve your jail sentence under house arrest and/or with a SCRAM bracelet. You will also be on probation for this period of time.
  • Driver’s license suspension for a minimum of one year and up to a maximum of 5
  • Limited driving privileges after 45 days from receiving the initial charge
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle
  • Restricted yellow license plates
  • Participation in an alcohol assessment, alcohol treatment and educational programs

Third DUI in Ohio

For a simple OVI or low BAC test, this is considered a first degree misdemeanor with the following mandatory penalties:

  • A minimum of 30 days in jail and up to a maximum of one year
  • Fines between $850 and $2,750
  • Vehicle forfeiture if it is titled to you
  • You may be required to serve part of your jail sentence under house arrest and/or with a SCRAM bracelet. You will also be on probation during this period.
  • Limited driving privileges after the first 180 days after the initial offense
  • Driver’s license suspension for a minimum of 2 and up to a maximum of 10 years
  • Restricted yellow plates
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle
  • Participation in an alcohol assessment, alcohol treatment and educational programs

For a high BAC test or chemical test refusal, this is considered a first degree misdemeanor with the following mandatory penalties:

  • A minimum of 60 days in jail and up to a maximum of one year
  • Fines between $850 and $2,750
  • Vehicle forfeiture if it is titled to you
  • You may be required to serve part of your jail sentence under house arrest and/or with a SCRAM bracelet. You will also be on probation during this period.
  • Limited driving privileges after the first 180 days after the initial offense
  • Driver’s license suspension for a minimum of 2 and up to a maximum of 10 years
  • Restricted yellow plates
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle
  • Participation in an alcohol assessment, alcohol treatment and educational programs

Fourth DUI in Ohio

For a simple OVI or low BAC test, this is considered a first degree misdemeanor with the following mandatory penalties:

  • A minimum of 60 days in jail or prison and up to 30 months in prison
  • Fines between $1,350 and $10,000
  • Vehicle forfeiture if it is titled to you
  • Driver’s license suspension for a minimum of 3 years and up to a maximum life long suspension.
  • Limited driving privileges after 3 years
  • Restricted yellow plates
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle
  • Participation in an alcohol and drug addiction program

For a high BAC test or chemical test refusal, this is considered a first degree misdemeanor with the following mandatory penalties:

  • A minimum of 120 days in jail or prison and up to 30 months in prison
  • Fines between $1,350 and $10,000
  • Vehicle forfeiture if it is titled to you
  • Driver’s license suspension for a minimum of 3 years and up to a maximum life long suspension.
  • Limited driving privileges after 3 years
  • Restricted yellow plates
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle
  • Participation in an alcohol and drug addiction program

Second Felony DUI in Ohio

For a simple OVI or low BAC test, this is considered a first degree misdemeanor with the following mandatory penalties:

  • A minimum of 2 months in prison and up to 1 year maximum
  • Fines between $1,350 and $10,500
  • Vehicle forfeiture if it is titled to you
  • Driver’s license suspension for a minimum of 3 years and up to a maximum life long suspension.
  • Limited driving privileges after 3 years
  • Restricted yellow plates
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle
  • Participation in an alcohol and drug addiction program

For a high BAC test or chemical test refusal, this is considered a first degree misdemeanor with the following mandatory penalties:

  • A minimum of 4 months in prison and up to a maximum of one year
  • Fines between $1,350 and $10,500
  • Vehicle forfeiture if it is titled to you
  • Driver’s license suspension for a minimum of 3 years and up to a maximum life long suspension.
  • Limited driving privileges after 3 years
  • Restricted yellow plates
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle
  • Participation in an alcohol and drug addiction program

A second felony DUI in Ohio is considered a fourth degree felony with the following mandatory penalties:

  • A minimum of one year in prison and up to a maximum of 5
  • Fines between $1,350 and $10,500
  • Vehicle forfeiture if it is titled to you
  • Driver’s license suspension for a minimum of 3 years and up to a maximum life long suspension.
  • Limited driving privileges after 3 years
  • Restricted yellow plates
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle
  • Participation in an alcohol and drug addiction program

Ohio OVI Laws

For detailed information and specifics on OVI offenses in Ohio, please consult the Ohio Revised Code.

Ohio Alcohol Legal Limits

The legal limit for alcohol in Ohio is .08 % BAC if you are 21 years or age or older. If you are under the age of 21, the legal limit is .02 % BAC. For more information, please consult the Ohio Revised Code.

Legal Limit Involving Drugs

The following is a list of drugs and the legal limit for each drug in Ohio.

Have Additional Questions on Ohio DUI / OVI Laws and Penalties? Contact Cincinnati DUI Lawyers with LHA.

If you have been pulled over for an OVI, whether it’s your first time or a subsequent offense, you’re likely stressed, angry, and worried about your future. The best thing to do is to call the experienced Cincinnati DUI lawyers with Luftman, Heck & Associates. In Cincinnati, attorney Brad Groene can walk you through your legal options and begin building a defense to reduce the penalties you face. Get the justice you deserve. Don’t hesitate to contact us today at or email us at advice@cincinnaticriminalattorney.com. We are available 24/7.
Cincinnati DUI Lawyer Brad Groene | Luftman, Heck & Associates