The loss of your driver’s license can have a profound effect on your life. When you suddenly find yourself unable to drive, you may be asking yourself what can happen to your Ohio drivers license after DUI. There is a high possibility your driving privileges have been revoked, and you may not be able to get to work or to school or to drop off or pick up your children from school or daycare, or even do simple things like go to the grocery store or a doctor’s appointment.
You’ll have to depend on public transportation — if it services the area where you live — or rides from friends or family to get from place to place. That can leave you feeling embarrassed or ashamed about the loss of your license, and frustrated that you no longer have the independence you once did.
The suspension or revocation of your driver’s license is one of the consequences of an Ohio OVI or DUI conviction that can have far-reaching effects on your life. If you can’t find transportation to work, you may lose your job and have difficulty finding another one. You also may lose your job if your employment requires any kind of driving as part of your duties. Further, if you get caught driving while your license is suspended, you can face an additional criminal charge and penalties as well as extension of your license suspension.
However, there may be options to minimize the effects on your life from a driver’s license suspension — or avoid a suspension altogether — with the help of an experienced Ohio OVI / DUI defense lawyer. Depending on the circumstances of your case, a good OVI lawyer may be able to help you avoid a conviction that would require the suspension of your driver’s license, or may be able to negotiate a reduction in your charge to avoid a license suspension. Alternatively, an OVI defense lawyer may be able to help you get limited driving privileges so that you can drive to work and keep your job.
Ready to learn how we can help? Call Cincinnati DUI lawyer Brad Groene at for a free consultation. We’re here 24/7. You can also find your specific charge below for more information.
Ohio DUI Drivers License Penalties
Depending on the nature of your offense, when you’re convicted of OVI / DUI in Ohio, your driver’s license can be suspended or revoked for anywhere from 6 months to life. The suspension for a DUI conviction is separate from any administrative license suspension imposed because you refused to take a breath, blood, or urine test when you were arrested.
- 1st Conviction — Your driver’s license can be suspended for 6 months to 3 years.
- 2nd Conviction — Your driver’s license can be suspended for 1 to 5 years.
- 3rd Conviction — Your driver’s license can be suspended for 2 to 10 years.
- 4th or Subsequent Conviction — Your driver’s license can be suspended for 3 years to life.
- Prior Felony OVI Conviction — If you have any prior conviction for a felony OVI offense, your license can be suspended for 3 years to life.
- 1st Conviction Under 21 — Your license can be suspended for 90 days to 2 years.
- 2nd Conviction Under 21 — Your license can be suspended for 1 to 5 years.
Driver’s License Points
In addition to a suspension, when you’re convicted of an OVI / DUI offense in Ohio, points are added to your driver’s license. OVI is a 6-point offense unless you’re underage, in which case it’s a 4-point offense. Once you get a total of 12 points on your license, your license is suspended.
Limited Driving Privileges in Ohio
Under certain circumstances, your Cincinnati DUI attorney may be able to convince a court to allow you to have limited driving privileges. They’re limited in the sense that you’re restricted in where you can go or when you can travel, such as being permitted to drive from home to work and back but nowhere else. The parameters of your limited driver’s license will be up to the court, but your lawyer may be able to negotiate to get you sufficient driving privileges to minimize the disruption on your life from your DUI.
You’ll still have to serve part of your Ohio driver’s license suspension before you can get limited driving privileges. The amount of time your license is fully suspended, also known as “hard time,” before you can get a limited license depends primarily on whether you have prior OVI / DUI convictions, or if you’re an underage driver. The waiting periods include:
- 1st Conviction — 15 days
- 2nd Conviction — 45 days
- 3rd Conviction — 180 days
- 4th or Subsequent Conviction — 3 years
- Prior Felony OVI Conviction — 3 years
- Under 21 — 60 days
Getting Your License Back After an OVI / DUI
When your suspension period is over, you can have your driver’s license reinstated, but it’s important to know that your reinstatement isn’t automatic. Before the Bureau of Motor Vehicles reinstates your license, you’ll need to:
- Pay a $475 reinstatement fee
- Provide proof of insurance
- Meet any other conditions of your suspension