Medical use of marijuana is legal in Ohio, but it’s not legal to drive while impaired. Suppose you’re convicted of operating a vehicle while intoxicated by marijuana. In that case, criminal penalties depend on how many convictions you’ve had and how much of the drug is in your system. If you’re involved in an accident and someone is injured or killed, there will be additional charges.
If you’re facing marijuana OVI charges in the Cincinnati area, reach out to an experienced and dedicated criminal defense attorney with Luftman, Heck & Associates. Attorney Brad Groene will review your case, talk about your options, and work to protect your freedom and license.
Call (513) 338-1890 for a free, confidential consultation 24/7.
Driving While High Can Put You in Jail
Ohio’s drug-related OVI penalties include:
- First offense: A first-degree misdemeanor where you’d face at least three days and up to six months in custody, plus a fine of $375 to $1,075. Your license would be suspended for six months to three years. You may also be ordered to attend a three-day driver’s intervention program
- Second offense: If it’s within six years of the first offense, it would be a first-degree misdemeanor with at least ten days in jail and a fine of $525 to $1,625. Your license would be suspended from one to five years. Your license plates would be impounded for 90 days. You would also need to participate in a drug treatment program
- Third offense: If it’s within six years of the prior offense, it’s still a first-degree misdemeanor. But you’ll serve at least 30 days in jail, up to a maximum of one year, plus pay a fine from $850 to $2,750. Your license will be suspended for at least two years, up to a maximum of 10 years. You would also be required to participate in a drug addiction program.
Whatever the situation, a marijuana OVI conviction can seriously impact your life. A license suspension can make it tough to keep your job, and a criminal record can make it harder to find another. Your vehicle insurance rate may become so high you can’t afford to pay it.
How Police Determine You’re Driving While Intoxicated
There’s no breathalyzer for marijuana intoxication. It’s measured through a urine or blood test. If you refuse, the officer can get a search warrant to compel you to give a sample. The rules for this testing include:
- The sample must be collected no later than three hours of your alleged OVI
- It must be collected in the presence of the officer and a witness
- Those analyzing samples need to be trained and qualified under Ohio law
- If you test positive, the sample should be re-tested to confirm the result
If these procedures aren’t followed, it can impact the accuracy of the results and be a basis for challenging them as evidence against you.
Contact a Cincinnati Defense Attorney at LHA
If you’re pulled over and your vehicle smell like marijuana or the drug is visible, the officer may have probable cause to search your vehicle. You can face additional criminal charges if marijuana is found in a large enough amount. If the officer didn’t have valid reasons to pull you over or search your vehicle, it could be a reason to exclude that evidence and have the charges dismissed.
OVIs due to marijuana use are common in Ohio. If you’ve been arrested, call a Cincinnati OVI lawyer as soon as you can. Brad Groene will fight vigorously to protect your rights, freedom, and ability to drive and support yourself. The earlier you contact LHA, the better your options. For a free and confidential consultation, 24/7, call (513) 338-1890.