Everyone knows that a drunk driving conviction can bring a wide range of penalties including possible jail time, fines, and the loss of driving privileges. But you might not be aware that in Ohio you face an additional punishment that could affect your life more than any of the others, a requirement known as “party plates.” The term party plates is commonly used to describe a special restricted license plate colored bright yellow with red lettering that is required to be used by many drivers convicted of operating a vehicle while under the influence (OVI) in Ohio.
Consequences of Restricted License Plates in Ohio
The purpose of the plates is to clearly mark someone convicted of OVI while they are driving, and the relationship of the red lettering on the plates to the classic novel about public shame “The Scarlet Letter” is probably not coincidental. Supporters of the restricted plates believe such marking is a benefit to public safety because it lets other drivers on the road know that a car near them is being operated by someone who has been driving drunk and lets the police know that they should pay special attention to the vehicle.
However, others believe public embarrassment is not an effective tool to change drunken driving habits and that the law unfairly punishes families that only have one vehicle since other family members are then forced to drive with restricted plates.
Whether party plates are an effective tool in keeping the public safe or an unfair exercise in public shaming, they are a very real consequence of drunk driving in Ohio. Restricted plates are mandatory for many repeat offenders and can even be mandatory for first-time offenders if the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is found to be too high.
How a Cincinnati Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help
If you have been charged with OVI in Ohio, restricted plates are one more thing that you have to worry about. Driving around with yellow and red license plates declaring your conviction would do serious harm to your personal reputation, and could severely damage you professionally if you use your car. Not to mention the embarrassment it could bring to your family to have to drive, or even be a passenger in, a car displaying party plates. You want a Cincinnati attorney with experience handling drunk driving cases who understands the consequences of the penalties you are facing.
Attorney Brad Groene with the firm Luftman, Heck & Associates is a Cincinnati criminal defense lawyer who has represented hundreds of OVI clients over the years and will work hard to keep restricted plates off of your vehicle. Contact Luftman, Heck & Associates to get the help that you need. Call (513) 338-1890 to set up a free and confidential consultation.