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A primer on drunk driving laws and penalties in Ohio

It is a misdemeanor in Ohio to operate a vehicle while intoxicated. Police in the Buckeye State spend a lot of time and resources seeking intoxicated drivers, so it is not hard to get caught in their dragnet. Even though drunk driving defendants are often demonized in the media, these defendants have the same rights as everyone else to due process. This blog post will discuss the penalties for those convicted of OVI.

When a driver has a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or higher, the driver has exceeded the allowable level for driving in Ohio and may be arrested on suspicion of OVI. If convicted of a first-time OVI charge, a driver could face serious penalties. Under the law, they face a minimum of three days in jail or an alternative program. They also face suspension of their license for six months, and they could also have to pay a large fine.

If a driver's blood alcohol content is 0.17 percent or higher, they could face charges of aggravated OVI. This involves enhanced penalties upon conviction. As for drivers younger than 21, they may face charges of operating a vehicle after underage consumption if their blood alcohol content is 0.02 percent or higher. If convicted under these "zero tolerance" laws, a young person may have their driving privileges suspended immediately and may have to re-take their driving test after a 60-day waiting period.

Police must have probable cause to stop a driver before they can administer a sobriety test. Their equipment must also be properly calibrated. If these tasks have not been carried out, the resulting evidence may be thrown out by the court.

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