Whether it is your first or fifth time law enforcement arrests you for driving under the influence of alcohol in Ohio, you will lose your license. That is a penalty in all cases, although the amount of time for your suspension varies. Once you lose your license, the Ohio State Bar Association explains, the judge has the ability to determine what happens. The law does have mandatory sentences for some convictions, but in general, the law gives the judge a lot of power to determine when you will get your license back.

For at least the first 15 days, you will not have a license or any driving privileges. After that, the judge may give you limited rights to drive to work or other essential places, such as school or to a medical facility. However, the judge does not have to do this. He or she can make you serve the full suspension.

Do note that if you are under 21, you may face harsher penalties. There is zero tolerance for underage drunk driving in the state, which means stiffer penalties, especially regarding driver’s license suspension. So, you may have to serve a longer suspension than someone over the age of 21.

Once the court lifts the suspension, you will need to contact the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, which may require going to the main branch in Columbus. The BMV will be able to explain what steps you must take to get your license back. Often, this involves paying fees, but you may also have to retake the driving test. This information is for education and is not legal advice.