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Can you drive after an OVI?

On Behalf of | Jan 28, 2022 | Drunk Driving |

Are you among the thousands of Ohio residents that require their own transportation? You may use your vehicle for the daily commute, running errands and getting the kids to school. If visiting clients or retail locations is part of your job, losing your license can result in the inability to complete those duties. An OVI conviction might result in lost wages, difficulties at home and consequences that affect you for years.

According to the Ohio Legislature, an ignition interlock device connects a breath analyzer to your car’s ignition system. You must blow into the device and pass the breath test before the vehicle starts.

OVI penalties

The penalties for your first OVI depend on your blood alcohol concentration at the time of your breath test. Even if your BAC is less than .17%, your sentence may include the following:

  • Three days in jail
  • Mandatory driver’s intervention class
  • Up to five years’ probation
  • Fines up to $1,075 with related fees
  • License suspension up to three years

If this is your first OVI, installing an ignition interlock device may eliminate jail time and shorten the suspension. Although voluntary for a first and second OVI, an IID is a requirement for third and subsequent convictions.

IID requirements

There are two processes for OVI in Ohio. An administrative licensing action begins when you fail a breath test administered by an officer or if you decline when requested to take one. The officer may confiscate your license, and the suspension starts immediately. Depending on your history, it may last from 90 days to five years.

A judicial licensing action occurs when the court imposes a license suspension. This may happen pre-trial or after a conviction and include fines and jail time. Upon receiving an administrative or judicial suspension, you may request an ignition interlock device. An IID may reduce penalties, minimize the disruption to your daily routine and allow you to continue driving.

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