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Have you been arrested for your first DUI / OVI in Ohio?
A first Ohio DUI / OVI is a serious charge. Under Ohio law, a first offense OVI conviction can mean mandatory jail time, fines, and a license suspension for up to three years.
The potential penalties for a first offense OVI are separated into two categories:
(1) “Low Test” OVI, and
(2) “High Test” OVI or "Refusal" OVI
Whether you fall into the “high test/refusal” or “low test” will depend on the results of your breath, blood or urine test.
What is “Low Test” OVI?
A “low test” OVI is considered any OVI with a chemical test result as follows:
What is a “High Test” OVI?
A “high test” OVI is any result above the thresholds described above.
The penalties below apply regardless of whether the offender is an Ohio citizen or an out of state driver.
Mandatory Minimum Penalties for First Time Ohio OVI / DUI (“Low Test”). Ohio law sets the statutory minimums and maximums for a first time “low test” Ohio DUI / OVI conviction.
These mandatory minimum penalties include:
Minimum three days in jail.
(In some cases, the judge will permit the offender to complete these mandatory three days in a certified driver intervention program)
Six month license suspension.
(This is the minimum license suspension required by Ohio law for an first time OVI conviction. The judge will often grant limited driving privileges during this period of suspension for driving to work and/or school)
(This is the minimum fine required under Ohio law for a first time OVI / DUI conviction. Judges will often order higher fines than this minimum)
Maximum Penalties for First Time Ohio OVI / DUI (“Low Test”)
Maximum six months in jail.
(The judge has authority under the Ohio OVI statute to order even a first time OVI offender to serve six months in jail. It is rare, however, for this maximum sentence to be imposed upon a first time offender)
Three year license suspension.
(The judge has authority to suspend the offender’s license for up to three years. The judge may grant limited driving privileges for work and school or other essential needs)
(This is the maximum fine permitted under the Ohio OVI statute for a first time DUI offender)
If you have a “high test” OVI, the potential penalties described above will be increased.
If this is your First DUI in Ohio, call an Ohio DUI Attorney as soon as possible.
We are available for free telephone consultations 7 days a week. Explore your options with an Ohio OVI attorney toward protecting your right to drive, your criminal record, and your freedom.