Third Offense OVI/DUI in Ohio

Facing a DUI? We've helped 115 clients find attorneys today.

There was a problem with the submission. Please refresh the page and try again
Full Name is required
Email is required
Please add a valid Email
Phone Number is required
Please add a valid Phone Number
Zip Code is required
Please add a valid Zip Code
Description is required
By clicking "Find a Lawyer", you agree to the Martindale-Nolo Texting Terms. Martindale-Nolo and up to 5 participating attorneys may contact you on the number you provided for marketing purposes, discuss available services, etc. Messages may be sent using pre-recorded messages, auto-dialer or other automated technology. You are not required to provide consent as a condition of service. Attorneys have the option, but are not required, to send text messages to you. You will receive up to 2 messages per week from Martindale-Nolo. Frequency from attorney may vary. Message and data rates may apply. Your number will be held in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

You should not send any sensitive or confidential information through this site. Any information sent through this site does not create an attorney-client relationship and may not be treated as privileged or confidential. The lawyer or law firm you are contacting is not required to, and may choose not to, accept you as a client. The Internet is not necessarily secure and emails sent through this site could be intercepted or read by third parties.

Ohio officially uses the term "operating under the influence" (OVI) instead of "driving under the influence." You can be convicted in criminal court of OVI if you operate a vehicle:

  • with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or more or a urine alcohol concentration of .110 or more (often referred to as a "per se" OVI)
  • with a certain concentration of amphetamine, cocaine, heroin, LSD, marijuana, methamphetamine, or PCP in your body (also per se), or
  • while "under the influence" of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of the two.

You're considered "under the influence" if your ability to drive is impaired by alcohol or drugs. In many cases, the driver is charged with both per se OVI and impaired OVI.

Typically, an OVI is considered a "third offense" if you were convicted or plead guilty to two prior OVIs, chemical testing refusals, or any combination in the past ten years. Generally, the ten-year period is calculated from the date of your first conviction to the date of your most recent OVI or refusal charge.

Administrative License Suspension

The process. If you're lawfully arrested for a third-offense OVI and chemical testing shows your BAC or urine alcohol concentrations exceed the legal limits—or if you refuse testing—the arresting officer will immediately take your license. You'll also be facing an administrative license suspension from the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV). You have 30 days from your arraignment to challenge the suspension.

Over the legal limit. Drivers who test with a BAC of .08% or more or a urine alcohol concentration of .110 or more face a one- to three-year license suspension. After a 15-day "hard suspension," the driver may be eligible for a restricted license (see specifics below).

Test refusals. Drivers who refuse to take a chemical test in violation of Ohio's "implied consent" law face an automatic three-year suspension. These drivers may still be eligible for a restricted license, but the hard suspension period will be a full year.

Restricted license. Once you complete the hard suspension period, you can apply to the court for a restricted license. The judge can grant limited driving privileges with requirements that might include restricted hours, special offender license plates, and any other conditions the judge believes are warranted. The judge can also grant unlimited driving privileges if you agree to install an ignition interlock device (IID). The requirements for full license reinstatement depend on your BAC and other factors specific to your case. But, generally, you must complete any court-imposed suspension, pay a restatement fee, and provide the BMV with proof of auto insurance.

Criminal Penalties

Penalties for a third OVI conviction in Ohio vary by degree of intoxication:

  • "Low-level OVI." With a BAC over .08% but less than .17%, you‘ll be looking at 30 days to one year in jail or 15 days of jail and 55 days of house arrest with electronic monitoring.
  • "High-level OVI." With a BAC of .17% or higher or a chemical test refusal with a prior OVI within 20 years, the minimum jail time increases to 60 days or 30 days of jail and 110 days of house arrest with electronic monitoring.

With both offense levels, you'll have to pay a fine of $850 to $2,750 and complete an alcohol/drug assessment and substance abuse treatment. The judge can also order an interlock device, "offender" license plates, vehicle forfeiture, and a two to 12-year license suspension (with a $475 license reinstatement fee).

Getting Legal Help

Ohio's DUI laws are complicated, and the facts of each case are different. If you've been arrested or charged for OVI, you should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in your area who can help you decide how best to proceed with your case.

FACING A DUI?
Talk to a DUI Defense attorney
We've helped 115 clients find attorneys today.
There was a problem with the submission. Please refresh the page and try again
Full Name is required
Email is required
Please add a valid Email
Phone Number is required
Please add a valid Phone Number
Zip Code is required
Please add a valid Zip Code
Description is required
By clicking "Find a Lawyer", you agree to the Martindale-Nolo Texting Terms. Martindale-Nolo and up to 5 participating attorneys may contact you on the number you provided for marketing purposes, discuss available services, etc. Messages may be sent using pre-recorded messages, auto-dialer or other automated technology. You are not required to provide consent as a condition of service. Attorneys have the option, but are not required, to send text messages to you. You will receive up to 2 messages per week from Martindale-Nolo. Frequency from attorney may vary. Message and data rates may apply. Your number will be held in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

You should not send any sensitive or confidential information through this site. Any information sent through this site does not create an attorney-client relationship and may not be treated as privileged or confidential. The lawyer or law firm you are contacting is not required to, and may choose not to, accept you as a client. The Internet is not necessarily secure and emails sent through this site could be intercepted or read by third parties.

How It Works

  1. Briefly tell us about your case
  2. Provide your contact information
  3. Choose attorneys to contact you