Operating Vehicle Under the Influence (OVI) / DUI
Operating a Vehicle Under the Influence in Ohio means driving, or being in actual physical possession of a vehicle, and being impaired with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) level of .08 or higher after drinking alcohol, taking controlled substances, or using other chemical substances. A conviction for operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol can lead to serious repercussions and affect your life for a very long time. An OVI can result in fines, community service, probation, license suspension and even jail time. Subsequent OVIs can lead to more severe penalties and can lead to loss of employment and educational opportunities. There is no quick resolution to an OVI, but hiring a criminal defense attorney can help make the process more smooth, and possibly help you achieve some peace of mind. Mr. Kordalis has handled OVI/DUI charges throughout the State of Ohio and in Federal Court. Call us today if you have been charged with a OVI/DUI.
Ohio’s Legal Limit:
The legal limit in Ohio is the maximum amount of alcohol or controlled substance detectable in the blood, breath or urine before a person is charged with an offense for being under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances. Ohio’s limit is .08% per unit volume of alcohol in the offender’s whole blood. This limit can also be measured as .08 of one gram (or 80 milligrams) of alcohol per 210 liters of the person’s breath, or .11 of one gram (or 110 milligrams) of alcohol per 100 milliliters of the driver’s urine. If you are pulled over and your BAC is .08% or higher, you can be charged with operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol in Ohio. Further, if a driver has been pulled over for operating a vehicle under the influence of a controlled substance, including amphetamines, cocaine, heroin, L.S.D., marijuana, in an amount in excess of the legal limit, as measured by breath or urine, they can be charged with an OVI in Ohio. If you have a high blood alcohol level of more than or equal to .17%, .17 of breath alcohol level, or .238 of urine alcohol level in Ohio, you can incur greater punishments, including higher fines and longer jail sentences.
Ohio Common OVI Charges:
Common OVI offenses, as defined in chapter 4511 of the Ohio Revised Code, can include:
First OVI is typically a misdemeanor of the first degree under Ohio Revised Code § 4511.19, and occurs if someone operates any vehicle, under the influence of alcohol, controlled substance, or combination of alcohol and controlled substances, and their BAC was over the legal limit of .08%.
Second OVI is usually a misdemeanor of the first degree and occurs when a person operates a vehicle within six years of a prior OVI conviction under the influence of alcohol, controlled substance, or combination of both, and has a BAC of .08% or higher.
Third OVI is usually a misdemeanor and occurs when a person operates a vehicle within six years of two prior OVI convictions under the influence of alcohol, controlled substance, or a combination of both, and has a BAC of .08% or higher.
Felony DUI / OVI occurs if someone has been convicted of three or four previous OVI violations within six years of the current OVI charge or five OVI convictions within 20 years of the current OVI charge. These offenses are felonies of the fourth degree.
Underage OVI is usually a misdemeanor of the fourth degree and occurs if a person under the age of 21 operates a vehicle under the influence of alcohol, controlled substance, or a combination of both, and has a BAC greater than .02%.
Aggravated Vehicular Assault occurs when a person operates a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol with a BAC over the legal limit, and causes serious physical harm to another person or unborn baby, and can be a felony of the second or third degree.
Aggravated Vehicular Homicide can either be a felony of the first or second degree and occurs when a person operates a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol with a BAC over the legal limit, and causes the death or unlawful termination of another’s pregnancy.
Defenses to an OVI:
Some defenses to OVI charges in Ohio will from faulty chemical testing. For example, erroneous results from blood, breath or urine tests can appear if the tests were administered improperly, the tests were inconclusive, the tests were tainted from outside factors, or if the breathalyzer machine was not properly calibrated. Other defenses can include violations of your constitutional rights, such as failure of the law enforcement officer to read your Miranda warnings, the arresting officer did not have probable cause to stop your car, or the officer induced you to answer questions after your were in custody and had requested an attorney. It is important to talk to your attorney about the defenses that may be applicable to your particular case because the facts and details of OVI charge are different in every situation.
Defending Clients in Courts Throughout Ohio: