OVI First Offense Penalties ORC § 4511.19

6 points

In Ohio, an OVI conviction will stay on your record for the rest of your life, if it is not properly defended. This is important because if the arresting officer did not follow proper procedures, a defense attorney at Funkhouser Law may be able to get the charges dismissed, plead the charges down to a lesser offense, or lessen the penalties. Call Funkhouser Law for peer-rated representation.

The following penalties are imposed upon drivers with no previous OVI suspensions in the last ten years who are convicted by a court of operating a vehicle while impaired:

No. & Type of OffenseDegree of OffenseIncarcerationFinesTreatmentLicense SuspensionDriving PrivilegesRestricted plates/interlockImmobilization / Forfeiture
1st offense in 10 years [simple OVI, low test or drug]M-13 days in jail or DIP. Up to 6 months$375-$1,075Optional1-3 yearsAfter 15 daysPlates Optional. License/interlock required with unlimited privileges.No
1rd offense in 10 years and either: [a] high test, or [b] refusal with prior in 20 yearsM-16 days in jail or 3 days in jail and 3 days DIP. Up to 6 months$375-$1,075Optional1-3 yearsAfter 15 daysPlates Optional. License/interlock required with unlimited privileges.No
Administrative Requirements:

Administrative License Suspension (ALS) of 90 days

  • This 90-day suspension is in addition to the court ordered suspension that will be from 6 months to 3 years in duration.

Ignition interlock devices

  • If the court determines that you need your license in order to get to work due to the hardship such a restriction would otherwise impose, the court may require an ignition interlock device, which requires one to breath into a machine in order to start the car.

Treatment or assessments

  • While treatment or assessments are not a requirement of reinstatement for first offenders, depending on the individual, courts may determine that they are necessary.

Reinstatement fee = $450

Criminal Penalties:

If blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was between .08%-.17%:

  • Minimum mandatory 72 hours in jail, but
  • The court can, within its discretion, order a sentence of up to 6 months.
  • Fine of between $250 and $1,000, not including costs incurred in completing terms of sentence, which may include costs of driver intervention program and license reinstatement.

If BAC above .17:

  • Minimum incarceration period of six (6) days.
  • Fine of between $250 and $1,000, not including costs incurred in completing terms of sentence, which may include costs of driver intervention program and license reinstatement.