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What does a second OVI conviction mean in Ohio?

On Behalf of | Jul 3, 2024 | DUI

Drunk driving puts your safety and other road users at significant risk. Unsurprisingly, law and traffic enforcers are vigilant in catching anyone who may be a danger on the road. If you face operating a vehicle under the influence (OVI) charges for the first time, you may expect to pay fines and a driver’s license reinstatement fee. On top of these, you may also face jail time or spend time in a Driver Intervention Program, depending on how high your blood alcohol level (BAC) was at the time.

Repeat offenders tend to get stiffer penalties to deter future occurrences and keep drunk drivers off the roads. A second OVI offense is technically a misdemeanor in Ohio. However, it does not mean you will be off the hook if you get a conviction. You may face legal sanctions and jail time.

Second-time OVI, according to Ohio law

The circumstances of your OVI will determine the penalties you may face. Pleading guilty or a second OVI conviction within ten years may cause you to face the following legal penalties:

  • Mandatory jail term of 10 years
  • A term of house arrest with electronic monitoring and continuous alcohol
  • Fines
  • A one- to seven-year license suspension
  • Additional points to your driving license
  • Vehicle immobilization; you may also have your license plate impounded for 90 days

Certain factors may exacerbate these potential penalties. These may depend on your BAC level and if you refuse to submit to chemical tests.

What you can do if you are a repeat OVI offender

Getting a subsequent OVI conviction in Ohio puts many things in jeopardy. Apart from temporarily losing your freedom, you may have to deal with inflated insurance costs. You may also need to deal with reputation damages.

Fortunately, OVI charges are fallible, and you may not get a conviction. With the guidance of an experienced attorney, you may increase your chances of getting a favorable verdict.