Prior Drunk Driving Convictions

Prior OVI or drunk driving convictions can change the mandatory minimum penalties that you face, as well as the degree of the offense that you will be charged.  If you have been arrested and charged with DUI and have a prior conviction, it is imperative that you immediately contact a Columbus DUI defense lawyer from Koening & Long.

First DUI Offense

A first OVI offense in Ohio obviously carries the lowest amount of penalties, but even so, they are more than a slap on a wrist. If convicted of a first offense OVI impaired or low test per se charge and have no other OVI convictions in the last six years, you will face:

  • Misdemeanor of the first degree;
  • A minimum 3 days in jail or a driver intervention program, and a maximum 180 days in jail;
  • A fine of $375 to $1,075; and
  • A Class 5 driver’s license suspension of at least six months, but no more than 3 years.

If convicted of a first offense OVI high test per se charge, or having refused a chemical test within the last twenty years charge, and have no other OVI convictions in the last six years, you will face:

  • Misdemeanor of the first degree;
  • A minimum 6 days in jail, and a maximum 180 days in jail;
  • A fine of $375 to $1,075;
  • A Class 5 driver’s license suspension of at least six months, but no more than 3 years; and
  • Restricted vehicle plates.

Second DUI Offense

A second OVI conviction in Ohio now takes into account when the prior conviction occurred.  If the prior OVI conviction occurred within the last six years, and you are convicted of OVI impaired or low test per se charge, you will face:

  • Misdemeanor of the first degree;
  • A minimum 10 days in jail, and a maximum 180 days in jail;
  • A fine of $525 to $1,625;
  • A mandatory alcohol/drug assessment and recommended treatment;
  • A class 4 driver’s license suspension of at least 1 year, but no more than 5 years;
  • Restricted vehicle plates;
  • An interlock device for your vehicle; and
  • Your vehicle will be immobilized for 90 days if it is registered in your name.

If the prior OVI conviction occurred within the last six years, and you are convicted of OVI high test per se or a refusal with a prior conviction in the last 20 years, you will face:

  • Misdemeanor of the first degree;
  • A minimum 20 days in jail, and a maximum 180 days in jail;
  • A fine of $525 to $1,625;
  • A mandatory alcohol/drug assessment and recommended treatment;
  • A class 4 driver’s license suspension of at least 1 year, but no more than 5 years;
  • Restricted vehicle plates;
  • An interlock device for your vehicle; and
  • Your vehicle will be immobilized for 90 days if it is registered in your name.

Third DUI Offense

A third OVI conviction in Ohio within the last six years, for an impaired charge or a low test per se charge, carries the following penalties:

  • Unclassified misdemeanor;
  • A minimum 30 days in jail, and a maximum 1 year in jail;
  • A fine of $850 to $2,750;
  • A mandatory alcohol/drug addiction program;
  • A class 3 driver’s license suspension of at least 2 years, but no more than 10 years;
  • Restricted vehicle plates;
  • An interlock device for your vehicle; and
  • Your vehicle will be forfeited if it is registered in your name.

A third OVI conviction in Ohio within the last six years, for high test per se charge, or a refusal within the past 20 years, carries the following penalties:

  • Unclassified misdemeanor;
  • A minimum 60 days in jail, and a maximum 1 year in jail;
  • A fine of $850 to $2,750;
  • A mandatory alcohol/drug addiction program;
  • A class 3 driver’s license suspension of at least 2 years, but no more than 10 years;
  • Restricted vehicle plates;
  • An interlock device for your vehicle; and
  • Your vehicle will be forfeited if it is registered in your name.

Fourth or Fifth DUI Offense

A fourth or fifth OVI conviction in Ohio within the last six years becomes a felony, with even more severe penalties.  If you have a prior drunk driving conviction and you have been charged with OVI, it is critical that you contact an experience OVI defense attorney.

With each conviction the penalties change, so knowing Ohio’s minimum penalties for your conviction is a good way to work toward the lowest sentence possible. An experienced Columbus OVI defense attorney can help you understand the minimum charges you face and work toward obtaining the best possible result under the facts of your case.

Contact a Columbus OVI Defense Attorney from our firm at once if you are facing a DUI or OVI charge and have an earlier conviction.