When stopped in Ohio on suspicion of drunk or drugged driving, most adults will be arrested on operating under the influence (OVI) charges. If the driver who is stopped is a minor, then they’ll likely be charged with operating a vehicle after underage consumption (OVAUC) charges.

It’s important for you to know that according to Ohio law, any motorist that drives with a blood alcohol content over the legal limit may be charged with either OVI or OVAUC. The impairment doesn’t just have to come from alcohol either. Any motorist who drinks liquor, uses prescription drugs or takes recreational drugs and then gets behind the wheel of a car can be charged with a crime.

First time OVI offenders are required to spend a minimum of three days in jail following their arrest. A portion of this period of incarceration may be waived if they participate in an alternative sentencing program. A first time OVI offender also faces potential hefty fines and a guaranteed suspension of their driver’s license for a six month period.

As for those under the age of 21, they’re subject to Ohio’s Zero Tolerance Laws. While the blood alcohol content (BAC) limit for those older than 21 is 0.08 percent, it’s only 0.02 for those under that age. Any adult arrested with BAC over 0.17 may face aggravated charges.

If you’re arrest and charged with OVAUC in Ohio, then your license will be automatically limited for at least 60 days. Once that period has passed, you’ll be required to show proof that you have auto insurance before you take the driver’s test once again.

Penalties increase with every additional time you violate Ohio’s drunk or drugged driving laws. Second and third time adult offenders may have their licenses suspended for a mandatory period of one or two years. Those who violate the state’s OVI laws may have their cars confiscated after a third offense. Others may be required to install an Ignition Interlock Device to prevent them against driving drunk once again.

Those who drive either drugged or drunk in Ohio and are involved in accidents that either injure or kill another may be charged with other offenses in addition to OVI. If you’re charged with such a crime, then you’ll want to have a Columbus DUI defense attorney on your side to ensure that your rights are protected in your case.