Many OVI cases will include a chemical test of one’s blood, breath or urine, or a refusal of such test. Depending on the facts and circumstances of the case, and based upon any prior history, the fact that you tested or refused can impact the mandatory minimum penalties that the court must impose in your case if you are convicted of OVI. The same factors are likely to determine the length of your Administrative License Suspension (ALS).
Typically, an Administrative License Suspension, which is essentially an immediate suspension of your right to drive, will be imposed anytime you are asked to take a chemical test and you either refuse to test, or you submit to a test which yields a result over the legal limit. Both the length of your suspension, and the duration of time in you which you must wait to be eligible for driving privileges, will depend largely upon your prior history.
An administrative license suspension may be appealed at your initial arraignment date, or within 30 days of that initial appearance. The grounds on which a defendant can challenge an administrative license suspension is limited, however a prudent attorney will file an appeal of the suspension in order to preserve the right to challenge the validity of that suspension at some point in the future.
In determining the length of your ALS, there is a six year look back. If you have previously been convicted of OVI, or refused to take a chemical test, within the previous six years, that will impact the length of licenses suspension and hard time in your case.
In Ohio, administrative license suspensions are as follows:
REFUSAL OF A CHEMICAL TEST
- FIRST REFUSAL
- One-year suspension with optional driving privileges after 30 days.
- SECOND REFUSAL
- Two-year suspension with optional limited driving privileges after 90 days.
- THIRD REFUSAL
- Three year suspension with optional limited driving privileges after one year.
- FOUR OR MORE REFUSALS
- Five-year administrative suspension with no driving whatsoever for three years. Optional limited driving privileges after that time.
In all of these circumstances the judge could require you to install an ignition interlock device, or register yellow license plates, as a condition of driving privileges.
FAILED CHEMICAL TEST (Test over the legal limit)
- FIRST FAILED TEST
- 90-day license suspension with optional limited driving privileges after 15 days.
- SECOND FAILED TEST
- One-year license suspension with optional limited driving privileges after 45 days.
- On either a first or second failed test, interlock and yellow plates are optional and can be ordered by the court.
- THIRD FAILED CHEMICAL TEST
- Two-year suspension with optional limited driving privileges after 180 days. Yellow license plates are optional, but interlock is required as a condition of driving privileges if the OVI was alcohol related.
- FOUR OR MORE FAILED CHEMICAL TEST
- Three years license expansion with no limited driving privileges.
In Ohio, you can be charged with an additional offense of operating a vehicle with a prohibited concentration of alcohol and/or drugs in your system. Typically the substances which may be tested include blood, breath or urine. Ohio further distinguishes between a high concentration (or Tier) offense and a low concentration (Tier) offense.
- A low tier offense is defined as any blood or breath test with the result of .08% or higher but less than .17%.
- A low tier urine test as is defined as a result of at least .11 grams but less than .238 g.
- A high tier test is anything above a .17% for a breath or blood test,
- A high tier in a urine test is defined as anything .238 g or above.