How does Ohio law punish first-time intoxicated drivers?

On Behalf of | Feb 27, 2023 | Criminal Defense

Facing a DUI charge in Ohio can be a stressful and confusing scenario. The consequences you might face for a DUI conviction can vary significantly depending on the circumstances and your prior history.

If you are a first-time offender navigating a DUI case in Ohio, understanding the potential punishments you could receive can help you move forward.

First-time DUI conviction

Operating a vehicle while impaired can result in a DUI conviction and a sentence of 3 days to 6 months. However, in many cases, a first-time offender can participate in a driver’s intervention program instead of serving jail time. The court can also charge you fines of $375 to $1,075.

In addition, your sentence can include a driver’s license suspension lasting 1 to 3 years. During your suspension, you can seek a limited license if you need to drive. You might have to use an ignition interlock device. There can also be restrictions on the times and locations you can operate your vehicle.

Complicating factors

A driver who operates a vehicle with a BAC above .17% might need to complete a driver’s intervention program and spend three days in jail in addition to fines and license suspensions.

If you are a minor and your BAC was between .02% and .08%, you could receive a misdemeanor charge with lower fines and a shorter sentence than a DUI conviction. However, you must still deal with a suspended license for three months to two years.

In Ohio, the punishment for first-time DUI offenders can include fines, temporary driver’s license suspensions and possible jail time.