What is the habitual OVI registry?

On Behalf of | Apr 30, 2023 | Criminal Defense

As you probably know, the Buckeye State has some harsh penalties for those who operate a vehicle while impaired, including steep fines and potential jail time. According to the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles, you also can lose your driving privileges even for a first-time OVI offense.

Even though your OVI arrest might show up in your local newspaper, you probably can take steps to minimize the social stigma you face. If you are a habitual OVI offender, though, your name is likely to appear on an official state registry.

The habitual OVI registry

The State of Ohio has an interest in discouraging drivers from operating motor vehicles after they have had too much to drink. One way state officials accomplish this objective is by publically identifying habitual offenders.

Pursuant to a 2008 law, individuals with five or more OVI convictions must appear on a publically searchable database. For the registry to apply to you, though, at least one of your OVI convictions must have been after the enactment of the law.

Your legal options

If you do not want to show up in an online search of habitual drunk drivers, it is advisable to explore your legal options. For example, if you can mount a successful defense, you might not meet the criteria for publication on the registry. As a result, it might be premature to plead guilty.

The habitual OVI registry is searchable by friends, family members, employers and others. Ultimately, if you do not want your history of drunk driving to be publically available, you should take immediate action to keep your name off of the registry.