The penalties for operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol (OVI) in Ohio are often strict. Even a first offense causes an individual to lose his or her driver’s license for a while. 

Penalties for repeated OVI offenses and for juveniles who get an OVI conviction are more severe. 

First offense penalties 

According to a WKBN news article, recent changes to the state’s laws provide first-time OVI offenders with a choice of penalties. Under the new law, an individual with a first-time OVI conviction may choose between a license suspension or the installation of an ignition interlock device. If an individual gets an IID installed in his or her vehicle, there is also a camera that verifies the identity of the person using the IID breathalyzer device. 

Underage drinking and driving penalties 

The Ohio BMV website states that a person under the age of 21 may get an OVUAC conviction if he or she drives with a blood alcohol concentration between 0.02 percent and 0.08 percent. This conviction comes with a six-month license suspension. Before an individual may get his or her license reinstated, he or she must retake the license exam and complete a course in juvenile remedial driving instruction. 

Administrative license suspension 

An individual who drinks and drives in Ohio may earn an administrative license suspension if he or she refuses to consent to a sobriety test. The minimum duration for the suspension is one year. An ALS may also result when a law enforcement officer stops an individual for suspected OVI and the sobriety test indicates that the individual is over the legal limit. This type of license suspension may last for 90 days at a minimum up to five years at a maximum.