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Multiple DUI

What Happens With Multiple DUI Arrests and Convictions?

First, what counts as a ‘multiple’ offense for drunk or drugged driving?

More than one arrest for operating a vehicle while impaired (OVI) within six years will get you tried as a multiple offender. Each subsequent conviction on that charge brings harsher penalties, and convictions earned before you turn 21 count in the six-year timeframe.

How do penalties increase with the number of OVI convictions?

No case will end the same way. Among other things, penalties depend on a combination of how intoxicated the defendant was, the defendant’s criminal history, and the strength of the evidence presented by the prosecution.

Despite such complications, Ohio state lawmakers and courts have developed model sentencing guidelines for multiple OVIs. A second conviction for a person who registered a blood alcohol content (BAC) of between .08 and .016 will bring some mix of these penalties:

Type of Penalty for Second Offense OVI Sentence
Criminal Record First-degree misdemeanor
Incarceration 10-180 days in jail or a combination of jail and house arrest with electronic monitoring; the monitoring device may be able to detect alcohol use
Fines $525-$1,625 in addition to court costs
Substance Abuse Treatment Required assessment of alcohol and drug use; addiction treatment can be recommended
License Suspension 1-5 years, affecting all private, commercial, and motorcycle endorsements
Total Revocation of Driving Privileges At least 45 days, meaning you cannot even drive to and from work or school, doctors’ appointments, or court-ordered courses
Use of OVI Offender Plates Required
Use of Ignition Interlock Device Required for an alcohol-related OVI offense and optional for a drug-related conviction
Vehicle Immobilization or Forfeiture 90 days immobilization (e.g., booting, impoundment)

A fourth or fifth OVI conviction with a BAC below .017 will subject you to this range of penalties:

Type of Penalty for Fourth Offense OVI Sentence
Criminal Record Fourth-degree felony
Incarceration 60 days to 1 year in local jail, or 60 days to 30 months in state prison
Fines $1,350-$10,500 in addition to court costs
Substance Abuse Treatment Mandatory addiction treatment
License Suspension 3 years to life, affecting all private, commercial, and motorcycle endorsements
Total Revocation of Driving Privileges At least 3 years, meaning you cannot even drive to and from work or school, doctors’ appointments, or court-ordered courses
Use of OVI Offender Plates Required
Use of Ignition Interlock Device Required for an alcohol-related OVI offense and optional for a drug-related conviction
Vehicle Immobilization or Forfeiture Forfeiture, meaning you must turn over the titles on all the cars, trucks, and motorcycles you own and drive for personal use and let police take the vehicles

Are there other penalties I might have to worry about for multiple DUI offenses in Columbus, Ohio?

After a fifth conviction for driving under the influence within a 20-year period, you get labeled a habitual offender and have your personal information entered into the searchable online Habitual Offender Registry.

Does having a prior OVI conviction make subsequent arrests and convictions more likely?

This answer partly depends on whether you continue to drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. You may be more likely to get stopped or pulled out of line at DUI checkpoints for suspicion of OVI if your car displays offender plates, but an officer should only arrest you if you show signs of impairment. Then, a conviction should only be based on clear evidence of poor performance on properly conducted field sobriety tests and/or uncontestable results from breath, urine, and blood tests performed in a medical facility.

Do sobriety tests differ for people wo have prior OVI convictions?

Officers ask all people suspected of OVI to submit to the same tests. Under Ohio law, however, “reasonable force” can be used to take breath, urine, and blood samples from individuals who have prior OVI convictions. If you still refuse to provide samples for chemical testing, your driver’s license will be seized and suspended immediately. You can read more about what happens during and immediately after a Columbus, Ohio DUI traffic stop by going to this Campbell Law FAQ.

Do multiple OVI arrests carry penalties even without convictions?

Upon arresting you on a new OVI charge, police will seize the vehicle you were driving and remove its plates. This will happen if you have a misdemeanor OVI conviction in the past six years or if you have a felony OVI conviction at any point in your life.

Can an attorney help me avoid another OVI conviction?

No one should doubt that successfully defending yourself against a second or fourth OVI charge will be tough. The prosecutor and judge will not be inclined to show leniency, and you will not get a sympathetic jury if you take the trial option.

You need a skilled Columbus DUI Lawyer to stand up for you and make sure that any evidence presented against you was collected legally, interpreted correctly, and subject to independent analysis. April Campbell of Campbell Law can be your legal champion. Her years of experience as both a county prosecutor and a criminal defense attorney gives her the knowledge and insight necessary to handle even the most challenging multiple DUI case.

Follow this link to request a no-cost consultation on your OVI defense today.