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Ohio Driving Under the Influence First Offense Penalties

Judges do not have the ability to go below these minimums!


You need to answer these questions:

  1. Is this your first OVI in six years?

  2. Is this alcohol or drugs?

  3. Did you take the test?

  4. Were the results of the breath test over 0.17 BAC?

  5. Do you have a prior refusal in the last twenty years?


First in Six Years and Under 0.17 BAC or Drugs

If this is your first OVI in six years, you took the breath test and blew less than 0.17 of one percent by weight per unit volume of alcohol in your whole blood or if this is an arrest having to do with drugs:

  • Three to 180 days in jail for which one can substitute a three day driver's intervention program for three of those days.  NOTE:  YOU HAVE TO SPEND AT LEAST THREE DAYS IN JAIL OR THREE DAYS IN THE DRIVER'S INTERVENTION PROGRAM.

  • A fine of between at least $375 and at most $1,075.

  • A license suspension of at least six months to at most three years.  Driving privileges can be requested but only after a fifteen day hard suspension.  You must not drive for fifteen days of your arrest.  Only then can you ask the judge to grant you privileges.

  • The judge might force you into a treatment program.

  • The judge might force you to have restricted license plates (party plates-the red on yellow license plates).

  • The judge might require you place an interlock on your car that requires you prove you have not been drinking.


First in Six Years -- and at or Over 0.17

--  or a refusal to take the test

--  or a prior refusal in the last 20 years

If you took the breath test and blew 0.17 or above of one percent by weight per unit volume of alcohol in your whole blood OR if you refused the test OR if you have a prior refusal in the last twenty years:

  • Six to 180 days in jail for which one can substitute a three day driver's intervention program for three of those days.  NOTE:  YOU HAVE TO SPEND AT LEAST THREE DAYS IN JAIL EVEN IF YOU DO THE THREE DAY DRIVER'S INTERVENTION PROGRAM.

  • A fine of between at least $375 and at most $1,075.

  • A license suspension of at least six months to at most three years.  Driving privileges can be requested.  If this is a high test but not a refusal, then there is a fifteen day hard suspension.  No one can give you privileges for the fifteen days following your arrest.  If this is a refusal, and it is your first refusal, there is a thirty day hard suspension.  A second refusal is ninety days.  A third refusal is a year.  Anything over the third refusal requires a three year hard suspension.

  • The judge might force you into a treatment program.

  • You must have restricted license plates during the suspension period (party plates-the red on yellow license).

  • The judge might require you place an interlock on your car that requires you prove you have not been drinking.


Return to OVI penalties - click here

The OVI page - click here