Ohio’s New DUI Law: Interlocks and Increased Penalties

Ohio’s New DUI Law is in Effect

On April 6, 2017, Ohio’s new O.V.I./D.U.I. law (House Bill 388) went into effect. This bill increased the penalties for first-time offenders and widened the criteria for identifying repeat offenders. Judges are now allowed to consider previous O.V.I./D.U.I. convictions dating as far back as ten years, whereas they had previously been limited to “looking back” only six years. Lawmakers hope the new bill will help to prevent drunk driving deaths in Ohio.


Increased Penalties under Ohio’s New DUI law

Pulled over by Columbus Police for DUI, and Ohio's New DUI LawsThe increased penalties for first time O.V.I./D.U.I. offenders means that the mandatory minimum driver’s license suspension has been increased from 6 months to 1 year. This suspension can be reduced if the offender installs an interlock system in his or her car. Essentially, the interlock system requires the driver to blow into a breathalyzer before the engine can be started. If the system detects a blood alcohol reading of over .02, the car will not start and the system operator will notify the court. If the court believes the offender was trying to operate a motor vehicle after consuming alcohol, the repercussions can include increased penalties and even jail time.

Repeat Offenses under Ohio’s New DUI Law

The widened criteria for defining repeat D.U.I./O.V.I. offenders means that persons convicted of a second D.U.I./O.V.I within 10 years of their first will face strict penalties, including being forbidden from driving a motor vehicle without an interlock system. There are, however, some exceptions to this requirement. For example, repeat offenders may still be permitted to operate an employer’s vehicle without an interlock, so long as the employer is aware of the D.U.I. conviction. This allows the D.U.I. offender to maintain employment, as some employers may be reluctant to place interlock systems in company vehicles.

Experienced Columbus, Ohio DUI Attorney

This new bill means new, harsher penalties for individuals who are convicted of a D.U.I./O.V.I. Now, more than ever, an experienced Federal and Ohio criminal defense attorney and DUI lawyer in Columbus, will be invaluable in your case. With 25 years of experiences and a firm commitment to the protection of his clients’ rights, Attorney W. Joseph Edwards will help you to navigate the complex world of a D.U.I./O.V.I. charge. Call him today at (614-309-0243).


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