OVI Questions & Answers

Information from Attorneys at The Law Offices of Saia & Piatt, Inc.

Do you have a question about OVI/DUI Law in the State of Ohio? Below, you will find many common questions with answers offered by our OVI attorneys. If you have a question that is not listed, simply fill out the contact form on the left side of this page and our team of attorneys will answer it for you.

Click on any of the sections in red below to read answers.

Ohio's New OVI Laws

  1. What can you tell me about Ohio's new Operating a Vehicle Impaired (OVI) law?
  2. If I have been previously convicted of OVI and get arrested on a new OVI charge, how does the new law affect me?
  3. If I have one previous conviction for OVI and get convicted of a new OVI offense, how does the new law affect me?
  4. What if I have two prior convictions within the past six years?
  5. Is it true that, under the new law, I can be forced to give a blood sample if I'm arrested for OVI?

Know Your Limits

  1. DUI, DWI, OMVI, and OVI: What Do They Mean?
  2. How much alcohol can I consume before driving without risking an OVI conviction?
  3. Is the .08 limit the only one I have to worry about?
  4. If I am under age 21, are the "legal limits" different?
  5. Can I be convicted of OVI if I refuse to take a test of my breath, blood or urine?

Know OVI Laws

  1. Can I be convicted of OVI if I am not actually driving my car?
  2. Is it still legal to drink and drive?
  3. Can I predict my blood alcohol content (BAC) so that I can be sure of not getting picked up for OVI?

Understand Drinking and Driving Risks

  1. My husband and I just shared a bottle of wine at dinner. Should we drive home or call a cab?
  2. If we have carefully assessed the situation and decide it's safe to drive home, does it make any difference whether I drive or my husband drives?
  3. What if all other factors are not equal?
  4. Doesn't the law provide different legal limits of BAC for men and women?

OVI Penalties

  1. I have never been in trouble before. What will happen if I just enter a "guilty" plea to my OVI?
  2. My license suspension is over. How do I get my license back?
  3. My case is officially over. Can I get this OVI conviction off my record?

Being Stopped for DUI

  1. If I am stopped by the police after I've had a few drinks, what should I do?
  2. If I've said I won't answer further questions without an attorney, and the officer tells me to get out of the car, do I have to comply?
  3. What should I do if the officer wants to give me a sobriety test?
  4. What happens if the officer arrests me?
  5. Let's say I have one prior OVI conviction and refuse to submit to testing. My friend, who also has one prior OVI conviction, submits to a test and has a BAC of at least a .08 but less than .17. Is there a difference in the minimum amount of time each of us might spend in jail?
  6. I've heard that some cities in Ohio are tougher on OVI offenses than others. Is that true?

Signs of Impaired Driving

  1. What are police trained to look for when on OVI (drunk driving) enforcement?
  2. Can you give specific examples of the driving "signs of impairment?"
  3. What signs of impairment will the officer be looking for if I am stopped for a suspected drunk driving offense?
  4. If I am ordered to get out of the car, should I assume that I will be arrested?

Field Sobriety Tests

  1. Why do police officers make suspected drunk drivers do roadside balance acts?
  2. What is Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN)?
  3. What are the Walk and Turn and the One Leg Stand tests?
  4. Are these field sobriety tests admissible in court?

What to Expect After Being Charged with OVI

  1. What happens at my first court appearance?
  2. Other than my arraignment, what other court appearances will I have to attend?
  3. What is a plea bargain?
  4. I have heard that an OVI charge can be amended or reduced to a Reckless Operation or a Physical Control. What is the difference between an OVI and these "reductions?"

Constitutional Rights in OVI Cases

  1. What are my rights once I have been arrested for Operating a Vehicle Impaired (OVI)?
  2. If I get arrested for OVI, should I submit to a test to measure of my Blood Alcohol Content?
  3. Can the officer force me to submit to a BAC test?

Administrative License Suspensions

  1. I was arrested for drunk driving for the first time last night, and the officer took my license. When can I get my license back?
  2. When can I drive again?
  3. What kind of privileges can I get after my "hard" suspension is over?
  4. Can I get privileges that go beyond work and work-related trips?
  5. I need to drive to and during work tomorrow. Can I get the court to take away the "hard" suspension?
  6. I refused to take the chemical test when I was stopped, but I was obviously drunk. Now I wish I'd taken the test, since I know the penalty will be less severe. Can I somehow undo my refusal and the one-year suspension that goes with it?