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What is an OVI in Ohio?

On Behalf of | Sep 21, 2021 | OVI |

Whether at an event or on your way to work, your car is often your lifeline. When you find yourself needing to get back home at the end of the day, you count on being able to drive there.

However, when you combine drinking and driving, you could end up in an equally dangerous and expensive situation. Like many states, Ohio has invested a lot into drunk driving enforcement.

Here’s what you should know about drunk driving charges in Ohio.

What’s in a name?

Over the years, the names for drunk driving offenses in Ohio have changed. While most other states use abbreviations like DUI or DWI (for driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated), Ohio moved from those to OMVI or Operating a Motor Vehicle Impaired.

As time passed, legislators saw a need to make the term more inclusive, so they moved to the simpler, Operating a Vehicle while Impaired (OVI). By removing “motor vehicle” from the term, law enforcement could enforce drunk driving laws more broadly.

Not just for vehicles with motors

With Ohio residents pushing the limits for what qualified as a “motorized vehicle,” it was time to apply the term to other vehicles, including:

  • Bicycles
  • Horse-drawn carriages
  • Scooters

Consuming alcoholic beverages can limit your reaction time and judgment, regardless of the vehicle you are trying to operate. The updated law is an attempt to prevent accidents and injuries from all types of vehicles.

Serious consequences

Drunk driving charges can lead to serious consequences if you are found guilty, including:

  • License suspension
  • Fines
  • Jail time

These penalties can increase if there are aggravating factors, like speeding or being underage. In some cases, an OVI conviction can also limit your ability to get or keep your job. It is essential to talk to an experienced professional who can support your defense.

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