If you are like most Americans, you probably depend heavily upon your car in order to get to work, buy groceries, and take care of all sorts of tasks. It can be devastating, then, to learn that you might not be able to drive for several months or even years. If you have an impending trial for an OVI arrest, you may be wondering what kinds of penalties you can expect regarding your driving privileges if convicted.
How long your license could be suspended
If a police officer has probable cause to suspect you are driving under the influence, they can request a chemical sample, either breath or urine. If you refuse to provide a chemical sample or your breath sample is over the legal limit, the police officer can place you under an Administrative License Suspension (ALS). This occurs even before you have been to court. An ALS can be appealed along with fighting your OVI case.
During your subsequent OVI case, if you are convict or found guilty, you can be place under an OVI suspension. This license suspension is a minimal of a year (6 months if you install an ignition interlock device) up to a maximum of life. This range depends on the number of your prior OVI convictions.
Limited driving privileges
There is good news in this situation. In some cases, Ohio law allows the court to grant you limited driving privileges, which authorizes you to continue to drive for specific reasons. For example, if your driving privilege was suspended, but you have limited driving privileges, you could still get to and from work, take your children to the hospital, and other essential functions that the court will specify.
In some circumstances, the court may even give you unlimited driving privileges if you agree to install an ignition interlock device in all vehicles that you regularly drive at your own expense.
The prospect of losing your license can be upsetting. However, it’s important to remember that you will still have the opportunity to present a defense to the charges in court, and if you have sufficient evidence, you may even be able to defeat the charges.