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Is there a difference between DUI and OVI?

Operating a vehicle while impaired is a serious offense that endangers the lives of yourself and others on the road.

DUI stands for “driving under the influence,” while OVI stands for “operating a vehicle while impaired.” Despite meaning essentially the same thing, the state of Ohio refers to any act of operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs as an OVI.

What happens if I get a second OVI charge?

OVI charges include impairment by any drugs or alcohol. You could get a first conviction for alcohol and a second conviction for marijuana later, even if you had no alcohol in your system at the time of the second arrest.
Ohio carries a range of penalties for a first, second, and third offense, including:

  • First offense. License suspension of one to three years, three days to six months in jail, $375-$1,075 in fines
  • Second offense. License suspension of one to seven years, ten days to six months in jail, $525-$1,625 in fines
  • Third offense. License suspension of two to 12 years, 30 days to one year in jail, $850-$2,750 in fines

What arguments can I make against an OVI charge?

An OVI defense attorney with our firm, Fortress Law Group, can review your arrest report and determine if the officer had a reason to perform the traffic stop in the first place. We can also look for evidence to support whether the officer properly administered the field sobriety test, interpreted the test results correctly and whether the breathalyzer was functioning properly.

What about getting an OVI conviction under 21?

An underage driver with a BAC of over .02% convicted of an underage OVI offense would face penalties for a fourth-degree misdemeanor. An experienced Ohio OVI lawyer like Matthew C. Bangerter can help you avoid up to 30 days in jail, up to $250 in fines, and a suspended license between three months and two years.

Do I need an OVI defense attorney?

Arguing your own case or using a public defender could result in an undesirable outcome for your trial. An experienced Ohio criminal defense attorney knows what to look for in the arrest procedures and evidence.
OVI and DUI attorney Matthew C. Bangerter is well-versed in forensic applications in evidence. He can review your bloodwork and breathalyzer report to find any inconsistencies. Contact his offices at Fortress Law Group in Cleveland Metro at (440) 340-1740 to schedule a case review.