Driver’s License Suspension in Ohio
Although penalties such as jail time and step fines may come to mind as major consequences of a DUI charge, there are other penalties that may be just as problematic. When anyone in Ohio is arrested for a drunk driving offense, they confront an automatic administrative suspension of their driver’s license. This action is taken by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV), and is consequently independent of any following criminal penalties.
There are options obtainable to alleged offenders, however, which can temporarily restore limited driving privileges while awaiting the resolution of their charges in court. Within 30 days of the arrest, the driver can submit a written request for a hearing to dismiss the suspension. This administrative hearing will examine evidence and witnesses to determine if the driver’s license should be restored. Certain factors, such as improper protocol during the traffic stop or arrest may rule to a reinstatement of driving privileges. The outcome of this civil review does not impact any criminal proceedings.
A driver’s license suspension cannot always be lifted, however. In some scenarios a revocation of driving abilities is mandated by Ohio’s laws. When a excursion is detained on a suspicion of DUI, officers may request a breath, blood, or urine sample to analyze for blood alcohol content. Ohio Revised Code 4511.191 explains that the driver is legally able to refuse to provide a sample, but this refusal carries consequences. The penalties for refusing to provide a sample for testing vary based on the alleged offender’s prior history. For a first refusal, the driver’s license will be suspended for one year.
Of course, a DUI conviction also carries the possibility of a license suspension. First time offenders will confront a revocation between 6 months and 3 years, based on factors such as their BAC level. For a second DUI offense, formally known as OVI in Ohio, a conviction method a license suspension from 1 to 5 years.
In some situations, a convicted offender may be able to apply for a permanent hardship license. This permit will allow the driver limited driving abilities which usually include occupational, educational, or medical purposes. The driver may also be required to install special license plates or an ignition interlock device on their means in exchange for these limited driving privileges.
Once the determined suspension period is over, an offender’s license will not be automatically reinstated. the time of action varies depending on the character of the suspension, but offenders will be need to complete steps such as paying a re-instatement fee, retaking a driver’s license examination, complete various forms, and provide proof of insurance to the BMV.
Because the law allows for a certain component of discretion for prosecutors and judges, a criminal defense attorney may be able to negotiate certain terms for a defendant, but all DUI situations will rule to a question of driving privileges. The ability to excursion can greatly impact a person’s daily life, so it is important not to overlook this component of the consequences of a drunk driving offense in Ohio.