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ORC 4511.19: Operating A Vehicle Under The Influence of Alcohol or Drugs

If you have been arrested for a DUI charge or operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you were likely charged under Ohio Revised Code section 4511.19.

DUI Arrest when 21 Years Old or Older

If you are 21 years old or older, you were likely charged with violating subsection (A) of O.R.C. 4511.19, which forbids any person from operating “any vehicle, streetcar, or trackless trolley within this state” if while operating the vehicle, the person:

  • Is under the influence of alcohol, a drug of abuse, or a combination of them;
  • Has a concentration of 0.08% and less than 0.17% by weight per unit volume of alcohol in the person’s whole blood;
  • Has a concentration of 0.096% to 0.204% by weight per unit volume of alcohol in the person’s blood serum/plasma;
  • Has a BAC of 0.08% to 0.17% when given a breath test;
  • Has an alcohol concentration of more than 0.11 grams but less than 0.238 grams in urine;
  • Has a BAC of 0.17% when blood is tested;
  • Has a blood serum/plasma BAC of 0.204%;
  • Has a concentration of 0.17 grams or more by weight of alcohol per 210 liters of the person’s breath;
  • Has a concentration of 0.238 grams or more by weight of alcohol per 100 mL of the person’s urine; or
  • Has a concentration of any of the following controlled substances in the person’s whole blood, blood serum or plasma, or urine that equals or exceeds any of the following:
    1. Amphetamines = 500 nanograms per mL in urine or 100 nanograms per ML in blood/plasma;
    2. Cocaine = 150 nanograms per mL in urine or 50 nanograms per mL in blood/plasma;
  • Heroin = 2,000 nanograms per mL in urine or 50 nanograms per mL in blood/plasma;
  1. L.S.D. = 25 nanograms per mL in urine or 10 nanograms per mL in blood/plasma; or
  2. Marijuana = 10 nanograms per mL in urine or 2 nanograms per mL in blood/plasma.

DUI Arrest When Under 21

If you were younger than 21 when you were charged with a DUI, you were likely charged under O.R.C. 4511.19(B), which prohibits any person under 21 years of age from operating any vehicle, streetcar, or trackless trolley in Ohio if, at the time of operation, the minor:

  • Has a concentration of at least 0.02% but less than 0.08% by weight per unit volume of alcohol in the minor’s whole blood;
  • Has a concentration of at least 0.03% but less than 0.096% by weight per unit volume of alcohol in the minor’s blood serum/plasma;
  • Has a concentration of at least 0.02 gram but less than 0.08 gram by weight of alcohol per 210 liters of the minor’s breath;
  • Has a concentration of at least 0.028 gram but less than 0.11 gram by weight of alcohol per 100mL of the minor’s urine;

Penalties for an OVI Arrest

A conviction under O.R.C. 4511.19 is usually a first-degree misdemeanor under 4511.19(G)(1)(a). The court must sentence a first time offender to a mandatory jail term of three consecutive days (72 hours) with an option to impose a longer jail term of up to 6 months under 4511.19(G)(1)(a)(i). Under this same section, however, the court may suspend the execution of the mandatory three-day jail term if the court places the offender under a community control sanction pursuant to O.R.C. 2929.25, and requires the offender to attend, for 3 consecutive days, a drivers’ intervention program certified under O.R.C. 5119.38. The court may also divide up the 72 hours between a drivers’ intervention program and jail. If the first offense OVI is a higher OVI, a test over .17, the offender must be sentenced to six days in a program or jail. The court may also require the offender to attend and satisfactorily complete any treatment or education programs that comply with the minimum standards adopted pursuant to Chapter 5119 of the O.R.C., as well as any other conditions of community control that the court considers necessary.

Typically, after your DUI arrest, your license will be suspended for 90 days under an Administrative License Suspension, unless you refused to submit to a BAC test at the time of your arrest, in which case the suspension can be extended from 90 days to one year. If you are ultimately convicted of OVI, you will face a mandatory license suspension of at least six months and up to three years.

However, the court may grant limited driving privileges under O.R.C. 4510.021 and 4510.13, which typically includes occupational, educational, vocational, or medical purposes, attending court-ordered treatment, or any other purposes for which the court decides to allow. The court may also grant unlimited driving privileges if you are a first-time offender while requiring your vehicle have an ignition interlock device installed as authorized under O.R.C. 4510.022, requiring you to breathe into the device to ensure there is no alcohol present in your system before the car will start. Interlock devices are required for offenders that are convicted of high tier offenses.

Most fines for OVI arrests range between $375 and $1,075 and are in addition to the fees to have your license reinstated after your suspension is over.

Finally, O.R.C. 4511.19(G)(7) requires you to provide the court with proof of financial responsibility as defined under O.R.C. 4509.01. In other words, you must prove to the court, by having your insurance company submit an SR-22 form to the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles, that you have insurance coverage that meets the minimum liability coverage requirements as required under O.R.C. 4509.51.

DUI/OVI is an enhancing offense and gets more serious each time you are convicted if the conviction is an applicable look-back period, for example, three offenses within a ten year time period.