Anyone who operates a motor vehicle in Ohio must ensure that they’re ready to do so safely. Among other things, this means that drivers can’t be impaired in any manner by drugs or alcohol when behind the wheel.
When you’re accused of impaired driving in this state, you have to think about the criminal court system and the administrative penalties that you’ll face. There are several things that impact this, including your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) reading and whether you’ve had previous impaired driving charges or not.
What penalties are possible for impaired driving in Ohio?
There are many different penalties for impaired driving in this state. For ordinary drivers who are of legal drinking age, the consequences of a conviction could include:
- Imprisonment of 3 days up to 15 years
- Driver’s license revocation or suspension
- Placement in substance abuse treatment programs
- Ignition interlock device requirements
- Fines up to $20,000
- Court fees and costs
Those who are under the legal drinking age and those who hold commercial licenses face additional problems. Commercial drivers can be convicted with a BAC limit of .04, while underage drivers have a BAC limit of .02.
In addition to all of the criminal penalties, a conviction will also increase your car insurance costs exponentially for a long time. Plus, you will have to deal with the criminal record appearing in background checks for jobs, housing and more.
What should you do if you’ve been charged with impaired driving?
Mistakes happen. Learning your defense options might help you to set the strategy for your impaired driving defense, whether the police made an error in judgment or you did. Either way, it is time to protect your rights and your future.