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Is drunk driving a felony in Ohio?

On Behalf of | Mar 22, 2023 | Drunk Driving

Drunk driving is a severe violation in Ohio, resulting in fines, jail time and other penalties. Despite being a serious crime, it is not always a felony. It can be a misdemeanor, depending on the incident’s details.

The first and second drunk driving offenses are generally misdemeanors. These violations could lead to severe sanctions, such as license revocation, fines, probation and imprisonment. Sometimes, the court could order the use of an ignition interlock device after the second offense.

However, the third and fourth drunk driving incidents could be felonies if they happened within ten years of the last incident. If charged as a fourth-degree felony, it could lead to increased fines, jail time, license suspensions, criminal vehicle forfeiture and mandatory enrolment in a treatment program.

Still, the charge and penalties could vary based on the case’s details. Sometimes, the court could change it to a third-degree felony, modifying the severity of penalties. In this situation, the court could order house arrest or adjustments to prison time.

Specific actions could affect a drunk driving case

The legal process for a drunk driving offense could take a while. During this time, the violator should mind their behavior and actions that could impact the case. Ideally, they should not commit the following:

  • Operating a vehicle with an invalid license
  • Revealing details about your case online
  • Failing to attend your court hearings

These mistakes could have repercussions, such as bail revocation and bond money forfeiture, on top of the penalties related to the drunk driving violation.

Whether it is a misdemeanor or felony drunk driving charge, making careful decisions and acting appropriately during the legal process could affect the overall situation.