Even if law enforcement officers have probable cause to stop, detain and arrest drivers they suspect to be operating a vehicle impaired (OVI), they still follow a process to confirm their belief.
When the police suspect a driver to be under the influence, they conduct a breath, blood or urine test to assess that driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) to confirm whether it exceeds the legal limit. If the results exceed the limit, the driver will face OVI charges.
However, confirming the cause for a stop or arrest is not the only thing police and prosecutors use BAC for.
Your BAC will dictate your charges and penalties
Generally, Ohio drivers whose BAC reaches 0.08% or greater would face OVI charges. The penalties for OVI convictions could range from three days to a year in jail, depending on whether it was a first, second or third or more offense. This is on top of fines and license suspension.
However, the state subjects drivers to heavier penalties if they are found guilty of aggravated OVI. Aggravated OVI, also known as a “super” OVI, pertains to drunk driving charges wherein the driver reaches a BAC of at least 0.17%. Increased penalties could include higher jail time and fines, mandatory driver’s intervention programs and house arrests with alcohol monitoring.
Worry about penalties later and focus on your options
Familiarizing yourself with the law, penalties and processes can be helpful. Nevertheless, if you are still in the middle of facing an OVI charge, focusing on your options and defenses might be the best thing to do at the moment. Dealing with an OVI charge can be stressful and overwhelming but with the guidance of an experienced legal representative, you can clear any confusion and clearly understand your options.