Dayton DUI / OVI Lawyers

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An individual in Dayton, OH can be charged with a driving under the influence (DUI) or operating a vehicle under the influence (OVI) offense if they have actual physical possession of a vehicle or drive a car while impaired with a blood or breath alcohol concentration (BAC) level of .08% or higher after consuming alcohol, taking controlled substances, or using other chemical substances.

It is important to remember that if you have been charged with a DUI or OVI in Dayton, you do not necessarily have to face a conviction for the offense. The state prosecutor must first prove you committed every element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. This can be a very difficult burden of proof to satisfy, and if the judge or jury has any doubt you committed every element of the DUI offense, the charges against you may be reduced or even dismissed. Therefore, it is essential to contact an experienced DUI/OVI criminal defense lawyer in Dayton today to help you develop the best legal strategy for your particular situation.

DUI Defense Attorney in Dayton, Ohio

Contact the Joslyn Law Firm for a consultation today about your alleged driving under the influence offense throughout the areas of Dayton, Kettering, Huber Heights, Troy, Piqua, Springfield, Beavercreek, and Fairborn. Brian Joslyn is knowledgeable in all areas of Ohio’s OVI and DUI laws and will make every effort to achieve the most desirable outcome in your particular situation. Contact the Joslyn Law Firm for a free consultation at (614) 444-1900 if you have been charged with a DUI offense throughout Dayton, Ohio.

Dayton DUI Information Center


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What is OVI in Ohio?

It’s illegal to drive drunk across the nation including the state of Ohio. Although you often hear drunk driving charges and incidents being referred to as a “DUI,” in the state of Ohio the law defines the crime as operating a vehicle while under the influence or “OVI.” OVI and other related drinking and driving offenses can result in serious penalties including time in jail, expensive fines, a required substance and alcohol abuse program, vehicle immobilization and the automatic suspension of your driver’s license.

Ohio’s drunk driving laws can be found under the Revised Code Section 4511.19, which states no person shall operate any vehicle, streetcar, or trackless trolly while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance. The statute goes on to list what concentrations are required to legally declare someone intoxicated. For alcohol, you must exhibit a blood alcohol concentration of .08 to be charged with OVI. However, you can still be charged with OVI even if officers were unable to test for a BAC of .08 or higher.

If the officer has reasonable suspicion you are under the influence, then they are legally authorized to arrest and charge you with OVI. To have reasonable suspicion the officer must observe behavior that would cause a reasonable prudent person to believe that you are under the influence. Some of these behaviors include slurred speech, unable to stand, automatic swaying while standing, bizarre behavior, and emotional outbursts.


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What Does Actual Physical Control Mean?

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs in Ohio generally involves the operation of a vehicle, actual physical control of the vehicle, and legal alcohol limits.

Actual Physical Control – In order to determine if the alleged offender had actual physical control of the motor vehicle, the state prosecutor will look at a variety of factors, including:

  • Whether the keys were in the ignition;
  • Whether the keys were close enough to put in the ignition;
  • Whether the hood of the car was hot, which indicates it was recently driven;
  • Whether the car's engine was on; and/or
  • Whether the car was capable of being driven.

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What is the Legal Limit in Ohio?

Legal Limit – Ohio’s legal limit is measured by the amount of alcohol or controlled substance detectable in the blood, breath, or urine of the alleged offender. Specifically, the legal limit is .08% per unit volume of alcohol in the alleged offender’s whole blood. This limit can also be measured as .08 of one gram (or 80 milligrams) of alcohol per 210 liters of the person’s breath, or .11 of one gram (or 110 milligrams) of alcohol per 100 milliliters of the alleged offender’s urine. If you have been pulled over on suspicion of OVI and your blood or breath alcohol concentration (BAC) level is .08% or higher, you can be arrested and charged with DUI or OVI in Ohio. Typically, the legal limit in Ohio is equivalent to around one or two alcoholic drinks, depending on the alleged offender’s body type and weight, length of time they have been drinking, and the amount of food they have consumed.

Additionally, an individual can be charged with operating a vehicle under the influence (DUI or OVI) if they operate their vehicle under the influence of a controlled substance or chemical, such as marijuana, heroin, cocaine, or methamphetamines.


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What to Do if You're Pulled Over for a DUI/OVI in the Dayton Area

If you were pulled over on suspicion of DUI throughout Dayton and the surrounding areas in Ohio, it is important to remember not to speak to any law enforcement officer until you have hired an experienced DUI criminal defense attorney (if this is you, contact us). Invoke your legal right to remain silent by stating you will not make any statements until after you talk to your lawyer, and then remain silent, even if the law enforcement officers continue to question you. It is also important not to provide a statement - whether oral or written or sign any other documents unless your lawyer is present.


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Is A Refusal the Same as a DUI in Ohio?

If an individual drives a car or motor vehicle in Ohio, they have given implied consent to DUI testing by driving on any road in the state. This means any driver in the state has agreed to submit to chemical breath, blood or urine tests to determine the presence of alcohol or controlled substances in their system if they are pulled over on suspicion of DUI or OVI. Therefore, if you refuse to submit to any chemical test you can face an administrative driver’s license suspension. Chemical testing does not include field sobriety testing in Ohio.

As defined in Ohio Revised Statutes § 4511.191, a driver suspected of DUI can receive an administrative license suspension if they refuse to submit to a blood, breath or urine chemical test.

Any driver that receives an administrative license suspension has the opportunity to appeal the suspension under the Ohio Revised Code § 4511.197 at their initial appearance for the OVI criminal charges or within 30 days after the initial appearance of the criminal OVI charge. Therefore, once you have received a driver’s license suspension, it is important to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney who will represent your best interests at the initial appearance.


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What Are the Different Types of DUI Offenses in Ohio?

In addition to the administrative license suspension in Ohio, an individual may also be charged with a criminal DUI or OVI offense in Dayton. The criminal case and administrative license suspension are separate and can both result in driver’s license suspensions. Most people are more familiar with the criminal aspect of a driving under the influence offense, which can include pre-trial motions, hearings, DUI trial, sentencing and appeals. Some of the most common DUI or OVI offenses in Ohio are:

First OVI – Ohio Revised Code § 4511.19 – An individual can be charged with this offense if they operate any vehicle or drive under the influence of alcohol, controlled substance, or any combination of alcohol and controlled substances, and they have a BAC of .08% or higher. This offense is generally punishable as a misdemeanor of the first degree.

Second OVI - Ohio Revised Code § 4511.19 – An individual can be charged with this offense if they operate their vehicle under the influence of alcohol, controlled substance, or combination of both and have a BAC of .08% or higher within six years of a prior OVI conviction. This offense is generally punishable as a misdemeanor of the first degree.

Third OVI - Ohio Revised Code § 4511.19 – An individual can be charged with this offense if they operate a vehicle under the influence of alcohol, controlled substance, or a combination of both and have a BAC of .08% or higher within six years of two prior OVI convictions. This degree of offense is usually punishable as a misdemeanor.

Felony OVI – Ohio Revised Code § 4511.19  - An individual can be charged with this offense if they have been convicted of three or four previous DUI violations within six years of the current DUI offense or conviction of five DUI offenses within 20 years of the current DUI offense. This offense is generally punishable as a felony of the fourth degree.

Aggravated Vehicular Assault - Ohio Revised Code § 2903.08 – An individual can be charged with this offense if they operate a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol with a BAC over the legal limit and cause serious physical harm to another person or unborn baby. This offense is generally punishable as a felony of the second or third degree.

Aggravated Vehicular Homicide - Ohio Revised Code § 2903.06 – An individual can be charged with this offense if they operate a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol with a BAC of .08% or higher and cause the death of another person or unlawful termination of another’s pregnancy. This offense is generally punishable as a felony of the first or second degree.


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What is the Penalty for OVI in Ohio?

The penalties an individual can face for a DUI conviction on Ohio depend on the number of previous DUI convictions the alleged offender has, the level of the alleged offender’s BAC at the time of the offense, and whether the alleged offense involves the death or serious bodily injury of another person. Some of the most common punishments and repercussions can include:

  • Alcohol and drug treatment programs,
  • An alcohol monitoring system,
  • Court costs and fees,
  • Driver’s license suspension or revocation,
  • Driver’s intervention program,
  • Fines ranging anywhere from $375 to $20,000,
  • Jail or prison time ranging from 3 days to 15 years,
  • Placement of an interlock device on the convicted offender’s vehicle,
  • Vehicle Immobilization or Forfeiture, and/or
  • Yellow OVI license plates.

Additionally, if the alleged DUI offender has a blood or breach alcohol concentration level of .17% or higher, they can face increased penalties and punishments.


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How Many Points for OVI in Ohio?

Ohio uses a points-based system to determine if a driver’s license should be suspended or revoked entirely. If you’re convicted of an OVI/DUI in Ohio, you’ll automatically have six points added to your driving record. This is a much harsher punishment than a standard traffic violation, which will often result in two or four points.

You’ll be notified of the six points being added to your license from mailed by the Ohio BMV. These points will remain on your driving record for two years and once that period is over, they will be erased. However, if you accumulate more points on your driving record it could be an issue. Having 12 or more points within a two-year period on your driving record will result in an automatic administrative license suspension by the BMV.


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Ohio CDL DUI Laws

Drivers with a commercial driver’s license face the harshest penalties for OVI/DUI. Not only will they face the various statutory penalties under Ohio law, but they may lose their livelihood as a result. CDL drivers also have a much lower legal limit than a standard Ohio driver. Instead of having a BAC of .08, CDL drivers can be arrested for DUI if they have a BAC of .04 %.

If you’re convicted of OVI as a CDL driver, you will have your commercial driver’s license disqualified for up to one year. A second time will result in a lifetime disqualification. Refusing an alcohol or drug chemical OVI test will also result in an automatic disqualification of up to one year by the Ohio BMV.

Listed below are the disqualification periods for failing an OVI chemical test as a CDL holder. 

  • Any detectible amount of alcohol – 24 Hours out of Service
  • .04 Breathalyzer Test – One Year
  • .048 Blood Test – One Year
  • .056 Urine Test – One Year

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Can I Get My DUI Expunged in Ohio?

Having a criminal record can be an incredible burden and inhibit you from certain jobs, university admissions, or even certain housing areas. To help offenders disassociate from their past crimes, the state of Ohio offers expungement and record sealing for those who are eligible. Rarely will the state of Ohio expunge a criminal record, but thousands of people are able to seal their criminal records every year. Those who can seal their records won’t have their records accessed unless the entity who is attempting to view it has a court order. 

Unfortunately, the state of Ohio doesn’t offer sealing or expungement for all offenders. In Ohio, you cannot seal your criminal record for traffic offenses. This does include operating a vehicle under the influence, DUI refusal, and other related alcohol offenses.


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DUI Checkpoints Dayton Ohio

Law enforcement from time to time may set up DUI checkpoints to ensure no driver is impaired on the road. These checkpoints were first used in Ohio in July 1989 and once they were ruled to be legal in 1990 by the U.S. Supreme Court law enforcement added certain guidelines their officers must follow. To set up a checkpoint, law enforcement must notify residents at least a week prior to establishing them. The notice must contain the date, time, and location of the checkpoint for it to be lawful. 

DUI checkpoints will compose of several officers with large reflective signs parked on the side of the road with marked police cars. Drivers have the option to turn their vehicles around and avoid the checkpoint if they don’t wish to enter. Vehicles that do choose to enter may be randomly stopped by officers to determine if the driver is under the influence. Not all vehicles are stopped at a checkpoint and the volume of how many are stopped will depend on the traffic density at that time.


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Why You Need an Ohio OVI Defense Attorney

In certain cases, your experienced Dayton DUI attorney can identify mitigating factors or defenses that will be beneficial to your cases and can possibly result in a reduction or dismissal of the charges against you. The facts of every case are unique, so it is important to first consult with a criminal defense lawyer to determine if any of the following defenses may be applicable in your situation:

  • Improper or illegal stop by law enforcement;
  • Lack of probable cause by law enforcement to stop your vehicle;
  • Failure of law enforcement officers to give you Miranda Warnings;
  • Inaccurate observations during field sobriety testing by law enforcement officials;
  • Law enforcement constitutional or procedural violations; and/or
  • Statements made from police questioning after an attorney was requested.

Additionally, faulty blood, breath, or urine test results may be available as a defense to your DUI charges if the test was administered improperly, the results were inconclusive, the testing machine was not properly calibrated, the testing kit was expired, or if the test was tainted from outside factors.


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OVI Resources in Dayton

Our Montgomery County DUI lawyers are here for you. Here are some helpful resources:

Operating a Vehicle Under the Influence – Title 45 of the Ohio Revised Code defines misdemeanor and felony OVI or DUI offenses, in addition to the penalties for various DUI offenses. Operating a motor vehicle under the influence (OVI or DUI) is specifically defined in section 4511.19.

Montgomery County Clerk of Courts – The Montgomery County Clerk's website provides information on your case, court location, and information, in addition to various legal resources throughout the county. The court is located at:

Montgomery County Common Pleas Court
41 North Perry Street
Dayton, Ohio 45422
Phone: (937) 496-7213

Ohio Department of Public Safety - This website provides information on approved interlock ignition installation devices, DUI administrative license suspensions, and how to reinstate your license after a DUI arrest in Ohio.

Ohio State Highway Patrol – The Ohio State Highway Patrol's website enforces the traffic laws in Ohio, including driving under the influence offenses, and promotes highway safety in the state.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving – Mothers Against Drunk Driving, also known as MADD, is a national nonprofit organization that aims to stop drunk driving, in addition to preventing criminal offenses that arise from drunk driving offenses.


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Joslyn Law Firm, Dayton OVI Defense Attorneys

If you have been accused of driving under the influence offense throughout the areas of Montgomery County, Miami County, Clark County, and Greene County, contact the Joslyn Law Firm today. Brian Joslyn is an aggressive criminal defense lawyer in Dayton who will make every effort to fight the allegations against you and help you avoid the most serious penalties and repercussions to your alleged offense.

Contact the Joslyn Law Firm at (614) 444-1900 today or email us for a free consultation about your case. Hiring an experienced DUI attorney near you in Dayton, Ohio, as early in the process as possible often leads to the best results.

Edited by Brian Joslyn