National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys
RUE Ratings - Best Attorneys of America
"The Joslyn Law Firm is highly experienced and nationally recognized for their Criminal and DUI Defense. Brian Joslyn is an Award-Winning Criminal and DUI Defense attorney who, along with his team, has handled hundreds of cases and has helped their clients obtain the best results possible."

First DUI / OVI

A first driving under the influence (DUI or OVI) offense is one of the most commonly charged DUI and traffic offenses in Dayton. Often, individuals who are charged with a first DUI offense are not felons or criminals, and generally have not previously been accused of any other criminal offense.

Also known as OVI, operating a vehicle under the influence, DWI or driving while intoxicated, an individual accused of committing a first DUI offense is often scared and unsure of what to do in the situation. Unfortunately, even a first offense can result in serious penalties and repercussions, such as a jail sentence, steep fines, probation for several months, a criminal record, community service, a driver's license suspension, and/or installation of an ignition interlock device on their vehicle.

However, criminal charges for a first DUI offense do not have to result in a conviction. The state prosecutor is required to prove you committed every element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt, which can be a very difficult burden of proof to satisfy. If any element of the offense is not proven by this standard, the charges against you may be reduced or even dismissed. Therefore, it is important to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to help you create the best legal defense for your particular case.

First Offense DUI Attorney in Dayton, OH

Contact the Joslyn Law Firm for a consultation today about your first driving under the influence offense throughout the areas of Dayton, Kettering, Huber Heights, Troy, Piqua, Springfield, Beavercreek and Fairborn. Brian Joslyn is an experienced Ohio DUI defense lawyer who will make every effort to help you avoid the most serious penalties and repercussions to your alleged offense. Contact the Joslyn Law Firm for a free consultation at (614) 444-1900 if you have been charged with a first DUI offense throughout Dayton, Ohio and Montgomery county including Montgomery Village, White Oak, Clarksburg, Kensignton, and Aspen Hill. 

Information Center:


Back to top

First DUI Offense in Ohio

An individual can be charged with their first driving under the influence offense if they drive, operate or have actual physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, drugs or any combination of alcohol and controlled substances.

Also known as operating a vehicle under the influence (OVI), an individual charged with this offense also must had had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of .08% or higher at the time of the offense, which can be measured through chemical testing of the alleged offender's blood, breath or urine.

If the alleged DUI offender was pulled over for driving under the influence of drugs or controlled substances, they can be charged with a first DUI if they have any traceable amounts of marijuana, methamphetamines, cocaine, heroin, ecstasy, or any other controlled substance in their system at the time of the offense.


Back to top

When Do You Lose Your License After a DUI?

According to section 4510.02 of the Ohio Revised Code, an individual who is convicted of a first DUI offense may be subjected to a Class Five driver's license suspension. Anyone who receives this level of suspension will face a driver's license suspension for a definite period of time as decided by the court ranging from six months to three years.

However, as stated in section 4510.021 of the Ohio Revised Code, an individual may be granted limited driving privileges for educational, vocational or occupational reasons.

Before an individual's license is reinstated, the court may require the alleged offender to attend court-ordered treatment, take a driver's license exam or complete a driving course.


Back to top

Penalties for First Time OVI in Ohio

A conviction for a first DUI offense is generally punishable as a misdemeanor of the first degree, which can result in any combination of the following penalties:

  • Fine - An individual convicted of a first DUI offense may be required to pay a fine of at least $375, but not more than $1,075.
  • Jail Sentence - An individual convicted of a first DUI offense may be sentenced to jail for a mandatory minimum of 72 consecutive hours and a maximum term of six months.
  • Ignition Interlock Device - An individual convicted of a first DUI offense may be required to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicle, if required by the court.
  • Driver's Intervention Program - An individual convicted of a first DUI offense may be required to complete a certified driver's intervention program instead of a mandatory jail term. If the alleged offender has a high BAC, they may be required to attend the three day driver’s intervention program and serve the mandatory jail sentence. The court may also require the alleged offender to attend alcohol or drug treatment or education programs.

Additionally, a first DUI can result in increased penalties if the offense resulted in death or serious bodily injury to another person or the offense resulted in property damage.


Back to top

Will I Go to Jail for My First DUI in Ohio?

Whether or not you go to jail for a first-time OVI depends on the circumstances of the case. Upon conviction the mandatory minimum jail sentence for an OVI is three consecutive days. However, you may be presented the option to attend a 72-hour Driver Intervention Program instead that will likely be based at a third-party venue such as a hotel.  The course is designed to teach drivers of the dangers of reckless driving and substance abuse while driving.

Unfortunately, the judge will not be as forgiving if it’s a high tier or high test OVI. The mandatory minimum for a high tier OVI is six days in jail. The judge may allow you to participate in a Driver’s Intervention Program for 3 days, but the other 3 days must be spent consecutively in jail. For an OVI to be considered an “high test” or “high tier” DUI, the offender must have:

  • .17 or above for a breathalyzer test
  • .238 or above for urinalysis test
  • .17 or above for a whole blood test
  • .204 or above for blood serum or plasma 

Back to top

What Are the Chances of Getting an OVI Reduced?

The outcome of an OVI case is based on a multitude of factors such as who the prosecutor and judge are, if anyone was hurt during the commission of the crime, and if you had a prior record. These factors and more will determine if you’re able to have your charge reduced to a lesser offense. The best course of action to reducing an OVI is to first hire an experienced Dayton DUI defense attorney. They can analyze your case and develop an argument for a reduced charge.

A common charge OVI is reduced down to is Reckless Operation of a Motor Vehicle, which is a misdemeanor traffic offense. According to Ohio law, a person is guilty of reckless operation if they operate a vehicle on a street or highway “in willful or wanton disregard of the safety of persons or property.” Your defense may be able to argue that you weren’t under the influence at all and instead was operating your vehicle in a careless and reckless manner.

The penalties for OVI are often substantial and can take up to a year to complete. A conviction for reckless operation carries much lighter penalties in contrast and won’t be as expensive or time consuming. The penalties include up to four points on your license as well as a fine of up to $150. A second conviction will result in a fine of up to $500 and up to 60 days in jail.


Back to top

Additional Resources 

OVI Laws in Ohio | ORC – Visit the official website for the Ohio Revised Code (ORC) to learn more about their laws pertaining to operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Access the site to learn the penalties of the crime, legal limit for CDL drivers, and other relevant information you may need

License Reinstatement Requirements for First Time OVI – Visit the official website for the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) to learn more about how to reinstate your license after a first time OVI conviction. Access the site to learn your possible suspension term, the reinstatement fee, and how to get proof of insurance that covers the length of your suspension.


Back to top

Attorney for First Time OVI Offenders in Dayton, OH

If you have been accused of a first 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 Dayton DUI defense attorney who will make every effort to fight the allegations against you. Contact the Joslyn Law Firm at (614) 444-1900 today for a free consultation about your alleged first DUI offense in Dayton. We accept clients throughout the Dayton and Montgomery County area including Rockville, Bethesda, Gaithersburg, Germantown, Potomac, Olney, and Wheaton. 


Back to top