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Third OVI

A third arrest for operating vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs (OVI) in Ohio can be classified as an unclassified misdemeanor that may result in steep fines and lengthy imprisonment. Ohio has a “lookback period” of six years on drunk driving offenses, and three OVI (also referred to as driving under the influence or DUI) arrests within this timeframe can trigger enhanced penalties.

If a third OVI arrest is more than six years after a person’s first arrest, then the criminal charges may be based on the number of arrests that do fall within the lookback period. The lookback period when an alleged offender refuses to submit to chemical testing for alleged drunk driving, however, extends to 20 years.

Third OVI Defense Attorney in Dayton, Ohio

Have you been charged with your third drunk driving offense in Ohio? You cannot afford to delay in seeking legal representation for help possibly getting OVI charges reduced or dismissed.

Dayton DUI attorney Brian Joslyn of the Joslyn Law Firm aggressively defends clients throughout Montgomery County, Greene County, Miami County, and Clark County. He can provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case as soon as you call (937) 356-3969 to schedule a free, confidential consultation.


Third DUI Information Center in Ohio


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What is the Penalty for a 3rd DUI in Ohio?

When a person is arrested for drunk driving for the third time in six years, certain penalties apply regardless of the alleged offender’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC).

The sentence for a third DUI conviction in Ohio can include all of the following:

  • Fine of at least $850 up to $2,750;
  • Mandatory alcohol or drug addiction treatment program;
  • Driver’s license suspended for at least two years up to 10 years;
  • No driving privileges for 180 days after the arrest;
  • Alleged offender required to obtain yellow restricted license plates with red lettering;
  • Ignition interlock device installation required on motor vehicles owned or driven by alleged offender; and
  • Possible vehicle forfeiture if the vehicle was registered to the alleged offender.

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High BAC or Test Refusal Enhancements for Third OVI

An alleged offender’s BAC can play a significant role in the severity of the jail term if convicted. When a BAC is 0.08 or more but less than 0.17, then the possible consequences may include:

  • Minimum of 30 days in jail or 15 days of jail and 55 days house arrest with electronic monitoring (HAEM) and/or continuous alcohol monitoring (CAM) up to one year in jail;

If an alleged offender refused to submit to chemical testing or had a BAC is 0.17 or greater, then the possible jail terms increase to:

  • Minimum of 60 days in jail or 30 days of jail and 110 days house arrest with electronic monitoring (HAEM) and/or continuous alcohol monitoring (CAM) up to one year in jail;

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How Long Do You Go to Jail After Your Third DUI?

Most OVI offenders rarely see any time in jail as the crime is relatively nonviolent and therefore the person who committed it isn’t seen as a threat to society. However, if you’ve been convicted of not one, not two, but three OVIs, then you may be required to spend some time in a jail cell. The minimum jail sentence for a third OVI is at least 30 days. However, it may be reduced to 15 days in jail plus a minimum of 55 days under house arrest.

Take note, this is only the mandatory minimum. You could be sentenced to up to 12 months in jail if the judge determines that’s an appropriate sentence. If your blood alcohol concentration was .17 % or higher during your OVI, then your mandatory minimum jail sentence will be enhanced to 60 days in jail. The judge may reduce that minimum to 15 days in jail plus a minimum of 55 days of electronic house arrest.


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How Many DUIs is a Felony in Ohio?

Although the penalties for a third OVI are harsh, the crime is still classified as a misdemeanor. An OVI offense is only charged as a felony if it’s your fourth DUI in a span of 10 years or your sixth DUI in a span of 20 years. After you’ve been charged with a felony DUI, any additional OVI related offense will also be considered a felony. The only way you can avoid these enhancements to the sentence is to prove that any prior convictions are false.

A fourth DUI within a span of 10 years is classified as a fourth-degree felony. The penalties for a fourth felony DUI offense include: 

  • A mandatory minimum of 60 days in jail
  • Incarceration for up to 12 months
  • A fine of up to $10,500
  • Possible lifetime license suspension
  • Mandatory yellow restricted license plates
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device
  • Possible vehicle forfeiture

A sixth DUI within 20 years is also categorized as a fourth-degree felony. The penalties include:

  • A mandatory minimum of 120 days in jail
  • Incarceration for up to 12 months
  • A fine of up to $10,500
  • Possible lifetime license suspension
  • Mandatory yellow restricted license plates
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device
  • Possible vehicle forfeiture

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Ohio Third OVI Resources

COVID-19 Restrictions | Montgomery County Circuit Court – Visit the official website for Montgomery County, Texas to learn more about their new COVID-19 restrictions and entry regulations. Access the site to read up on their jury plans during the pandemic, their mask and social distancing requirements for the district courts, and other related information.

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) | Central Office of Dayton, Inc. — AA is an international fellowship that has a primary purpose to help alcoholics "stay sober and help other alcoholics achieve sobriety." The organization uses a 12-step program that has since become adopted by numerous other fellowships for various types of drug addiction and other problems. You can find meeting dates, times, and locations in the Dayton area on this website.

Central Office of Dayton, Inc.
211 Liberty Tower
120 West Second Street
Dayton, OH 45402
(937) 222-2211

Montgomery County Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services (ADAMHS) — The ADAMHS Board is one of 50 Boards coordinating the public behavioral health system in Ohio, and it statutorily empowered by Chapter 340 of the Ohio Revised Code to “establish a unified system of service and supports for individuals with mental illness and addiction.” You can learn more about finding help for alcoholism, the ADAMHS budget, and upcoming events on this website. You can also download an app and find answers to frequently asked questions.

Montgomery County ADAMHS
409 East Monument Street
Dayton, OH 45402
(937) 443-0416


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Dayton Defense Attorney for Third OVI in OH

If you were arrested in Ohio for your third OVI offense, it will be in your best interest to immediately retain legal counsel. Joslyn Law Firm defends clients facing DUI charges all over the greater Dayton and Montgomery County area, including Huber Heights, Kettering, and many surrounding communities such as Springfield, Beavercreek, Fairborn, Troy, and Piqua.

Brian Joslyn has been certified as an instructor in the administration of standardized field sobriety tests by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as well as in the operation, diagnostic, verification and calibration of the BAC Datamaster Breath Alcohol Testing Instruments manufactured by National Patent Analytical Systems, Inc. Our experienced Dayton criminal defense attorney can review your case during a free consultation when you call (937) 356-3969 or complete an online form today.


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