If you have been charged with DUI or OVI, you should seek a DUI attorney who is experienced and knowledgeable.  A criminal defense conviction for a DUI felony or misdemeanor can have a serious impact on you and your family.  During your free initial consultation, the criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Bergman & Yiangou will answer all of your questions, address your fears and concerns, and do everything possible to lessen the effects of a DUI charge.

SobrietyCheckpointApproachIs there a difference between these DUI charges?

  • DUI (Driving Under the Influence)
  • OVI (Operating a Vehicle while Intoxicated)
  • DWI (Driving While Intoxicated)
  • OMVI (Operating a Motor Vehicle while Intoxicated)

In Ohio, the terms DUI, OVI, DWI and OMVI are used interchangeably and all refer to the same first degree misdemeanor offense.  The Ohio Revised Code defines OVI as the operation of any vehicle, streetcar, or trackless trolley while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.  This means you are either too intoxicated or impaired to properly operate a motor vehicle.  OVI convictions are typically seen as misdemeanors; however, multiple Ohio OVI convictions on your record can escalate future OVI charges, which can then turn into a felony.

What is the difference between impairment and intoxication?

Intoxication means you are operating a motor vehicle and your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is above the legal limit as is defined in the statute.  In Ohio, the current legal limit for drivers over the age of twenty-one is 0.08 percent.  Currently, drivers under the age of twenty-one are considered to be intoxicated if they have a BAC above 0.02 percent.  Impairment applies when a person has not consumed any alcohol but may be under the influence of other drugs, such as cocaine, marijuana, and prescription drugs, to name a few.  There is no statutory minimum when determining impairment.

What is physical control?

Ohio OVI laws are constantly changing.  In 2004, the Ohio Revised Code was amended to add the term “physical control” to the list of offenses.  Physical control means you were in the driver’s seat of a vehicle, under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and had possession of the vehicle’s key and/or ignition device.  Penalties for being charged with physical control of a vehicle are typically less than those penalties for OVI.  Read more about DUI/OMVI Defenses.

What are the possible penalties for a DUI conviction?

DUIs can result in serious penalties, and any prior Ohio OVIs or even OVI convictions from another state can result in more serious penalties.

Common penalties for a DUI offense are:

  • Fines and court costs
  • Jail and/or prison sentences
  • Loss or suspension of your driver’s license
  • Probation
  • Home incarceration (i.e. ankle monitoring)
  • Forfeiture or impoundment of your vehicle
  • Special vehicular license plates (sometimes referred to as party plates)
  • Immobilizing or disabling device installed on your vehicle

If you have been charged with prior OVI charges, the penalties will increase with each conviction.  Additionally, the offense may result in more severe penalties if your blood alcohol concentration is high.

Can I be charged with a DUI while operating a bike?

Yes.  The Ohio Revised Code specifically prohibits the operation of “vehicles, streetcars, or trackless troll(ies)” while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.  The statute also applies to the operation of bicycles, boats, and other motorized vehicles.

If you have been charged with OVI or DUI in Ohio, immediately seek legal counsel from the professional DUI defense attorneys at the Law Offices of Bergman & Yiangou.  During your free initial consultation, our experienced criminal defense attorneys will explain your rights and answer your questions.

Call 614-279-8276 today to speak with our DUI attorneys for the best possible legal representation.