Underage Consumption and DUI/OVI/OUVAC Penalties in Mansfield & Mount Vernon, Ohio
The Difference Between OVI and DUI
In actuality, there is little, if any, difference between operating a vehicle impaired, often abbreviated as OVI, and driving under the influence, typically referred to as DUI. That said, Ohio law enforcement officials recognize and enforce both charges.
Motorists charged with DUI are accused of operating their vehicles with a blood alcohol content of .08 percent or higher. For drivers under 21, DUI could be levied in persons with BACs of .02 percent or more.
Law enforcement officials can charge motorists with OVI if their BAC was at or exceeded .08 percent and were physically present in their automobiles at the time. Moreover, the accused does not necessarily have to have been driving or sitting in an idle vehicle. Charges could be levied if the keys were available to the alleged perpetrator.
Actions One Should Take During an OVI Stop
Individuals stopped on suspicion of impaired driving have legal rights. However, the behaviors said subjects display during this time can have a profound impact on the overall outcome. Even the simplest missteps can have adverse legal consequences.
Comply with Instructions
The moment a motorist notices flashing lights behind them, they are implored to immediately pull to the side of a safe location. The driver should turn on a directional signal informing the law enforcement official they intend to comply with the request to pull over.
Once one has pulled over, they should remain still, wait for the officer to approach and comply with whatever directions said official provides.
Remain as Silent As Possible
Motorists are afforded the constitutional right to remain silent. While motorists in questions are obliged to provide their driver's license, registration, and proof of insurance, they are strongly advised to offer little else.
For example, they should not volunteer potentially incriminating information. Saying one had a beer or two at a friend's house only gives the officer ammunition to probe further. In fact, admitting to the ingestion of alcoholic beverages gives police officials probable cause to conduct field sobriety tests.
Motorists are encouraged to remember that, while they are not obligated to provide information, they should still demonstrate a high degree of politeness.
Refuse Field Sobriety Tests
Motorists are only required to exit the vehicle if asked to do so. That said, they do not have to perform field sobriety tests.
Ohio follows the implied consent principle. This means stopped motorists are expected to undergo BAC measurement if requested. Refusal to comply could result in license suspension lasting up to one year. However, the driver in question could face stiff OVI charges if their BAC is found to be over legal limits.
What Underage Individuals Must Know
Persons under 21 found in violation of alcohol violations are charged with operation of a vehicle after underage consumption, sometimes abbreviated as OVUAC. It is important to reiterate that such charges can be filed against minors whose BACs register at .02 or higher.
An individual under 21 could face pre-trial sanctions like license suspension lasting anywhere from six months to three years.
An individual under 21 first offense is considered a fourth-degree misdemeanor carrying penalties of up to 30 days in jail and fines totaling $150.
Should those charged with OVUAC for a second time in less than a year, an adjudicating body could impose a judicial license suspension anywhere from one to five years. Additional punishments could include up to 60 days in jail and $500 in fines.
Those facing any of the preceding charges are urged to contact an OVI-DUI lawyer today. Our legal professionals at Spaulding & Kitzler are here to help. We have offices located in Mansfield and Mount Vernon, Ohio. We may be able to garner the accused subjects’ lesser penalties and restore their driving specific driving privileges.