What happens if I am convicted of an alcohol or drug-related violation in Ohio?

A conviction for an alcohol or drug-related Ohio offense, such as driving while drunk, can have serious consequences. Depending on the severity of the violation, many long-term implications will affect your future. Here are some of the things that can happen to you.

Your privilege to drive a car can be suspended or revoked

Your driving privileges will likely be suspended or revoked if found guilty and convicted of any alcohol or drug-related driving offense. For example, if you are convicted of a second OVI offense within twenty-four months, your license will likely be revoked for three years by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV). If you are revoked, your license will not be reinstated until you meet certain conditions. In many cases, you must obtain a hardship license to drive to and from work, school, or drug/alcohol treatment.

You may be instructed to participate in an alcohol or drug-abuse intervention program

Suppose you are convicted of any alcohol or controlled substances-related driving offense other than an OVI. In that case, you will be required by the law authorities to participate in licensed alcohol and drug-abuse intervention program. This program will require you to submit to a breath test and must be completed within twelve months from the date of your conviction. You may also be required to pay fines and court costs.

Your insurance rates could increase dramatically

Some insurance companies will cancel your policy after your first conviction for certain offenses, forcing you to buy new coverage with another company at much higher rates. If you receive a moving violation such as a speeding ticket and later use it to justify an increase in your rates, your insurer will be able to raise your rates for three years from the date of conviction. For instance, a first OVI offense may increase your insurance rates by up to 20 percent over six months and up to 36 percent over three years.

Your records will be made public, putting you at a greater risk

Depending on your conviction, the judge will file with the court a “disposition report” that states the date of conviction, your name, and the charges you are convicted of. The court will then file the report with the BMV, which can be obtained by anyone who is a citizen of Ohio. Your conviction will appear on your driving record, and anyone who obtains it can see it. You may also be required to pay a fee to the BMV that can range from $50 to $100.

You could face jail time

If you are convicted of an alcohol or drug-related violation, you may be sentenced to up to six months in county jail. The most common cases in which jail is ordered are convictions for OVI, refusing a chemical test, or being under the influence of marijuana. For instance, if you are convicted of an OVI, you may be sentenced to six months in jail if you are under 21 years old and three months in jail if you are 21 or older.

You could be forced to pay enormous court costs

Depending on your case, you could be required to pay court costs ranging from a few hundred dollars to more than a thousand. Court costs are used to pay for operating expenses of the court and may include fees for prosecutors, judges, jurors, and the cost of keeping prisoners in jail. This can financially strain low-income people and those living on fixed incomes.

A criminal record may be checked before you are hired, making it difficult for you to find work

Many jobs require the offender to register with the BMV as a condition of employment. Suppose your conviction is shown on your driving record. In that case, you will likely unable to acquire employment in sensitive occupations such as nursing or law enforcement until certain conditions are met by the BMV, which can include obtaining a hardship license for up to three years.

You could be required to attend and complete an alcohol or drug treatment program

Suppose you are convicted of an alcohol or controlled substances-related driving offense within one year or another. In that case, you can be called for to attend and complete a drug or alcohol treatment program. This requirement can be for six months if your court does not order you to participate in a specialty program for repeat offenders, but it can be for as long as a year if such a program is ordered. Are you at risk of being convicted of an alcohol or drug-related violation in Ohio? We are here to help help you overcome the risk. Call us today at 833-680-0165 to discuss your case. We will explain the available options and help you find the best solution for your needs.