Indiana and Ohio drunk driving laws are among America’s most stringent. A OWI (Operating While Intoxicated) or OVI (Operating a Vehicle under the Influence) conviction could cost you your driver’s license, raise your auto insurance premiums, force you to enter substance abuse education programs or even cost you your job. Matt will use an aggressive, commonsense defense against your OWI-OVI-DUI charges.
DO NOT REFUSE A BREATHALYZER TEST,
A URINE TEST (OHIO), OR A BLOOD DRAW (INDIANA)
Whether you are in Indiana or Ohio, refusing to submit to a chemical test will result in an AUTOMATIC SUSPENSION OF YOUR DRIVER’S LICENSE. Moreover, Law Enforcement Officers WILL NOT INFORM A DRIVER OF THE CONSEQUENCES OF REFUSING to take a chemical test of any kind (breath, urine or blood. IN MOST CASES, YOU WILL ONLY BE ASKED ONE TIME TO SUBMIT TO TESTING.
Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) Charges in Indiana
Commonly referred to as DUI, Indiana’s Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) laws impose strict penalties on those convicted of an OWI. You can be charged with an OWI for operating any vehicle, such as a car, truck or boat, while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance such as marijuana, cocaine or methamphetamines.
Charges can be filed against you if an officer can demonstrate through a series of Field Sobriety Tests (FST’s) that you are impaired. It is important to understand that an officer does not need to demonstrate a blood alcohol (BAC) level above 0.08% to initiate an arrest, simply failing the FST’s can be sufficient.
However, if an officer determines through a breathalyzer test (or blood draw) that your blood alcohol level was 0.08% BAC or above, then they do not need to demonstrate any other impairment to arrest you.
There are 2 important exceptions to these blood alcohol (BAC) tests. First if you are under 21 you cannot have more than a 0.02% BAC and, second, for those operating commercial vehicles you cannot have a 0.04% BAC.
Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) Penalties in Indiana
Indiana’s penalties for an OWI are very strict. State Law requires a minimum sentence and judges are given wide discretion on a maximum sentence. Additional Charges for OWI can be severe when there are children in the vehicle and when there is a collision resulting in injuries, death or damage to property.
It’s important to engage a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to begin advocating on your behalf to have cases dismissed or a reduction in charges or alternative sentencing. Without any intervention by a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney, Indiana’s minimum and maximum license suspensions are as follows:
1st Offense = Minimum of 90 days to a Maximum of 2 years suspended license
2nd Offense = Minimum of 180 days to a Maximum of 2 years suspended license
3rd Offense = Minimum of 1 year to a Maximum of 10 years suspended license
In addition to license suspension, you are likely facing additional jail time and fines. A first offense with a 0.08% BAC and up to 0.15% BAC is a Class C misdemeanor and could including up to 60 days jail time and up to $500 fine. A previous offense will immediately jump the charges to a Level 6 felony and 6 months to 2 1/2 years in prison and up to $10,000 fine.
Operating a Vehicle Under the Influence (OVI) Charges in Ohio
Like Indiana, Ohio’s Operating a Vehicle Under the Influence (OVI) laws impose strict and complex penalties on those convicted of an OVI. You can be charged with an OWI for operating any vehicle, such as a car, truck or boat, while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance such as marijuana, cocaine or methamphetamines.
Operating a Vehicle Under the Influence (OVI) Penalties in Ohio
Ohio’s penalties are complex and are determined by a series of factors including the suspected substance of abuse, the amount of the substance, other occupants, especially children, and if any damage to property or bodily harm or even death to other people. OH RC 4511.19
A conviction for OVI will result in a one-year license suspension.
In addition, depending on the number of past offenses, the court could fine an offender from $375.00 up to $20,000 plus court costs. The minimum jail time for a first time OVI is 3 actual days in jail up to a maximum of 15 years. Furthermore, depending on the number of previous OVI convictions, you may be required to attend driver’s intervention programs and/or install an interlock device in the vehicle. In extreme cases, Ohio law even permits vehicle forfeiture.
It’s critical that you engage with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to ensure that you have the most effective defense with the most options available to you.
Yes, This Really Does Apply to Boats as Well
It’s important to understand that being charged with an OWI or OVI while operating a boat carries the same penalties as operating your car. A conviction of an OWI or OVI while operating a boat will impact your driver’s license. Period. The very first action you should take is to contact Matt Chapel immediately to protect your license and your freedom.