While there are some minor differences from state to state, Ohio has similar drunk driving laws to most jurisdictions in the country. Whether someone is merely driving poorly due to intoxication or causes an accident, penalties are always severe. Because of the possibility of losing a driver’s license or going to jail, it is important to get legal help as soon as possible after being charged.

Local news for southwest Ohio spoke of some recent drunk driving incidents in Butler County, along with increased law enforcement efforts to prevent accidents.

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Council reports on widespread dangers and death of a local resident

The Safety Council for Southwestern Ohio released statistics detailing the deaths of approximately 1700 people who died around the country in motor vehicle accidents in just under a month. About one third of all of those crashes involved a drunk driver. The same council also released a statement about the dangers of drunk driving, including the possibility of injuries, criminal drunk driving charges, accidents, and even death.

There was a story of a 23 year old male victim from Hamilton, who was refueling his broken down vehicle on Ohio Highway 63 and East Ave when he was killed by a drunk driver. His two young sons were also in the car at the time, but they survived.

The suspect in this incident had two previous convictions under Ohio’s OVI laws, short for Operating a Vehicle While Impaired. This is the same offense as DUI or DWI in most other states. He was sentenced to seven years in prison for the incident on that night, and also received a permanent driver’s license suspension from Butler County as part of his plea deal.

Drunk driving charges for most offenders in Ohio will end up costing at least $10,000, and even a refusal of a breath test carries an automatic arrest and license suspension.

How do OVI laws work in the state of Ohio

Under state law, any driver can be charged for being drunk, on drugs, or any combination of intoxicating substances while operating a motor vehicle. Drivers with a blood alcohol concentration of greater than .08 or minors with a reading of at least .02 will be prosecuted. License suspensions are at least 6 months for a first offense, and at least one year for subsequent offenses within 6 years.

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Defending against OVI charges in Hamilton and the rest of Ohio

Because drunk driving charges are so common in Ohio and many other states around the nation, you may find yourself in the position of needing an OVI defense attorney. These lawyers will look at a traffic stop, and documentation related to your arrest, and relevant chemical tests to make sure the police acted within their legal authority. Mistakes during this process can cause evidence to be excluded from the state’s case, which often results in charges being dropped or reduced.

Talk to a lawyer in the Hamilton area

If you need help after being charged with OVI in Butler County, Hamilton, or other parts of southwest Ohio, contact Kruger and Hodges. They can provide more information about drunk driving penalties and the possibility of defending against the state’s charges.