Stiefvater Law, LLC
DUI Lawyers & Criminal Attorneys


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Ohio DUI Lawyer - Drunk Driving Defense - OVI Attorneys

If you have been arrested for or charged with drunk driving (DUI or OVI) it is important that you understand just what a conviction will mean.  At a minimum, have a consultation with an accomplished DUI Lawyer. Some people say that ignorance is bliss - but without the aggressive representation of a DUI Attorney, that will NOT be the case on the day you are sentenced for Drunk Driving.  A DUI will remain on your record forever.

DUI Lawyer Robert Stiefvater offers a free initial consultation. Call today to discuss the penalties you are facing as well as what a well preprared, knowlegable, and aggressive DUI Attorney can do for YOU!

The prosecutor isn't waiting to put you in jail- so don't wait to discuss the defense of your case!  It is possible to beat a DUI charge.

What is OVI? What is DUI?

In recent years, the State of Ohio has been cracking down on drunk drivers by way of increased enforcement and strict penalties for those convicted. Drunk driving is often referred to as DUI or DWI. Under current Ohio law, the offense is actually termed OVI (or Operating Vehicle under the Influence). OVI can be either a misdemeanor or felony offense.

DUI, or OVI is an enhanceable offense. That means that the penalties increase (substantially) for each conviction. Each offense carries with it a mandatory minimum jail or prison sentence. If you are facing your first, second, or third DUI/OVI, click here to view the potential penalties. If you are facing your fourth, fifth, sixth or felony DUI/OVI, click here to view the potential penalties. In addition to the listed penalties, an OVI conviction carries 6 points on your license.

The legal limit in Ohio is a BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) of .08 percent. A BAC of .17 or higher is considered a “high test” and a conviction of a high test DUI typically doubles the mandatory minimum jail sentence and carries more restrictions on driving privileges. The same holds true with a refusal to a blood alcohol concentration test. You can also be charged with OVI if you have a prohibited level of controlled substances in your blood. The concentration level varies upon the substance: click for more information on Ohio's legal limits.

What is an Administrative License Suspension (ALS)?

Every OVI arrest carries with it an immediate Administrative License Suspension (ALS). The ALS is considered a civil as opposed to criminal matter. Your license is taken and all driving privileges are immediately revoked. Driving privileges are only permitted with the Court’s consent and after the “hard time” suspension has expired. The length of the hard time suspension is dependent upon the offense with which you have been charged. There is a limited time in which the ALS can be appealed. As such, it is imperative that you retain the services of a DUI Lawyer as soon as possible.


Administrative License Suspension (ALS) – an automatic suspension of driving privileges upon arrest for OVI. ALS can run from 90 days to 3 years.  Considered a civil as opposed to criminal penalty.

Blood Alcohol Concentration/Content (BAC) - The percentage of alcohol or other substance within the blood.  BAC can be measured by breath, urine, whole blood, and blood serum or plasma.

Driver Intervention Program (DIP) - a 72 hour program typically held at a hotel. This program is typically for first offenders and credited as 3 days jail.

Forfeiture - certain OVI/DUI convictions require forfeiture of your vehicle. The result of this process is that the state or municipality takes title to the vehicle. If title is transferred after you are charged but prior to the forfeiture, you can be fined the value of the vehicle at the time of transfer.

High Test - A BAC of .17 or greater. An OVI conviction with a high test carries more stringent penalties.

Immobilization - typically a boot or other locking device that is installed on a vehicle in order to prevent its ability to be operated.

Interlock - a device attached to your vehicle into which you must submit a breath sample. The vehicle will not start if alcohol is detected on the breath.

Low Test - A BAC of .08 to .169. Considered a standard OVI or DUI.

Restricted Plates - also known as “party plates” or the yellow plates that DUI/OVI offenders are often required to install on their vehicle as a condition of driving privileges.

Treatment - can range from an alcohol/drug assessment to an alcohol/drug addiction program.