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DUI Charges: Something for Everyone

There is a widespread fascination among your fellow citizens about celebrity DUIs. Sure, we love to know about everything else they somehow manage to get arrested for — shoplifting, assaults on paparazzi, soliciting prostitutes, and of course, the ever-popular drug bust. But there must be something about seeing these larger-than-life figures reduced to the same screw-up level as the rest of us that we find reassuring (even if they are stepping out of a million-dollar Lamborghini to take their field sobriety tests). Look, we say to ourselves, it can even happen to them.

Not surprisingly, the view from the celebrity side is a little different. Haley Joel Osment (the kid who saw dead people in The Sixth Sense), who was arrested for DUI in 2006, felt the need to point out that despite all the media attention they get, DUIs are not just a Hollywood thing: It can happen to anybody, he said.

Even, believe it or not, you.

And so, whether you are Haley Joel or Average Joe, here is a quick rundown of what you should know about DUI in Ohio (usually referred to here as OVI — Operating a Vehicle while Intoxicated):

  • The legal limit for blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08 percent (.02 percent if you are under 21, and .04 percent for commercial drivers).
  • Refusing to take a chemical blood alcohol test will get you a fine and an immediate license suspension. This is due to the so-called implied consent law, which states that by procuring a drivers license, you are automatically agreeing to submit to a chemical BAC test on demand.
  • Penalties for OVI include jail time of at least three days (more for higher BAC results and repeat offenses); mandatory Driver Intervention Programs; license suspension of six months to five years.
  • Repeat offenses can bring up to six months in jail, vehicle immobilization, electronic home monitoring, and mandatory alcohol treatment program.
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