My Ohio driver’s license has been suspended for a DUI. Now what?
Your Ohio driver’s license has been suspended. Can it be reversed? Or can the suspension time be reduced? Read on to find out from Columbus’ top drunk driving lawyers.
The loss of driving privileges after a license suspension presents real challenges. In some cases, the attorneys at Yavitch & Palmer can reduce the length of the suspension. But until then and while your license is still suspended — don’t drive. A lot of people learn this lesson the hard way.
For example, in early March, a Chesapeake, Ohio man rammed a police cruiser three times after ending up cornered in an alley following a high-speed chase. The driver, David B. Crace, 57, did all this on a suspended license. We’re not blaming the driver’s bizarre behaviors on driving with a suspended license, but it certainly didn’t help him. Because — understatement of the day — driving with a revoked license is a bad idea, and it can lead to more dumb decisions.
Sadly, many people don’t understand this.
A 2013 analysis of state data by the Dayton Daily News showed nearly 1 million Ohio drivers have had their licenses suspended for drunken driving. And 266,000 of them went on to be “three-times-or-more offenders,” which accounts “for more than half of the drunk-driving suspensions imposed on Ohio drivers over the years.”
If you’re convicted of a DUI in Ohio, you can face penalties on several fronts. You may face fines. You may face jail time. But often the longest lasting impact can be a suspension of your driver’s license. Not only are you facing criminal charges. You have to deal with the BMV.
Now what: Do penalties increase if you have more than one offense?
As with other penalties associated with DUI convictions, the length of license suspension will go up exponentially if you’re convicted of repeat DUI/OVI in Ohio.
- Second OVI offense: Driver’s license suspension from one to five years
- Third OVI offense: Driver’s license suspension from two to 10 years
- Fourth OVI offense: Driver’s license suspension from three years to lifetime
Oh, and those same exponentially increasing penalties can be applied if you refuse a chemical test more than once.
- Second offense: Driver’s license suspension of two year
- Third offense: Driver’s license suspension of three years
- Fourth offense: Driver’s license suspension of five years
It’s also worth noting that other charges may result in different license suspensions. If you’re under 21 and get caught driving under the influence, you could lose your license for between six months to three years. And if your OVI becomes a charge of Aggravated Vehicular Manslaughter, you could lose your driving privileges for life.
What’s next: What do I do if my Ohio driver’s license is suspended?
There are situations where the length of a license suspension can be reduced in a court of law. In those cases, you’ll need an experienced Columbus drunk driving lawyers to look at your case against deep knowledge of Ohio DUI laws. You can contact Yavitch & Palmer via phone (614-224-6142) or online to hear the details of your case.
Let’s back up: How do suspended licenses happen in the first place?
If you’re pulled over under suspicion of DUI, your driver’s license may be suspended almost immediately. In the state of Ohio, you have the right to refuse to submit to a field sobriety test. However, hidden deep in the paperwork you signed when you got your license in Ohio is the basis for implied consent. This means that if you refuse to submit to a chemical test, you can be subject to what’s known as Administrative License Suspension (ALS). And this takes effect immediately. You have a license when the traffic stop starts. You don’t when it’s done.
So does this mean you should agree to a chemical test? Not necessarily. The officer may tell you that refusing to take the test will result in a one-year license suspension, while you’ll only get a 90-day suspension if you comply. But what the cops don’t tell you is that those suspensions will often end up the same whether you submit or not.
The best advice is to contact an experienced DUI lawyer before you agree to the DUI test. If that’s not possible, a good guideline is to not take a test you can’t pass. Here are five reasons you shouldn’t take a breathalyzer test.