What is the Difference Between a DUI and an OVI in Ohio?

Driving or operating a car while under the influence of drugs or alcohol can result in serious charges. It is also the cause of thousands of accidents and deaths every year. Depending on the state you live in and the circumstances of your particular case, you can be charged with a DUI, DWI or OVI if you are caught operating or intending to operate a vehicle while under the influence. This article will focus on the definitions for the terms DUI and OVI and discuss what they mean and the consequences of being charged with either offense.

DUI stands for Driving under the Influence. To be charged with this offense, you must be caught driving a motor vehicle on public property while having a blood alcohol that exceeds the limit of the state you are located in. Each state has a different legal blood alcohol limit, but all states range between .08 and .10. DUIs are usually categorized as a misdemeanor, but you can be charged with felony DUI if you caused injury to others or damaged someone’s property. You can also be charged with a felony DUI if you have a prior history with drunk driving. If you are pulled over and the officer suspects that you are under the influence of alcohol, he or she will administer a Breathalyzer test as well as field sobriety tests to confirm whether or not you are within the legal limits.

OVI stands for Operating a Vehicle under the Influence. This term is currently only applicable in Ohio and was created in 2004. According to Ohio law, you can be charged with an OVI if you perform any actions that infer that you have physical control of a vehicle while you are under the influence of an illegal drug or have a blood alcohol level that is in excess of the state’s legal limit of .08. The main difference between and OVI and a DUI is that you do not have to be driving the vehicle in order to be charged with an OVI. In some cases, simply sitting in the driver’s seat with the keys in the ignition or within arm’s reach is enough to warrant an OVI charge.

This means that if you are intoxicated or under the influence of a substance and want to avoid being charged with an OVI, it is best to avoid sitting in the driver’s seat of a vehicle or being in the possession of the vehicle’s keys.

 Call Attorney John I. Peters, an experienced Traffic& Criminal Attorney today at 740-927-3858 to help you through the process!