You have probably heard the new commercial campaigns stating, “Buzzed driving is still drunk driving.” The use of alcohol and recreational drugs while driving can lead to an OVI arrest and charge. However, the use of prescription drugs while driving, even those which are properly prescribed by medical professionals, can also lead to an OVI charge if the drugs affect your ability to drive. While some may brush off these warnings as overexaggerated scare tactics, driving while under the influence of any amount of drugs or alcohol has very real consequences. The Ohio State Highway Patrol reported in 2017 there were 379 auto collisions where the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol with 405 fatalities from these collisions. A study of all 50 states in the U.S. by USA Today found that Ohio had the 14th highest rate of individuals who drove drunk.
In April of 2017, Ohio expanded its OVI laws and increased penalties associated with a charge for operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol. One change is a larger “look back” period for repeat offenders (an increase from 6 years to 10 years), which could greatly affect whether a conviction means an educational program for first time offenders or a mandatory jail sentence for repeat offenders. First time offenders now face a mandatory one-year suspension of their license to drive. Repeat offenders could face a lifetime suspension of their driver’s license depending on the number of prior OVI convictions.
This New Year’s Eve and beyond, Lardiere McNair implores you to stay out of the driver’s seat if you have been drinking. While you will face legal penalties for your actions, you also put the lives and safety of yourself and others at risk when you drive while intoxicated.
If you or someone you know faces repercussions stemming from driving while intoxicated, Lardiere McNair can help. From OVI charges to personal injury and wrongful death claims, the attorneys at Lardiere McNair are able to fight for your rights.
Call us to schedule your free consultation at 614.534.1355.
Victoria Smith is a Law Clerk at Lardiere McNair, LLC. To read more about our firm, please visit www.lmcounsel.com.
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