What Is the Punishment for Underage DUI

As Ohio an underage DUI defense attorney, members of The Maher Law Firm know that courts in this state can punish driving under the influence of alcohol while younger than 21 quite harshly. Sentencing guidelines used by county, city, and town judges look like this:

Underage Drunk Driving Penalties in Ohio

  First Offense Second Offense
Jail or Monitored House Arrest Up to 30 days Up to 60 days
Fine Up to $250 Up to $500
Court-Ordered Addiction Treatment Optional Optional
License/Permit Suspension 90 days to 2 years 12 months to 5 years
Ignition Interlock Device Optional Optional
Points on Driving Record 4 4

Keep in mind that a conviction for the offense Ohio statutes call operating a vehicle after underage alcohol consumption (OVUAC) requires registering just a .02 blood alcohol concentration. Many teens and young adults can reach that BAC by drinking a single 12-ounce beer over the course of an hour.

Another concern is that individuals charged with OVUAC can have their driver’s license or permit seized by the police officer or state trooper who made the arrest. This penalty, which becomes automatic for young drivers who register a BAC of .08 or higher, is called an administrative license suspension, or ALS. It takes effect immediately, making it illegal for the teen or young adult to drive at all. When an ALS related to an OVUAC charge is not successfully appealed within 30 days, the suspension remains in effect for at least 90 days.

Reinstating a license following an OVAUC-related suspension or ALS requires paying fees to the BMV and retaking the driver’s test. Note, too, that any costs associated with fulfilling the terms of the underage drunk driving sentence must be paid by the person who was convicted or by the young driver’s family. For instance, installing, servicing, and checking an ignition interlock device costs money at every stage.

A Note on Teens Driving Under the Influence of Drugs

Ohio includes driving under the influence of drugs in the general definition of operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OVI). The state does not punish drug-related OVIs differently if the accused drivers are younger than 21. Drug tests on drivers suspected of being intoxicated screen for

  • Amphetamines
  • Cocaine/Crack
  • Heroin
  • LSD
  • Marijuana
  • Methamphetamines
  • PCP
  • Salvia

Prescription opioid painkillers and medications taken to control the symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder can also register on drug tests.

A first-time OVI sentence generally substitutes completion of a multiday Driver Intervention Program for a jail sentence. However, the fine and other aspects of the penalty are usually more severe than those handed out for an OVUAC conviction. Any drunk or drugged driving charge against a person younger than 21 must be taken seriously. The Franklin County-based underage DUI attorney with The Maher Law Firm has worked with high schoolers, college students, and their parents in Columbus and its surrounding communities to mount defenses and negotiate plea deals. We offer free consultations to all potential clients, so call us at (614) 205-2208. You can also talk to an attorney now by contacting us online through this contact form.

  • 2019-01-18
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Do You Lose Your License When You Are Convicted for a DUI for the First Time?

Yes, the sentence for a first-time conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in Ohio includes a license suspension. The standard penalty is a 12-month suspension and no driving privileges for 15 days. A judge has the authority to extend the suspension to as much as 36 months, and also to extend the total ban on driving.  Driving privileges are at the complete discretion of the judge.  He or she can decide not to let you drive for the entire length of your suspension.

  • 2018-03-01
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Options After an Alleged DUI Crash

If you get charged with causing a crash while operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OVI) in central Ohio, you really only have one good option: Hire a Franklin County DUI lawyer. You need a vigorous defense, especially if the wreck resulted in injuries or deaths. The penalties for causing a collision while driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol can include years in prison and thousands of dollars in fines and fees. The only way to avoid the harshest consequences is to work closely with a defense attorney who has represented many people facing DUI/OVI charges.

  • 2017-09-27
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Domestic Assault and Battery Charges

Ohio state statutes group domestic assault and battery under the label “domestic violence.” Further, no clear distinction is made between “assault” and “battery.” In states where a legal difference is recognized, battery involves making contact with another person. An assault can occur with or without contact.

Although most violations of domestic violence laws are prosecuted as misdemeanors, penalties can be severe. Because accusation of assaulting a family member or a romantic partner who share your house can stem from a misunderstanding and or self-defense, hiring a Columbus, Ohio, criminal defense attorney as soon as a charge is filed is very important.

  • 2016-11-10
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Three Most Important OVI Codes to Know in Columbus

Ohio law enforcement officials and courts use the abbreviation “OVI” for alleged drunk and drugged driving offenses. The initials stand for “operating a vehicle while intoxicated,” which is something other states call driving while intoxicated, driving while impaired, and operating under the influence.

  • 2019-01-08
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I Missed My Court Date for a Traffic Violation. What Should I Do?

Any Franklin County traffic lawyer will advise you to do almost anything to keep your court date. Failing to appear in traffic court on the scheduled day can get you arrested and cost you your driver’s license. You may even end up being forced in to a conviction of the alleged driving offense you intended to fight without being given the opportunity to prove your innocence.

  • 2018-02-13
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Franklin County drunk driving lawyer

Here are five facts about impaired driving every teenager and adult in Franklin County, Ohio must know.


  1. State laws against impaired driving cover alcohol, street drugs, and several types of prescription medications.

  • 2017-09-07
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6 of the Most Common Criminal Defense Cases in Ohio

Take any criminal charge seriously. Even if the penalty will amount only to a few hundred dollars in fines and fees for a low-level misdemeanor, the arrest and conviction can remain on your record for the rest of your life. Plus, there is little way to know for sure what the penalties will include until a judge issues the sentence.

  • 2018-04-20
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Tips on How To Read Your Traffic Ticket

Start reading an Ohio traffic ticket at the bottom. The last line on the standard form indicates whether you need to appear in court to answer to the alleged offense or accept a sentence for a guilty plea. If the police officer or state trooper who issued you the ticket checked YES to the question “Personal Appearance Required,” you need to go before a judge.

  • 2017-12-30
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Can I Receive Driving Privileges?

Ohio law allows people to regain limited personal driving privileges after they lose their license due to a criminal or traffic offense. Commercial driving privileges stay suspended for the entire period of a court-ordered or administrative suspension. Working with a license suspensions attorney in Columbus Ohio can shorten the time a person must refrain from driving altogether.

  • 2016-12-24
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