How Long Will I Spend in Jail as a DUI Offender
24 Jan
Author: Colin Maher
Date: 2017-01-24
Categories: Traffic

How Long Will I Spend in Jail as a DUI Offender?

One of the primary reasons to hire a Columbus drunk driving attorney is to get help with staying out of a county jail cell.

The following table summarizes the types of jail sentences Ohio courts can impose for operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OVI). Note that avoiding incarceration altogether is pretty much impossible for what judges call a “high test” conviction, even when the defendant has no previous history of driving under the influence.


Recommended Sentence

Alternate Sentence

First Offense with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) < .17

3 days to 6 months in jail

Driver Intervention Program (DIP)

First Offense with BAC > .17

6 days to 6 months in jail

3 days in jail plus DIP

Second Offense with BAC < .17

10 days to 6 months in jail

5 days in jail plus 18 days of house arrest with electronic monitoring (HAEM)

Second Offense with BAC > .17

20 days to 6 months in jail

10 days in jail plus 36 days of HAEM

Third Offense with BAC < .17

30 days to 1 year in jail

15 days in jail with 55 days of HAEM

Third Offense with BAC > .17

60 days to 1 year in jail

30 days in jail with 110 days of HAEM

Electronic monitors issued to OVI offenders on house arrest often double as always-on alcohol detectors. Drinking while wearing one constitutes a parole violation that can subject the person to arrest, placement back in jail, and new charges.

Keep in mind, too, that spending time in jail or on house arrest is just one component of a DUI sentence. A conviction for OVI also comes with a lengthy license suspension that applies equally to any CDL the offender holds and a whole host of criminal and administrative fees, including a charge that amounts to rent for an ankle monitor.

A final consideration is that the longer jail sentences apply to individuals who are found guilty of both driving under the influence and of refusing to voluntarily submit blood, breath, and urine sample for laboratory testing. While most people who get pulled over under suspicion of drinking and driving have the right to say no to a police officer who asks them to participate in alcohol and drug testing, exercising that right can expose an Ohio driver to an automatic administrative license suspension and criminal penalties completely separate from any punishment for OVI.

One of the principal services a knowledgeable and experienced drunk driving defense attorney will provide for his client is exploring every angle on whether lab test results submitted as evidence by police and prosecutors were obtained in full compliance with all applicable laws and rules. The defendant’s lawyer will also look into whether the results are accurate or if problems with the testing equipment and procedures call the numbers into question.

If you are facing jail and other penalties for a DUI in Columbus, Ohio, contact the Maher Law Firm to discuss a possible defense. We offer free consultations, and we take most OVI cases for a flat fee. You can call us at (614) 205-2208 or request an appointment online.

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