Driving Under the Drug Influence
30 Oct
Author: Colin Maher
Date: 2015-10-30
Categories: Traffic

Penalties for Driving Under the Influence of Drugs

OVI (operating a vehicle while impaired), also known as DUI (driving under the influence) is typically associated with alcohol-impaired driving. More and more, drug impaired driving is becoming a problem on Ohio roads. Officers are trained to look for drivers exhibiting symptoms of drug impaired driving.  

If a law enforcement official has reason to suspect you are under the influence of drugs – whether legal prescription medications or illegal drugs – he or she may arrest you for drugged driving. If arrested, you may be required to take a blood or urine test. If you refuse to take a chemical test after being arrested, you will be subject to an administrative license suspension.

Here is a snapshot of the penalties for OVI, which also apply to drugged driving:


Minimum Fine

Administrative License Suspension

Court License Suspension

Jail (minimum)

First Offense

$375 plus court costs

90 days

6 months minimum

72 hours

Second Offense

$525 plus court costs

One Year

1 year minimum

10 consecutive days

Third Offense

$850 plus court costs

Two Years

2 year minimum

30 consecutive days

Though law enforcement is trained to look for characteristics of drug impaired driving, actually determining if you are impaired due to prescription medications is difficult for law enforcement. If you have not had any alcohol to drink, the standard Breathalyzer test will be of no use in determining whether prescription drugs have been used. If you are stopped and suspected of OVI, you are not required to, nor should you, share your personal medical history with regard to medications you are taking.

The long lasting consequences of an OVI conviction might be worse than the short term. An OVI on your record could prejudice future employers, landlords, or school administrators against you. In addition, insurance rates are likely to skyrocket with an OVI conviction.

If you have been arrested for drugged driving, remember that your individual circumstances are important and can provide important aspects to aid in your defense. Be sure you share that information with your attorney, and by all means, do not try to defend yourself alone against these very serious charges.

DUI Attorney in Columbus

If you are being accused of DUI or DWI in Columbus, you need the representation of a skilled and trusted attorney to protect your rights. This is especially true when prescription drugs may be involved. The Maher Law Firm can help make sure that your rights are protected. Founding attorney, Colin Maher, is a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) certified practitioner for field sobriety testing, which is the same training police officers take. This training helps him evaluate and challenge the evidence collection involved in the field sobriety test process. Call The Maher Law Firm today for a free consultation at 614-205-2208 or contact us online.

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