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Overview

In the simplest terms, the offense known as operating a vehicle while impaired (OVI) occurs whenever someone is operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol, a drug of abuse, or a combination of both, or at or over the limit. OVI used to be called “DUI” or “DWI”. It is a serious criminal offense.

There are several ways that someone can commit an OVI:

  1. If a person operates a vehicle in Ohio and at the time of operation is under the influence of alcohol, a drug of abuse, or a combination of them
  2. If a person operates a vehicle in Ohio and at the time of operation the person has a concentration of alcohol, certain controlled substances, or metabolites of certain controlled substances, in the person’s blood, breath or urine which is at or over the “legal limit”
  3. If a person operates a vehicle in Ohio while under the influence of alcohol, a drug of abuse, or a combination of them and refuses to submit to a chemical test after being arrested and asked to submit to a test, and has a prior OVI in the past 20 years
  4. If a person is under 21 years old, operates a vehicle in Ohio, and at the time of operation has a concentration of alcohol in the their blood, breath, or urine which is at or over the “under 21 legal limit”

The legal limit is .08% by weight per unit volume of alcohol in whole blood and .08 of one gram by weight of alcohol per 210 liters of breath.  The "under 21 legal limit” is .02%.

Ohio Impaired Driving Law

Details the penalties for the offenses of operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs, underage operating under the influence, and physical control. It also describes the length of administrative license suspensions imposed upon arrest and the process for appealing such suspensions.

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OVI