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OVI convictions are serious matters. The court has several options for punishing people convicted of OVI. The chart below explains some of the punishment someone with no prior convictions for OVI can expect to receive. Punishment is more severe if a person has prior OVI convictions.


Min / Max



OVI Or Low Tier BAC

Minimum 3 consecutive days - 6 months maximum

The minimums are mandatory. Court may permit completing a 72 hour driver intervention program instead of serving 3 days in jail. The offender must pay the cost of the program.

High Tier BAC

Minimum 3 consecutive days and 72 hour driver intervention program six months maximum


Minimum of $375.00 - $1,075.00 maximum, plus court costs. 

The minimum is mandatory.

License Suspension

Minimum of 6 months - 3 years - maximum. 

The minimum is mandatory.  This is not the same as ALS. The person gets credit for the period of time he/she was under an ALS in the same case.

If a person is stopped while driving someone else’s vehicle and then arrested, the vehicle the person was driving might be towed to an impound lot. The owner of the vehicle can usually get it back without a court order. 

To get the vehicle back, the owner should go to the police station that had the vehicle towed, show proof of ownership (registration or title), and get a release. The owner then takes the release to the impound lot, pays the towing and storage fees, and the vehicle is released.

Vehicle Seizure

In some cases when the person accused of an offense is arrested, the vehicle will be towed to an impound lot and it will also be seized.

At the time of the seizure the arresting officer will give the arrested person a written notice. That notice explains that the vehicle and its plates have been seized. It also says that the vehicle will be kept at least until the person’s initial appearance in court on the charge, that the vehicle may not be released until the charges are resolved in court, and that the arrested person will have to pay for the towing and storage costs. Once a vehicle is seized, much of what happens to it depends on court proceedings.

Vehicle Seizure Offenses

If a person who owns the vehicle is arrested, the vehicle may be seized for the following offenses:

  • Operating a motor vehicle under an OVI suspension
    There are many forms of the suspension including a pretrial suspension imposed by a judge after an OVI, an ALS for refusing or failing a chemical test after an OVI arrest, or a suspension imposed by a judge for an OVI conviction
  • Letting someone operate a motor vehicle which you own if you know or have a reason to believe that:
    • the other person does not have a valid license
    • the other person’s license is under suspension
    • the other person is under the influence
    • the other person is not allowed to drive that vehicle for any other reason under the law
  • When arrested for OVI, if the person, within six years of the date of arrest, has previously been convicted of one or more violations of that offense or of the offense of operating a vehicle with a prohibited concentration of alcohol under the age of 21.

Learn more at the OBMV website.