Legal Guide

Dui vs Ovi: What Are the Differences?

Road crashes cause about 1.35 million deaths each year. That said, the introduction of vehicle technology begs the question of whether self-driving cars will increase traffic deaths.

Before we talk about technology, however, we need to examine DUI vs OVI, which refers to driving under the influence of alcohol.

Many people believe these terms mean the same thing, but what does that mean for you if you get pulled over?

Let's take a look at the differences between DUI vs OVI.

What Is a DUI?

In the United States, a DUI, or driving under the influence, is a crime that is punishable by law. In most states, a DUI is a felony offense. A DUI occurs when a person operates a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

What Is an OVI?

An OVI, or operating a vehicle under the influence, is a similar crime that is punishable by law in the state of Ohio. An OVI occurs when a person operates a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This includes prescription medications.

DUI vs OVI: The State You Committed the Crime In

The main difference between a DUI and an OVI is the state you committed the crime in. A DUI is a crime that you can commit in any state, while an OVI is a crime that is specific to the state of Ohio.

DUI vs OVI: Penalties and Fines

The two main differences between DUI and OVI are the penalties and fines. OVI carries a higher potential sentence than DUI. This is because OVI is a felony offense, while DUI is a misdemeanor.

Additionally, DUI offenders will typically only have to complete a mandatory alcohol treatment program. OVI offenders will have to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicle. 

DUI vs OVI: Differences in Blood Alcohol Content Levels

One of the many differences between getting a DUI and an OVI is the blood alcohol content (BAC) limit for each offense. In Ohio, the legal BAC limit for driving is .08. If a person is caught driving with a BAC of .08 or higher, they can be charged with an OVI.

However, a person can have a DUI charge with a BAC lower than .08. This is because a DUI is typically reserved for cases where a person is driving impaired, regardless of their BAC. So, even if a person has a BAC of .05, they can still be charged with a DUI if they are driving erratically or otherwise displaying signs of impairment.

DUI vs OVI: What You Should Do if You're Charged

If you are charged with either DUI or OVI, it is important to seek legal assistance as soon as possible. An experienced attorney will be able to review the valuable info of your case and advise you of the best course of action.

Understanding the DUI vs OVI Differences

DUI and OVI offenses are serious criminal charges in Ohio that can lead to jail time, large fines, and a loss of driving privileges. However, there are some key differences between the two offenses.

In order to better understand the DUI vs OVI differences, it is always best to consult with an attorney. They will be able to better advise you on the applicable laws and help you navigate the legal system.

In fact, there's more news we want to share with you. Check back regularly for additional legal tips and news.

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