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Ohio Dui Penalties

You can reach us at (Ravenna) 330-296-8000 and (Stow) 330-686-2890

A DUI charge in Ohio carries severe penalties. Many of them are mandatory, while others are optional. Some judges have their own set of “mandatory” penalties, which include a variety of sentencing options.

MIN. JAIL 3 days* 6 days* 10 days 20 days 30 days 60 days
MAX. JAIL 6 mos. 6 mos. 6 mos. 6 mos. 1 year 1 year
MIN. FINE $375 $375 $525 $525 $850 $850
MAX. FINE $1075 $1075 $1625 $1625 $2750 $2750
LIC. SUSP. 1 to 3
1 to 3
1 to 7
1 to 7
1 to 12
1 to 12

Administrative License Suspension (A.L.S.)

  • If your breath, blood, or urine test is over the legal limit, or you refused the test, the officer will take your driver’s license on the spot and place you under an Administrative License Suspension. The form provided to you by the officer indicates the action taken.
  • The A.L.S. lasts for a period of 90 days to 5 years, depending on previous offenses or refusals. There is a “hard-time” waiting period with absolutely no driving privileges whatsoever. This period lasts at least 15 days or more depending on previous offenses or refusals.
  • Some judges will allow a “stay” of the A.L.S., which effectively puts the A.L.S. “on hold” until a later date. Many courts will not allow a stay of the A.L.S. Some judges will require it to be filed in writing or by an attorney.
  • The A.L.S. is independent of the DUI charge itself, which usually carries a longer, mandatory license suspension. Even if you overcome the DUI charge, the A.L.S. remains in most cases.
  • At the end of the A.L.S., you must pay a $475.00 reinstatement fee to the B.M.V. to get your driver’s license back. Otherwise, you will continue to be suspended indefinitely.

Other DUI Considerations

  • Mandatory DUI incarceration has to be served all at once. You cannot split the time up.
  • Judges are not allowed to grant work releases during the mandatory incarceration.
  • There are severe penalties for transferring a vehicle out of your name if it was used in certain DUI offenses.
  • The judge will find you in contempt and require you to repay the N.A.D.A. blue book value of the vehicle as a penalty.
  • For all CDL holders, a first DUI conviction in Ohio now results in a 1-year commercial driver’s license disqualification. A second DUI results in a lifetime CDL disqualification. It doesn’t matter whether the offense was committed in a commercial vehicle or a private vehicle.
  • For DUI offenses, certain controlled substances such as marijuana, amphetamines, cocaine, L.S.D., phencyclidine, and heroin have been assigned arbitrary prohibited concentration levels, which have no relation to impairment. These levels may exist for weeks or months after ingestion.
  • Prior offenses are calculated from the date of conviction to date of the current offense.
  • Different prohibited alcohol levels apply to persons under age twenty-one and holders of commercial driver’s licenses.
  • Ohio courts are now required to keep records of DUI offenses for fifty years.
  • A.L.S. suspension can be appealed within thirty days of your initial appearance. However, the grounds for such an appeal are very strictly limited by statute.
  • See a chart of Ohio DUI Penalties on the Ohio Supreme Court website.


To have any degree of success in a DUI case, you must hire a DUI defense lawyer who handles DUI charges on a regular basis and understands the complexities of Ohio DUI Law.

“I am in court nearly every day on DUI cases. All too often, I see DUI defendants represented by lawyers who are clueless about DUI law. Many times these attorneys are relatives, friends of the family, or practice in other areas of the law.” – Dan Weisenburger.


The website is designed for general information only. Any information on this site is not to be construed as formal legal advice from a criminal defense lawyer, a DUI lawyer, a family law lawyer, or estate planningwillstrusts, and probate lawyer, nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. Persons accessing this site are encouraged to seek personal advice regarding their individual legal issues.

The attorneys in our law firm primarily service Portage County courts (Ravenna and Kent) from our office in Ravenna and Summit County courts (Akron, Stow, Barberton) from our office in Stow. Cases in all other courts in North East Ohio, such as Cuyahoga County courts, are handled under specific terms and conditions.