Underage OVI: Why Underage Drinking and Driving in Ohio Isn’t a Good Idea

Attorney in CincinnatiThe state of Ohio has a “zero tolerance” law on underage driving and drinking. Considered as one of the states with the strictest DUI or OVI laws, underage drivers caught operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol will face heavy penalties. A lawyer experienced in juvenile crime cases in Cincinnati can help you get out of the mess.

Underage OVI Law in Ohio

According to the Ohio Revised Code, no individual under the age of 21 years shall drive a motor vehicle if the following scenarios are true:

  • The individual has between .02% and .08% of BAC or blood alcohol content.
  • The individual has an alcohol content of between .03% and .0096% in the plasma or blood.
  • The individual has between .02g and .08g of alcohol measurable in his or her breath.
  • The individual has between .0028g and .11g of alcohol measurable in her or his urine.

In the simplest terms, an underage individual who’s been pulled over with a BAC level higher than .02% could be charged with underage OVI. On the other hand, underage drinking under the following circumstances is not considered illegal in the state:

  • For medical-related purposes, such as when ordered by a doctor.
  • For religious or spiritual purposes, such as when drinking wine for ceremonies.
  • In private places that don’t sell alcohol, and with permission from a parent or legal guardian, such as during a party.
  • In public establishments, like catered events or restaurants, that sell alcohol, but with permission from a legal guardian or parent.

Potential Punishments for Underage OVI

Underage OVI is a first-degree misdemeanor in Ohio. This means that a conviction could lead to imprisonment of up to six months as well as fines not exceeding $1,075. Additionally, the court will likewise require the defendant to attend alcohol awareness and treatment programs at the defendant’s expense and order license suspension lasting six months up to three years. That said, having legal representation for fighting an underage OVI case is vital to help ensure a more favorable outcome in court.

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