As an OVI lawyer, I am often asked, “What can happen if I get an OVI?” This list will simplify the penalties you could face if you find yourself in this unfortunate situation. OVIs are complicated by the fact that the level of your chemical test and any previous OVI offenses can change your potential penalties. The list below applies to first-time offenders. Should you have any prior offenses, please call Minnillo & Jenkins and we will happily schedule you for a consultation at no cost to go over your particular penalty scenario.

For the first time offenders, we have broken down the possibilities in two categories: low-tier offenders and high-tier offenders. There are low and high tiers for breath alcohol tests, urine alcohol tests, and blood alcohol tests.

Low-Tier Offenders

Three days in jail or a residential alcohol program.

Yes, residential means you will be there for three days without the ability to leave. Your attorney may petition the court for unlimited driving privileges with the ignition interlock device, and – should this be granted – the three-day penalty may be suspended by the court. The ignition interlock device attaches to your car, and you must blow into the device to provide a breath sample free of alcohol in order to operate the vehicle.

A fine between $375 (the minimum) and $1,075 (the maximum).

This fine does not include court costs, probation fees, fees for the three-day program, license reinstatement fees, etc.

A license suspension ranging from 1 to 3 years.

It is possible to cut the driving suspension in half with the petition for unlimited driving privileges, as referenced in our first point above. You may request driving privileges after 15 days have elapsed.

You vehicle may NOT be immobilized or forfeited.

This is true for first-time offenders, and changes on subsequent offenses in a 10-year period.

Optional Penalties

There are a few optional OVI penalties, meaning the Court may or may not require them. Some additional penalties you may face include alcohol treatment, yellow plates, and/or an ignition interlock device. The interlock device is required if you are granted unlimited driving privileges, but is otherwise considered optional.

High-Tier Offender

The following penalties apply if you are a high-tier offender, or you are charged with a refusal and were charged with an OVI within the past 20 years.

Six days in jail or three days in jail and three days in a residential alcohol program.

Again, your attorney may petition the court for unlimited driving privileges with the ignition interlock device, and the court may suspend this penalty if those privileges are granted.

A fine between $375 (the minimum) and $1,075 (the maximum).

 

A license suspension ranging from 1 to 3 years.

 

You may request driving privileges after 15 days have elapsed.

If you refuse to give a breath, blood, or urine sample, then the 15-day time period increases to 30 days.

Yellow plates.

This penalty is required, meaning that the Court must order them.

You vehicle may NOT be immobilized or forfeited.

This is true even for high-tier, first-time offenders. This changes on subsequent offenses in a 10 year period.

Optional Penalties

While yellow plates are required, alcohol treatment and an ignition interlock device are both optional, which means it is up to the court to decide. If you are granted unlimited driving privileges, however, the interlock device is mandatory, as we’ve mentioned before.

Hire a Dedicated OVI Attorney Today

As you can see, the penalties one may be subjected to for an OVI are many, varied, and complex. It is best to sit down with an attorney prior to your first court date and get a picture of your particular circumstance. Call Minnillo & Jenkins today to schedule your consultation!