By now, the general public is well aware of the dangers associated with drinking and driving. The higher a person’s BAC becomes, the more their decision making, reaction time and motor skills are impaired, which means they become a hazard to anyone who shares the road with them if they choose to get behind the wheel.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t stop many people from not just getting behind the wheel while drunk, but repeatedly getting behind the wheel while drunk, even after they’ve been convicted of one or more OVI offenses in the past.
Here’s some information from an attorney in Cincinnati, OH about why it’s crucial that you do everything you can to avoid not just becoming an OVI offender, but a repeat OVI offender if you’ve already been in legal trouble for such behavior in the past.
Repeat offenses a significant issue in Ohio
According to Ohio records, state troopers made about 27,000 arrests for OVI in Ohio in 2018. This is, of course, a significant number, and doesn’t even reflect the number of arrests made for OVI by local law enforcement officers. The good news is that the number of OVI-related deaths has dropped significantly over the last 25 years. The bad news is that the number is still far too high—358 people were killed by drunk drivers in Ohio in 2018, and 405 in 2017.
Of the 358 OVI-related fatalities in 2018, about a third of them were caused by repeat offenders. In fact, approximately 5,500 Ohio residents have received five or more OVI-related convictions over the course of the last 20 years. The state has begun to publish the names and addresses of these repeat offenders in a public, searchable online database. Representatives from the state police say they do this because “Unfortunately, it’s clear they don’t care about their own safety or the safety of everybody else who’s out on the road.”
There are even some people in the state who currently have a dozen or more OVI convictions on their record—a number that is almost impossibly high. One person has 11 OVIs in the last 20 years, despite not having had a valid driver’s license since 1995.
Repeat offenders in Ohio do face stiffer fines than one-time offenders, including potential prison time. A second offense within 10 years of the first carries a minimum of 10 days in jail, with license suspension of up to five years and a mandated alcohol treatment program. However, unless someone is killed or injured as a result of the OVI, it does not become a felony until the fourth OVI, which carries jail time of up to a year and fines of up to $10,500. Lawmakers are constantly seeking for new ways to crack down on drunk drivers and increase the penalties, and have toughened penalties on first-time offenders as well, but it’s clear that there is still a large issue in the state with multiple-time offenders.
For more information, contact an attorney in Cincinnati, OH at Herzner Law, LLC.
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