Ohio OVI and DUI Laws


We hope you find the following information helpful in making sound decisions.

The only sound advice is do not drink and drive under any circumstances, even if it is just one drink; and never drive impaired.

If you are going out drinking, try to have a designated driver. In the alternative, carry around emergency cab fare money, or call a sober friend or family member. Drinking and driving don’t mix and a cab fare will be much less expensive than a criminal OVI charge.

Know your limitations and have an idea of your BAC (blood alcohol content). Most smartphones have applications readily available to measure a person’s BAC, and a quick search of the internet will produce numerous BAC charts that people can reference. We are not endorsing the accuracy of these applications or reference charts, we are simply pointing out their availability. Everyone absorbs alcohol differently and BAC as well as tolerance to alcohol can vary. If you MAY have had too much to drink, get a ride or take a cab.


Currently in Ohio we refer to the offense of driving under the influence as OVI, or Operating a Vehicle while Under the Influence. In the past it has been referred to as DWI (Driving While Intoxicated), DUI (Driving Under the Influence), OMVI (Operating a Motor Vehicle while under the Influence). and other various terms. They are all the same, OVI is just the relevant term of art for the day.


The vast majority of OVI cases will begin as a traffic stop, though other circumstances such as an officer coming to a person’s aid (auto accidents) also exist.

Though driving is a privilege, not a right,that does not mean a police officer can stop your vehicle without a reason. The legal term of art for a stop to be lawful, is that the officer had a “reasonable articulable suspicion