DUI Refusals and the Automatic License Suspension
According to Ohio Revised Code 4511.191, if probable cause exists to believe that you are operating a vehicle while impaired (commonly called a DUI) and you refuse to take a chemical test at the request of law enforcement, your license will be suspended immediately. Depending on previous offenses or refusals, you can have your license suspended for a period of 1 year to 5 years. After a second offense your vehicle may also be immobilized.
You, or your attorney, can appeal the automatic license suspension (O.R.C. 4511.197) at the initial court appearance which will be held within 5 days of the arrest or the issuance of a citation. The filing of an appeal will not stay the suspension. Pursuant to Ohio Revised Code 4510.021, a driver may petition the court for limited driving privileges any time subsequent to the date on the notice of suspension. This petition may be filed in the municipal, county, or in the case of a minor, juvenile court with jurisdiction over the place at which the arrest occurred.
NOTE: Occupational driving privileges cannot be granted during the following periods in refusal cases:
- First 30 days of suspension on a first offense.
- First 90 days of suspension on a person who had a previous refusal within 6 years.
- First year of suspension on a person who had 2 previous refusals within 6 years.
- First 3 years of suspension on a person who had 3 previous refusals within 6 years.
- A person, who within the preceding 7 years, has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to 3 or more OVI violations cannot be granted limited privileges.
If you plead guilty to OVI (drunk driving) or enter a no-contest plea to OVI (drunk driving) the automatic license suspension will terminate. O.R.C. 4511.191. Ohio law requires the court to suspend your license upon entry of a plea to an OVI offense (example: a first-time OVI offender has a mandatory license suspension of a minimum of six (6) months). Effectively, your ALS suspension will end and a court suspension will begin. After serving the term of your suspension, reinstatement of your license is required before you can legally drive. See Reinstatement Fee List for required fee amount. Show Proof of Insurance by forwarding the proper documentation to: Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles, Attn. RE Fee, P.O. Box 16520, Columbus OH 43216-6520.
If you find yourself facing the loss of your license due to an ALS/refusal suspension, it is important that you speak to a DUI attorney right away. Your attorney will advise you on whether or not a ALS appeal hearing is in your best interest. Dayton DUI lawyer Charles M. Rowland II has been representing people accused of drunk driving for over fifteen (15) years. Call him at 937-318-1DUI [318-1384] today for a free consultation.
- Vehicle Seizure in Ohio (daytondui.com)
- Ohio OVI Law: State v. Lewis (ALS Remains) (daytondui.com)
- Ohio’s Implied Consent Law (daytondui.com)