We get this Physical Control Question Quite a Bit!
A physical control conviction (R.C. 4511.194) does not count as a “prior offense” for purposes of enhancing a subsequent OVI (drunk driving) charge. This principle is spelled out in case law and in statute. R.C. 4511.181 sets forth the offenses that count as prior convictions. It does not list a violation of physical control (R.C. 4511.194) as a predicate offense. It does not matter if the prior conviction was charged under R.C. 4511.194 or as a violation of a municipal ordinance. This is set forth at R.C. 4511.182(A) and in State v. Schultz, 2008-Ohio-4325 (Ohio Ct. App. 8th Dist. Cuyahoga County 2008). If you have questions about Ohio OVI laws, please give us a call.