A court may grant limited driving privileges to a person who has had their license suspended pursuant to a pending OVI. The Ohio Revised Code, 4510.021 limits driving to the following purposes: (1) Occupational, educational, vocational, or medical purposes; (2) Taking the driver’s or commercial driver’s license examination; and (3) Attending court-ordered treatment. A court is granted broad discretion to impose restrictions so long as the restrictions are reasonable. While most courts will not impose an ignition interlock devise or restricted “party” plates on a first offense OVI, the statute specifically grants them discretion to do so. The statute also does not grant a right or requirement that the court grant limited driving privileges. Some courts make obtaining privileges easy and some courts do not grant privileges prior to a plea. Hiring an attorney who is familiar with the particular requirements for limited driving privileges will save you time and frustration during the pendency of your OVI case.
Q. When will I get limited driving privileges?
A court may not grant driving limited driving privileges for a certain period of time following the imposition of an ALS. O.R.C. 4510.13(A). The amount of time between the imposition of the ALS suspension and the time you are eligible for limited driving privileges is called “hard time.” How long the hard time lasts depends upon whether the person has any prior offenses and whether or not the person took the test or refused the test.
First Offense Midemeanor OVI Failed Chemical Test R.C. 4511.191(C): Occupational driving privileges cannot be granted during the following periods in test cases:
- First 15 days of suspension on a first offense
- First 30 days of suspension on a person who had a prior OVI or refusal within 6 years.
- First 180 days for a person who has had 2 prior OVI/refusals within 6 years.
- First 3 years of suspension on a person who had 3 or more previous OVI/refusals within 6 years
First Offense Misdemeanor OVI Refusal R.C. 4511.19(B): 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.
Q. Is there a way to avoid the ALS suspension and limited driving privileges?
One of the first conversations you should have with your OVI lawyer will involve wether or not grounds exist for an appeal of the ALS. You will discuss the limited circumstances under which an Administrative License Suspension can be challenged. The court must hold the administrative license suspension hearing within five days of arrest. You only have 30 days from your arraignment to file an appeal of the Administrative License Suspension. The scope of appeal is confined to four issues:
1. Was your arrest based on reasonable grounds?
2. Did the officer request that you to take a test?
3. Were you made aware of the consequences if you refused or failed the test?
4. Did you refuse or fail the test?
Much confusion is caused by the fact that the Administrative License Suspension is a pre-trial suspension generated by the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles. The warnings given by the arresting officer are misleading. Often a client will come to our office under the misimpression that the worst case scenario will be a 90 day suspension. If our client refused a chemical test, they believe they are condemned to a one year suspension. This is not usually the case. Upon a plea to a reduced charge (such as Reckless Operation) or to an OVI, the Administrative License Suspension will be terminated and the court will impose its own suspension. The minimum mandatory suspension for a first OVI offense is six months. This will horrify the person who believed that they were facing 90 days, but a welcome relief to people who thought they were going to have a one year suspension. Limited driving privileges will be available during the pendency of the court-imposed suspension. Again, be sure to ask your OVI attorney how your court typically handles ALS terminations and limited driving privileges.
OVI Attorney Charles M. Rowland II dedicates his practice to defending the accused drunk driver in the Miami Valley and throughout Ohio. He has the credentials and the experience to win your case and has made himself Dayton’s choice for drunk driving defense. Contact Charles Rowland by phone at (937) 318-1384 or toll-free at 1-888-ROWLAND (888-769-5263). If you need assistance after hours, call the 24/7 DUI Hotline at (937) 776-2671. You can have DaytonDUI at your fingertips by downloading the DaytonDUI Android App or have DaytonDUI sent directly to your mobile device by texting DaytonDUI (one word) to 50500. Follow DaytonDUI on Facebook, @DaytonDUI on Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, Pheed and Pintrest or get RSS of the Ohio DUI blog. You can emailCharlesRowland@DaytonDUI.com or visit his office at 2190 Gateway Dr., Fairborn, Ohio 45324. “All I do is DUI defense.”