OVI Defense

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Athens & Lancaster OVI Defense Attorney


There are two different criminal charges people usually face with respect to drinking and driving: (1) driving with an alcohol level over the legal limit (.08 for breath and blood; .11 for urine); and (2) driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If you are driving and test over the legal limit, you will most likely be charged with both offenses.

However, if you do not take a blood alcohol test, test under the limits or test positive for drugs, you will be charged with the under the influence offense.

I am a criminal defense attorney who can help you fight any of these charges. I have more than 25 years of experience defending clients against drunk driving and other criminal charges from offices in Lancaster and Athens, Ohio.

What is an Ignition Interlock Device?

In the realm of Ohio's legal landscape, Operating a Vehicle Impaired (OVI) offenses carry serious consequences. One such consequence that individuals may face is the required installation of an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) in their vehicles to operate them. An IID is designed to prevent a vehicle from starting if the driver's blood alcohol concentration (BAC) surpasses a predetermined limit. While not mandatory for first-time OVI offenders, the court may still impose this requirement at its discretion. For individuals convicted of a second OVI offense, however, the installation of an IID becomes mandatory.

How Ignition Interlock Devices Work

Ignition Interlock Devices operate by requiring the driver to blow into a breathalyzer before starting the vehicle. If the device detects a BAC above the predetermined limit, the vehicle will not start. Additionally, the IID may prompt random retests while the vehicle is in operation to prevent circumvention.

Legal Guidance for OVI Cases

For individuals facing OVI charges, understanding the potential requirement for an IID is crucial. Seeking the guidance of a skilled Athens OVI defense lawyer is essential in navigating the complexities of OVI cases. A seasoned attorney can assess the specifics of the case, challenge evidence, and advocate for the most favorable outcome, including the possibility of avoiding or mitigating the imposition of an Ignition Interlock Device.


In most cases, an effective OVI/DUI defense begins with a Motion to Suppress in order to challenge the:

  • Constitutionality of the stop
  • Administration of the field sobriety tests (the walk and turn, the one-leg stand, horizontal gaze nystagmus or eye test)
  • Administration of your blood alcohol test
  • Reliability of your specific blood alcohol test

These issues are litigated in an evidentiary hearing, at which point your case may be dismissed. If your case proceeds, the trial becomes the focus: trial preparation, collection of favorable defense witnesses, evaluation of the officer's report and video of your stop, and cross-examination of the officer.

The severity of the penalties associated with conviction varies by the number of times an individual has been convicted of drunk driving/OVI in the past six years or in his or her lifetime. Penalties for a first-time offense range from 72 hours of confinement in jail or a driver intervention program to six months in jail, a $375 to $1,000 fine, and a six-month to three-year license suspension. However, the penalties substantially increase for those with prior convictions.

If your license has been suspended, you can retain the right to drive to and from work and for other necessary reasons while your case is pending. There is, however, a mandatory suspension period of all driving rights that ranges from 15 to 90 days depending upon whether or not you took the alcohol breath test and the number of prior convictions you may have. Speaking with an experienced OVI/DUI lawyer may help in eliminating the charges you are facing.

Learn more about how our Athens OVI defense lawyer can help you by contacting us online or calling (740) 483-0690 today!

What Clients Are Saying

  • “Mr. Stevenson cared about our son as a person. He listened. He was available, responsive and kept us informed.”

  • “The most professional in communication, often going above to satisfy our schedules and location of residence.”

  • “Ability to successfully negotiate has eliminated many courtroom hours, while his ability as a trial lawyer wins cases.”

  • “Respectful, dedicated and trustworthy. Andrew was extremely helpful in resolving a legal issue of mine.”

  • “He kept me well informed of the progress with my case and quickly responded to any questions I had.”

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