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Underage DUI Charges

Ohio is a "zero tolerance" state when it comes to underage drinking and driving. If you or a loved one has been charged with an underage DUI, you are facing some of the strictest zero-tolerance laws in the U.S. This offense is officially referred to as "Operating a Vehicle After Underage Consumption" in Ohio (often called "OVUAC"). An accusation of OVUAC applies to any driver who is under the age of 21 years old.

Fighting these charges can appear an uphill battle, but an experienced Ohio OVI defense lawyer will construct a solid defense and increase your chances of protecting your record and future from these charges. More importantly, you should consider legal counsel who has experience defending minors and college students.

The insight of an experienced underage DUI defense lawyer in Ohio can help minimize the impact of the charges on your future or that of your loved one.

Underage 21 DUI Lawyer in Ohio

The attorneys at Joslyn Law Firm are experienced representing clients in Ohio's criminal courts, Mayor's Courts, and juvenile courts. They understand the complications that often arise when defending young adults and are especially driven to ensure that their actions will not hurt their future way in life.

If you or a loved one have been charged with driving drunk or drugged while under the age of 21 in Franklin County or the surrounding counties of Delaware County, Licking County, Madison County, Fairfield County, and Pickaway County, then call the legal team at Joslyn Law Firm today. Our attorneys will fight for a favorable outcome in your OVUAC case.

Call Joslyn Law Firm today.


Guide to Ohio's Laws on Underage 21 Drinking and Driving


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Ohio State Law Governing Under Age 21 DUI

Legal limits in Ohio law are specifically defined with consideration to whole blood, blood serum or plasma, breath, or urine. These limits can be found in ORC §4511.19. The most common legal limit referred to with regards to DUI is the whole blood or breath alcohol content, or BAC. The BAC limit for underage OVI is .02 – a quarter of the legal limit for of-age defendants.

When an underage individual is pulled over and tested with a BAC over .02, he or she will be charged with Operating a Vehicle After Under Age Consumption, or OVUAC. With an OVUAC charge, you face the consequences involved with a fourth-degree misdemeanor and a class 6 driver's license suspension, including:

  • 30 days of jail time and/or probation;
  • $250 fine;
  • 90 days – 2 years driver's license suspension;
  • Court-mandated alcohol treatment program; and
  • Remedial driving instruction course.

For a second OVUAC conviction, the fine could increase to $500, the jail sentence to 60 days, and the license suspension to 5 years. If your BAC tests over .08 and you are underage, you could face even stronger penalties.

An experienced Underage OVI lawyer in Cincinnati, OH, in Hamilton County, can help construct a solid defense, protect your rights, and increase your chances of reduced or dismissed charges.


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 Hamilton County License Reinstatement Procedures for OVUAC

After you have been arrested for underage DUI, the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles will immediately suspend your license. You have a limited time available to appeal the suspension or ask for limited driving privileges. If you decide not to appeal, you can reinstate your license by:

  • Abiding by the suspension for 90 days to 2 years;
  • Successfully completing a remedial driving instruction program, or a juvenile driver improvement program if you are under 18 after the date of your conviction;
  • Filing financial responsibility insurance or providing proof of motor vehicle insurance;
  • Paying a reinstatement fee of $475; and
  • Retaking the driver's license exam.

These steps may possibly be avoided if you hire an experienced defense attorney for the administrative appeal process. While appealing your license is optional, it can provide your attorney with valuable information to use for the criminal portion of your case.

Your attorney can help you protect your rights and reveal any cracks in the case that may result in a suspension reversal.


Operating a Vehicle after Underage Consumption (OVUAC)

If a person is under the age of 21 and investigated for driving under the influence of alcohol, then Ohio law prescribes lower breath alcohol concentration levels ranging from .02% to less than .08%.

A person investigated for OVI who is younger than 21 years old who tests at one of these lower levels should be arrested for operating a vehicle after underage 21 consumption.

The young person is not, however, subject to an ALS suspension if the young person submits to a chemical test and the tests indicate a level less than .08% BAC or below any of the other per se levels listed in R.C. Section 4511.19(A). If the offender is under the age of 21 and refuses the chemical test, the offender is subject to an ALS suspension for refusal, and the same procedures for refusal and completion of the BMV 2255 should be followed.

If the young person is under the age of 21 and tests .08% BAC or above any of the per se concentrations listed in R.C. Section 4511.19(A), then the offender in Ohio is subject to an ALS suspension for a positive chemical test, and the same procedures for positive test and completion of the BMV 2255 should be followed.


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Using a Qualified Attorney to Defend Against Underage DU Charges in Ohio

If you or a loved one face charges for DUI under the age of 21 in Cincinnati, Ohio, or the surrounding areas of Hamilton County, then Joslyn Law Firm can help. We fight hard for those accused of DUI-related crimes and make sure rights are protected and faulty evidence is excluded.

We will work directly with you on your case to construct a customized defense strategy for a more favorable outcome. If your situation involves a license suspension or potential student disciplinary hearing, we can provide you with advice. Your first consultation is free and confidential, so call Joslyn Law Firm or use our online contact form today.

Call (513) 339-6289 for a free consultation.


This article was last updated on Wednesday, March 15, 2017.

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