Most people think of the crime of operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs (OVI) as primarily being an alcohol-related offense. While alcohol is mentioned first, drugs are still another important form of impairment that is criminalized in Ohio.

Drugged Driving (Needs Address)

When an officer suspects that you are driving under the influence of a controlled substance, they will usually ask you to submit to some rather invasive testing. So-called drugged driving offenses are far more complicated than alcohol crimes because proof of impairment can be very difficult to obtain in certain cases.

Drugged Driving Defense Lawyers in Columbus, OH | Sabol | Mallory

If you were recently arrested for any kind of drug-related OVI in the Columbus area, do not wait to seek legal representation. It will be extremely important for you to find a criminal defense attorney who can make sure that your rights are protected.

Sabol | Mallory can fight to possibly get your criminal charges reduced or dismissed. We can discuss all of your legal options when you call (614) 300-5088 or contact us online to set up a free consultation.  

Types of Drugged Driving Crimes in Ohio

Ohio Revised Code § 4511.19 is the state law for operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The statute establishes many different ways of testing a person for various controlled substances, and drug-related OVI offenses carry the same criminal penalties as alcohol-related OVIs.

They specific kind of drug involved can vary, and some of the most common types of drugged driving crimes include, but are not limited to:

  • Marijuana OVI
  • Prescription Drug OVI
  • Cocaine OVI
  • Methamphetamine OVI
  • Heroin OVI

The type of controlled substance that is involved in an alleged drugged driving offense is very important because, different drugs stay in people’s systems for longer periods of time. Evidence of a drug in a person’s blood or urine may not necessarily be proof that they were under the influence of that drug at the time of the alleged offense.

The Mayo Clinic provides the following average detection times for various drugs:

Type of Drug

Detection Time

Cocaine

One day

Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD)

One day

3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, Ecstasy, or Molly)

Two days

Ketamine

Two days

Amphetamine

Three days

Codeine

Three days

Fentanyl

Three days

Hydrocodone

Three days

Marijuana – Single Use

Three days

Methamphetamine

Three days

Morphine

Three days

Oxycodone

Three days

Flunitrazepam

Five days

Marijuana – Moderate Use (multiple times per week)

Five days

Methadone

Seven days

Phencyclidine (PCP)

Eight days

Diazepam

10 days

Marijuana – Heavy Use (daily)

10 days

Marijuana – Chronic Heavy Use

30 days

Drugged Driving Penalties

Drugged driving convictions carry the same penalties as drunk driving convictions. A conviction for one will not mitigate the sentencing for another offense, even if it is a different type of violation.  

Convictions involve increased penalties for repeat offenses within a 10-year “lookback period.” The lookback period is the period of time for which prior convictions will be used against an alleged offender.

In general, OVI offenses are punishable as follows in Ohio:

  • First OVI in 10 years — First-degree misdemeanor punishable by three days to six months in jail and/or a fine of between $375 and $1,075, driver’s license suspension of up to three years, driving privileges after 15 days, and license or interlock is required for unlimited privileges.

  • Second OVI in 10 years — First-degree misdemeanor punishable by 10 days to six months in jail and/or a fine of between $525 and $1,625, mandatory treatment, driver’s license suspension of up to seven years, driving privileges after 45 days, and license or interlock is required if the offense was alcohol-related.

  • Third OVI in 10 years — Unclassified misdemeanor punishable by 30 days to one year in jail and/or a fine of between $850 and $2,750, mandatory alcohol/drug addiction program, driver’s license suspension of up to 12 years, driving privileges after 180 days, license or interlock is required if the offense was alcohol-related, and possible vehicle forfeiture.

  • Fourth or Fifth OVI in 10 years, or Sixth OVI in 20 years  — Fourth-degree felony punishable by 60 days to one year in prison and/or a fine of between $1,350 and $10,500, mandatory alcohol/drug addiction program, driver’s license suspension of up to life, driving privileges after three years, license or interlock is required if the offense was alcohol-related, and possible vehicle forfeiture.

  • Second Felony OVI Lifetime — Third-degree felony punishable by 60 days to 36 months in prison and/or a fine of between $1,350 and $10,500, mandatory alcohol/drug addiction program, driver’s license suspension of up to life, driving privileges after three years, license or interlock is required if the offense was alcohol-related, and possible vehicle forfeiture.

Columbus, OH Drugged Driving Resources

Drugged Driving Surpasses Drunk Driving in Fatal Crashes (AAA) — View a June 1, 2017 article from the Dayton Daily News discussing a Governor’s Highway Safety Association (GHSA) report showing that drugged driving had surpassed drunk driving as a factor in fatal crashes. According to the Daily News, the 3,574 drugged driving crashes in 2016 accounted for roughly 33 percent of all impaired driving crashes. The Daily News reported that an AAA survey found that three out of four Ohio motorists said the use of illegal drugs before driving was a “very serious threat” to their safety compared to 66 percent who said the same thing about people driving after drinking alcohol.

It's Time to Start Talking about Ohio's Growing Drugged Driving Problem — AAA survey, the majority of Ohio motorists say they now view people driving after using illegal drugs as a bigger threat to their personal safety than those driving after using alcohol. Three out of four motorists surveyed said the use of illegal drugs before driving was a “very serious threat” to their safety compared to 66 percent who said the same thing about people driving after drinking alcohol.

Drug-Impaired Driving | National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) — Visit this section of the Ohio Department of Transportation website to view a November 15, 2016 news release. The release states that ODOT traffic crash statistics showed the state had seen a 25 percent increase in drugged driving crashes since 2012. You can find a link to Start Talking!, a website launched in 2014 to give parents, guardians, educators and community leaders the tools to start the conversation with young people about the importance of living healthy, drug-free lives.

Contact a Columbus Drugged Driving Defense Attorney Today

Were you arrested for drugged driving in Columbus or another area in Franklin County? It is in your best interest to quickly retain legal counsel.

Sabol | Mallory has over 20 years of combined legal experience. Call (614) 300-5088 or contact us online to receive a free consultation.

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