When people speak of drugged driving crimes, there is usually an assumption that the alleged offender is under the influence of some kind of prohibited controlled substance. It is important for people to understand that Ohio’s operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs (OVI) law applies to virtually all kinds of drugs, legal and illegal.

OVI Prescription Drugs

In other words, a person who may be impaired by a perfectly legal prescription drug could indeed be charged with OVI. A prescription drug OVI case can often be a very contentious dispute because many alleged offenders may have been arrested despite taking prescribed doses of their medications.

Prescription Drugs OVI Defense Lawyers in Columbus, OH | Sabol | Mallory

Were you arrested for an OVI in Columbus stemming from your use of a prescription drug? Make sure that you quickly seek the help of a skilled criminal defense attorney.

Sabol | Mallory understands the complexity of prescription drug cases and knows how to fight for the most favorable outcomes that result in the fewest consequences. Call (614) 300-5088 or contact us online to receive a free consultation.  

Types of OVI Prescription Drugs Crimes

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the most commonly abused prescription drugs are broken into the following categories:

  • Depressants — Includes barbiturates such as Amytal, Nembutal, Seconal, and Phenobarbital (barbs, reds, tooies, yellows, yellow jackets), benzodiazepines such as Ativan, Halcion, Librium, Valium, Xanax, and Klonopin (candy, downers, sleeping pills, tranks), and sleep medications such as Ambien (zolpidem), Sonata (zaleplon), and Lunesta (eszopiclone).

  • Opioids and Morphine Derivatives — Includes codeine such as Empirin with Codeine, Fiorinal with Codeine, Robitussin A-C, and Tylenol Codeine (Captain Cody, Cody, schoolboy), Morphine such as Roxanol and Duramorph (M, Miss Emma, monkey, white stuff), Methadone such as Methadose and Dolophine (fizzies, amidone), Fentanyl and analogs such as Actiq, Duragesic, and Sublimaze (Apache, China girl, dance fever, friend, goodfella, jackpot, murder 8, TNT, Tango and Cash), and other opioid pain relievers such as Oxycodone HCL, Hydrocodone Bitartrate Hydromorphone, Oxymorphone, Meperidine, Propoxyphene, Tylox, Oxycontin, Percodan, Percocet (Oxy, O.C., oxycotton, oxycet, hillbilly heroin, percs), Vicodin, Lortab, Lorcet (vike, Watson-387), Dilaudid (juice, smack, D, footballs, dillies), Opana, Numorphan, Numorphone (biscuits, blue heaven, blues, Mrs. O, octagons, stop signs, O Bomb), Demerol, meperidine hydrochloride (demmies, pain killer), Darvon, and Darvocet.

  • Stimulants — Amphetamines such as Biphetamine, Dexedrine, and Adderall (bennies, black beauties, crosses, hearts, LA turnaround, speed, truck drivers, uppers) and Methylphenidate such as Concerta and Ritalin (JIF, MPH, R-ball, Skippy, the smart drug, vitamin R).

  • Other Compounds — Found in some cough and cold medications (Robotripping, Robo, Triple C).

Prescription Drugs OVI Penalties

A conviction for a prescription drug-related OVI will carry the same penalties as any other drug or even an alcohol violation. All convictions involve increased penalties for repeat offenses within a 10-year “lookback period,” which is the period of time for which prior convictions are counted 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 OVI Prescription Drugs Resources

Start Talking | Ohio.gov — Start Talking is a website developed by the state to give parents, guardians, educators, and community leaders the tools to start the conversation with Ohio’s youth about the importance of living healthy, drug-free lives. Resources on this website include Parents360 Rx, a program developed by the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids to increase parents’ knowledge of substance use and improve a parent’s confidence in their ability to speak with youth about substance use, KNOW!, a drug prevention and awareness partnership developed by the Prevention Action Alliance, and 5 Minutes for Life, an educational campaign led by the Ohio Highway Patrol, the Ohio National Guard and local law enforcement in partnership with high schools and the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA). You can also find information about the Health and Opioid Abuse Prevention Education (HOPE) K-12 curriculum.

Joint Study Committee on Drug Use Prevention Education — View the Ohio Joint Study Committee on Drug Use Prevention Education’s report and recommendations from February 2017. The report covers the substance abuse problem in Ohio, and the committee offers multiple recommendations. There is also guidance for the implementation of recommendations and a school spotlight on Boardman School District, Talawanda School District, and Cleveland Metropolitan School District.

Ohio Prescription Drug Abuse Task Force | Healthy Ohio — View 20 policy recommendations developed by the Ohio Prescription Drug Abuse Task Force and submitted to the governor of Ohio. The report begins with an executive summary, has a summary of recommendations, lists the task force members, and then goes on to describe the state’s drug epidemic. It includes law enforcement recommendations, treatment recommendations, regulatory recommendations, and public health recommendations.

Contact a Columbus Prescription Drugs OVI Defense Attorney Today

If you were arrested for allegedly driving under the influence of a prescription drug in the greater Columbus area, do not wait to begin developing your legal defense. You will want to make sure you are working with a criminal defense lawyer who can fight to help you achieve the best possible outcome to your case.

Sabol | Mallory routinely undergoes training to better understand the science involved in cases like these and develop strategies that allow us to better defend people charged with all kinds of drug-related OVI offenses. You can have our attorneys answer all of your legal questions as soon as you call (614) 300-5088 or contact us online to take advantage of a free consultation.

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