Ohio’s New OVI Law
OHIO’S NEW OVI LAW – “ANNIE’S LAW” EFFECTIVE DATE 4/6/17
On January 4, 2017, Governor Kasich signed H.B. 388 into law. Known as “Annie’s Law,” the bill modifies OVI sentencing law and is intended to incentive the use of ignition interlock devices.
Annie’s law is named for Annie Rooney, who was killed by a drunk driver on July 4, 2013, in Chillicothe, Ohio. Annie was a graduate of Western Reserve Academy, Brown University, and the Lewis and Clark Law School was just 36 years old.
Here is a summary of the changes:
“UNLIMITED” 11D PRIVILEGES
Under existing law, first-time OVI offenders are subject to a mandatory driver’s license suspension. A court may grant “limited” driving privileges, allowing the offender to drive for occupational, educational, vocational, or medical purposes, to take a driver’s license examination, to attend court-ordered treatment, or any other purpose that the court determines to be appropriate (R.C. 4510.021 (A)).
As an alternative to these “limited” driving privileges, H.B. 388 now allows first-time OVI offenders to petition the court for “unlimited driving privileges” with an ignition-interlock device (“11D”).
Under these unlimited driving privileges, offenders can drive without limitation as to time, place, or purpose, provided they have IIDs installed in their vehicles. A court granting unlimited driving privileges may still impose other reasonable conditions upon the privileges, such as maintaining insurance and refraining from committing further traffic violations.
Any mandatory jail time associated with the underlying OVI offense is to be suspended pending successful (i.e. no 11D violations) completion · of the licensee’s suspension period, and the court shall maintain jurisdiction over the offender until the expiration of the suspension period.
If the offender violates any term or condition the court has imposed on the driving privileges, the court shall require the offender to serve the jail term. Additionally, courts may shorten the length of suspension for offenders on unlimited driving privileges.
H.B. 388 does nothing to change the existing options pertaining to driving privileges during a mandatory suspension for first-time OVI offenders. That is, the court still has the discretion to deny any driving privileges altogether, to grant “limited” driving privileges as they exist in current law, and, now, to grant “unlimited” driving privileges with an 11D.
Upon issuing an order requiring the use of an 11D, the court shall provide notice to the offender of all the actions a court is authorized or required to take if the offender commits an 11D violation.
An offender who is granted unlimited-with-11D privileges is required to obtain from the Bureau of Motor Vehicles a restricted license. An offender who operates a vehicle before obtaining such a license is subject to the existing penalties for driving under OVI suspension (R.C. 4510.14).
The bill defines an “ignition interlock device violation” as a certified device, installed in an offender’s vehicle, indicating that it has prevented the offender from starting a motor vehicle because the device was tampered with or circumvented, or the device detected the presence of alcohol on the offender’s breath.
The manufacturer of the 11D shall inform the court of any violations that occur. The penalties for an 11D violation remain the same as in current law (R.C. 4510.13).
Upon any such 11D violation, existing law allows the court to increase both the license suspension and the period of time which the offender is prohibited from exercising any limited driving privileges by a factor of two. Any increase in the suspension length cannot result in a suspension that is longer than what the court was originally authorized to order.
If, however, the violation occurs within sixty days of the end of the suspension period, and the court does not impose an increased suspension by a factor of two, H.B. 388 requires the court to issue an order extending the suspension so that the suspension terminates sixty days from the date of the 11D violation, regardless of whether this extension results in a suspension longer than what the court was originally authorized to order.
CHANGE IN RANGES OF SUSPENSION LENGTH
Under current law, a first OVI offense is subject to a suspension of six months to three years, a second offense is one to five years, and a third offense is two to ten years. H.B. 388 modifies these ranges as follows:
- First OVI offense: 1 to 3 years
- Second OVI offense: 1 to 7 years
- Third OVI offense: 2 to 12 years
If, however, a first-time OVI offender requests and is granted unlimited-with-110 privileges, the court may reduce the minimum length of the suspension by half (thus a minimum six month suspension for unlimited-with-110 privileges).
10-YEAR LOOKBACK PERIOD
The bill also modifies the “lookback” period for purposes of enhanced penalties for repeat OVl-related offenses. Under existing law, that period is six years, while H.B. 388 changes that period to ten years.
ADDITIONAL COURT COSTS
When granting unlimited-with-11D privileges, H.B. 388 requires courts to impose an additional court cost of $2.50, which may not be waived unless the offender is found to be indigent. This cost is to be used to fund the Department of Public Safety’s habitual OVl offender registry. The court may also impose an addition $2.50 cost to be deposited in the court’s special projects fund.
The bill removes the requirement that an offender display restricted license plates following a second OVI offense. The bill retains the requirement for second-time offenders if the offender committed a “high test” violation or if the offender refused to submit to a chemical test and had previously committed an OVI offense within the preceding 20 years.
Charged with intoxicated driving? Matt Mishak Attorney at Law can help. As a former Chief Prosecutor, Attorney Mishak has been involved with thousands of OVI cases. Contact him today to see how he can help you.