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What Are Ohio’s OVI License Suspension Penalties?

by | Jun 23, 2023 | OVI Defense

If you are convicted of an OVI in Ohio and are a first-time offender, your license will be suspended for one year. This is a mandatory minimum OVI penalty. You will, however, receive credit for any time served under the Administrative License Suspension, that was imposed on the date of your arrest (“pre-conviction”) if you either failed a breath test or refused to submit to a breath test. You are eligible to request limited driving privileges after the “hard-time” (the period during which no limited driving privileges may be granted) has been served. The “hard time” on a failed breath test is 15 days after the arrest; the “hard time” associated with a breath test refusal is 30 days.

Will Ohio Suspend My Driver’s License If I Am Convicted of An OVI In Another State?

Yes. Interestingly, the suspension period imposed for an Ohio resident for an out-of-state OVI conviction is a maximum period of six months. It can be shorter if the state in which you were convicted imposes a suspension of less than six months. This law is found in R.C. 4510.17(B) and states in relevant part:

“The registrar shall impose a class D suspension of the person’s driver’s license…for the period of time specified in division (B)(4) of section 4510.02 of the Revised Code on any person who is a resident of this state and is convicted of or pleads guilty to a violation of a statute of any other state or a municipal ordinance of a municipal corporation located in any other state that is substantially similar to section 4511.19…[t]he suspension the registrar is required to impose under this division shall end either on the last day of the class D suspension period or of the suspension of the person’s nonresident operating privileges imposed by the state or federal court, whichever is earlier.”

This means if you are convicted of an OVI in any other state besides Ohio, the Ohio BMV will suspend your license. However, that suspension will end either whenever the out-of-state suspension ends, or at the six-month-mark, whichever is earlier. This means the maximum suspension period Ohio can impose for an out-of-state OVI conviction is six months.

Can I Request Driving Privileges If Ohio Suspends My License For An Out-of-State OVI Conviction?

Yes. You may petition the municipal court for driving privileges if Ohio suspends your license due to an out-of-state conviction. Interestingly, there is no “hard-time” associated with the suspension; meaning, there is no waiting period. You may petition the court immediately for limited driving privileges under the license suspension imposed by the Ohio BMV for an out-of-state OVI conviction.


If you are convicted of an OVI in another state, Ohio will not treat you as harshly as it would have had you been convicted of the OVI here in Ohio. Your license suspension would end six months sooner than it would, had you been convicted in Ohio. Instead of having a one-year license suspension and having to wait to obtain limited privileges, you will have a maximum six-month suspension (and maybe shorter depending on the duration of the out-of-state suspension) and will have the ability to apply for limited driving privileges immediately.

If you or someone you know needs legal representation on an OVI charge, or on a license suspension or driving privileges issue, we are happy to discuss your unique situation with you in a free consultation. Please do not hesitate to contact the experienced attorneys with Rittgers Rittgers & Nakajima at 513-496-0134