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Multiple drunk driving convictions could mean prison time in Ohio

One Ohio man is going to prison for his repeat drunk driving convictions. Learn more about repeat DUI penalties in Ohio, and how you can avoid a similar fate.
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    February 08, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- An Ohio man sentenced in December of 2012 found out the hard way that repeat drunk driving convictions can lead to serious trouble. Ricky Slabaugh, 49, was hammered in court with a five year prison sentence after racking up his ninth felony conviction of driving under the influence.

Not every repeat drunk driving offense results in such a steep penalty. Nonetheless, Mr. Slaubaugh's example serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of avoiding conviction when it comes to repeat drunk driving charges.

Penalties get progressively steeper for multiple DUIs

In Ohio, drunk driving is officially known as operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or OVI for short. Drunk driving is also known colloquially as driving under the influence, or DUI.

A first-time OVI can certainly be serious in its own right. But, penalties escalate quickly for second and greater convictions. If you get a second OVI conviction within six years of the first, you will face a minimum of ten days jail, increased fines, license suspension for one to five years, vehicle immobilization, and your vehicle will be equipped with yellow plates and/or an ignition interlock device.

Penalties for a third DUI within six years include jail time of 30 to 60 days, increased fines, vehicle immobilization, and license suspension of up to 10 years. After a third OVI conviction, you cannot regain even limited driving privileges for six months, and then only with the installation of an ignition interlock and yellow restricted plates. You may even have to forfeit your vehicle completely for a third OVI.

In Ohio, a fourth OVI offense is a felony. If you are convicted of a fourth OVI offense, you will face stepped up versions of all previous sanctions. In addition, you will be subject to restrictions that come with being a felon, such as forfeiture of the right to own a firearm.

An Ohio DUI defense lawyer can help you fight charges

Of course, the best way to avoid drunk driving charges is to always plan a sober ride. But, everyone makes mistakes; if one of yours was getting arrested for a repeat OVI, a conviction could seriously derail your future.

You have a right to contest the charges against you if you've been charged with OVI. With a strong legal defense, you may be able to get charges reduced or dismissed and limit the impact on your future. If you were arrested for a repeat drunk driving offense, speak with an Ohio DUI lawyer today to explore your legal options.

Article provided by Matthew T. Ernst, Attorney at Law
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