The legal drinking age in Ohio is 21
and Ohio DUI laws are stricter
for drivers under the age of 21.

Unfortunately, these young drivers face
More Serious Consequences
Than Most DUI/OVI Defendants.

Virtually All Ohio High Schools and Colleges
Have the Power to Discipline Their Students
For a DUI/OVI.

Above and Beyond Any Punishment
Imposed by the Court.

Find Out How I Can Help Below...

Underage DUI

Ohio’s drinking age is 21 and while the consumption of alcohol by anyone under 21 is illegal, there are a few exceptions:

  • An individual under the age of 21 is permitted to consume alcohol in Ohio with the permission and supervision of a parent, legal guardian or spouse who over the age of 21.
  • An individual under the age of 21 is permitted to consume alcohol in Ohio as part of a religious practice or ceremony.
  • An individual under the age of 21 is permitted to consume alcohol in Ohio as part of a medical procedure or for medical purposes under the direction of a physician.

Drivers under the age of 21 are responsible for 13% of DUI-related fatalities in Ohio. Partially because of that reason, the standards for an underage DUI are stricter than for those over 21.

Different Legal Standards for Ohio DUI/OVI Drivers Under 21

For drivers over the age of 21 years old, the “per se” DUI violation is .08 blood alcohol content (BAC). That means if a DUI/OVI chemical test determines that a driver has a blood alcohol content BAC of .08% or higher, the driver will be cited for driving under the influence of alcohol. However, for drivers under the age of 21, the prohibited “per se” blood alcohol content (BAC) is much lower—just 02. That generally means a driver under the age of 21 can be charged and convicted of drinking and driving in Ohio after having just one beer.

Penalties for Drivers under 21 Who Are Convicted of First-Time DUI in Ohio

A DUI for an Ohio driver over the age of 21 is a misdemeanor of the first degree. However, a driver under the age of 21 who is charged with drinking and driving only faces a misdemeanor of the fourth degree, a much lower level offense in the state of Ohio. The underage Ohio DUI/OVI driver faces the following potential penalties: (a) up to thirty days in jail, none of which is mandatory; (b) a fine of up to $250, none of which is mandatory; (c) possible probation including supervised drug or alcohol treatment; (d) a mandatory Ohio DUI license suspension ranging from a minimum of ninety days up to a maximum of two years; (e) possible Ohio DUI license plates and ignition interlock device on any car the underage DUI driver uses during his privileges or while on probation.

Penalties for Drivers under the Age of 21 Who Are Convicted of a Second DUI

As should be expected, an Ohio driver who has a prior DUI/OVI conviction on his record will face more serious consequences than a first time DUI offender. The underage Ohio DUI/OVI driver who has a prior DUI conviction faces the following potential penalties: (a) up to sixty days in jail, none of which is mandatory; (b) a fine of up to $500, none of which is mandatory; (c) possible probation including supervised drug or alcohol treatment; (d) a mandatory Ohio DUI license suspension ranging from a minimum of one year up to a maximum of five years; (e) possible Ohio DUI license plates and ignition interlock device on any car the underage DUI driver uses during his privileges or while on probation.

Other Potential Charges for Ohio Drivers Under 21 Who Are Charged with DUI/OVI

Ohio law generally prohibits consumption of alcohol for anyone under the age of 21. Specifically, the Ohio Revised Code sets forth that no person shall order, possess, or consume any beer or intoxicating liquor if they are under the age of 21 years old. A violation is a misdemeanor of the first degree carrying possible penalties of six months in jail and a $1000 fine. Because it is virtually impossible to be guilty of drinking and driving in Ohio without consuming alcohol or drugs, is not uncommon for drivers under the age of 21 to face an underage consumption charge any time they face an underage DUI charge. If the underage Ohio DUI driver is found guilty of both charges, he could be sentenced for both, making the overall penalty much more significant than if he was over 21 years of age.

Common Mistakes in Ohio DUI/OVI Investigations

No Ohio DUI/OVI/drinking and driving arrest is perfect and the best Ohio DUI/OVI lawyers knows this. Most Ohio DUI/OVI investigations include a number of witnesses, including police officers and the personnel who collect, store and test chemical samples.  These witnesses are human and they make mistakes. Further, most Ohio DUI/OVI investigations include a breath testing device or other testing equipment that is not always maintained according to current Ohio DUI/OVI regulations.

Do You Want Award-Winning Ohio DUI/OVI Representation?

There are over 1 million laws in the United States. I am a top Ohio DUI/OVI defense lawyer who devotes his entire practice to ONE. Because of my experience and concentrated focus, I know the Ohio DUI/OVI laws better than most attorneys in the state. I am passionate about Ohio DUI/OVI defense and I get results, however, I only accept a limited number of clients. If you’re serious about your case and want a top Ohio DUI/OVI lawyer on your team, call me, the Ohio DUI Dude at 1-844-DUI-DUDE.

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