On January 4, 2017, Governor Kasich signed House Bill 388, also known as “Annie’s Law,” into law. This OVI new law will drastically alter OVI (drunk driving) law and penalties in Ohio.
Before the law goes into effect in April 6, it is important to take note of the new OVI penalties under the law.
For example, Annie’s law will greatly expand the use of Ignition Interlock in Ohio. Ignition Interlock, or IID, is a system attached to your car that monitors the alcohol content of the driver. With an IID, the driver blows into the interlock receiver and if the IID detects alcohol on the driver’s breath, the car will not start.
IID (IGNITION INTERLOCK) PENALTIES UNDER ANNIE’S LAW
If you have been charged with OVI, the judge can order that you may have unlimited driving privileges on the condition that you install an ignition interlock device in your car.
If you have been ordered to have an ignition interlock (IID) on your car, though, the new law establishes additional penalties if any of the following violations happen:
- You drive a car that does not have an ignition interlock
- You circumvent or tamper with the IID.
- The IID detects an amount of alcohol that prevents the car from starting.
This Table explains the penalties for those who commit an IID violation.
Penalties for Committing an Ignition Interlock Violation
First time, second time or underage OVI offender Third or subsequent OVI offender
First IID violation Permissive continuous alcohol monitoring Mandatory continuous alcohol monitoring for a minimum of 40 days
Second IID violation Mandatory continuous alcohol monitoring for a minimum of 40 days Mandatory continuous alcohol monitoring for a minimum of 60 days
Third or subsequent IID violation Mandatory continuous alcohol monitoring for a minimum of 60 days Mandatory continuous alcohol monitoring for a minimum of 60 days
Any IID violation Court may double the period of suspension (and the time during which the person must drive with an IID), but the total suspension can't exceed the length the court was originally authorized to impose Court may double the period of suspension (and the time during which the person must drive with an IID), but the total suspension can't exceed the length the court was originally authorized to impose
EXTENDED SUSPENSION FOR INTERLOCK VIOLATIONS WITHIN 60 DAYS OF THE END OF THE SUSPENSION
If an interlock violation occurs within 60 days of the end of the suspension, the court is required to extend the suspension and the interlock requirement. The suspension cannot end until 60 days after the violation.
In other words, if your suspension is over on April 1 and you blow over or otherwise commit an interlock violation on March 1, your suspension and interlock requirement would be extended until May 1 (to allow for 60 days post-violation).
VIOLATIONS FOR SOMEONE ELSE BLOWING INTO THE INTERLOCK DEVICE
Annie’s Law greatly expands the penalties for those who are granted driving privileges with an interlock device, but have someone else blow into the machine. The penalty for having someone else blow for you is a first-degree misdemeanor.
OVI LOOK-BACK PERIOD
Under old Ohio law, the state mandated look-back period was 6 years. For an OVI under the state code, the court will consider offenses that happened during the look-back period when considering enhancing the penalties of the OVI offense. Though some jurisdictions elected to extend the look-back period on their own, under Annie’s Law the State of Ohio has increased the look-back period to 10 years.
LENGTH OF AN OVI SUSPENSION
Annie’s Law will modify the permissive range of a driver’s license suspension for a first, second, or third OVI. The following table illustrates the changes in OVI suspensions under Annie’s Law.
Driver's License Suspensions for OVI Offenses (Source: Ohio Legislative Service Commission: LSC Analysis of H.B. 388)
Before April 6, 2017 After April 6, 2017
First OVI Offense 6 months to 3 years 1 to 3 years, but the court can reduce the suspension by up to half if the offender gets unlimited driving privileges with interlock
Second OVI Offense 1 to 5 years 1 to 7 years
Third OVI Offense 2 to 10 years 2 to 12 years
RESTRICTED LICENSE PLATES
Under Annie’s law, second-time OVI offenders who do not commit a “high test” offense no longer have to get restricted yellow plates. However, the following second-time OVI offenders will still have to obtain yellow plates:
- Second time OVI offender (prior within 10 years) who is convicted of a “high test” OVI offense, which means the person blew a .17 or higher (or comparable blood/urine)
- Second time OVI offender who refused to submit to a chemical test after being arrested and the offender had previously committed an OVI or underage OVI offense within 20 years.
Given the many upcoming changes to Ohio OVI law, it is important to have legal representation that can analyze every aspect of the law, and provide detailed explanations of legal defenses available to you, including how Annie’s Law may apply to your case.
If you have been charged with an OVI, or other traffic or alcohol related offenses, and have questions about defenses related to your legal rights, talk to one of our Columbus OVI attorneys about your case at 614-361-2804.