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Ohio’s New OVI “Look Back” Period

Governor Kasich recently signed into law House Bill 388, also known as “Annie’s Law,” that greatly alters the law in Ohio as it relates to operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol (OVI). Included in the new legislation is language that will extend the amount of time in the “look back” provision of the law.

A “look back” period is the length of time that a prior OVI conviction or plea of guilty will be factored into an offender’s punishment. In Ohio, this period is currently 6 years. This means that any prior conviction or plea of guilty to an OVI occurring within 6 years of the current OVI conviction is be considered a “first” OVI offense under state law. The court will then view the case pending before it as a second OVI and impose increased penalties as required by law.

Annie’s law extends the 6-year “look back” period established under the old language of the law for purposes of OVI’s and the laws governing many OVI-related offenses. The new law increases the amount of time the state of Ohio may look into a defendant’s past driving record from 6 years to a 10 year “look back ‘ period. 

If charged under the Ohio state code, the court will consider offenses committed within the new time period. As a result of this change, a court may now consider offenses committed up to 10 years prior.

Not only will Annie’s law increase the amount of time a court may look back into a defendant’s driving record for previous OVIs, but also increases the length of suspension a judge must impose if a defendant is found guilty of a second or third OVI that occurred within the increased “look back” period.

Under the old law, if a defendant had previously been found guilty of an OVI within 6 years of a prior OVI, the maximum license suspension a judge could impose would be 5 years. Now, under Annie’s Law, any prior OVI’s within 10 years could result in a license suspension of 7 years. Similarly, under the old law, a third OVI in 6 years could lead to a 10 year suspension, but Annie’s law increases the suspension to a max of 12 years for any third OVI in 10 years.

Alcohol related offenses vary from case to case and there can be difficulty understanding what defenses may be available to you. Though a prior conviction may fall in the new “look back” period, an attorney who has researched Annie’s Law may be able to help lessen the penalties you are facing. It is important to contact an attorney who is knowledgeable about all possible defenses available to you. If you have questions about your Columbus alcohol related criminal charges, talk to our defense attorneys at 614-361-2804. 

Source: Ferguson, A. M. (2017). LSC Analysis of House Bill 388. Ohio Legislative Service Commission, 1-14. Retrieved January 27, 2017, from www.legislature.ohio.gov/.

Written by Anthony Iori, Esq., Riddell Law Associate Attorney