New drunk driving (OVI) law goes into effect April 6, 2017

For most first time OVI offenders it used to be pretty basic. Do the three day “DUI school” and you are good to go. Get slapped with a six month license suspension with work privileges, and you’re back on the road.

Well, starting April 6, 2017, it’s not going to be that simple anymore. The lawmakers just passed new legislation they are calling “Annie’s Law.” Annie’s Law is named after a criminal defense lawyer who was killed by a drunk driver. This new law provides some pretty sweeping changes to the current penalties and procedures of Ohio’s OVI law, most notably for first time offenders.

Some of the most significant changes are as follows:

-Minimum one year driver’s license suspension for first time offenders (increase from 6 months).

-Option for unlimited driving privileges for first time offenders if court grants an ignition interlock device (which suspends jail time).

-10 year look back for prior offenses (previously it was a 6 year look back).

In my 10 years of practice, this will be the seventh amendment to the already lengthy OVI law. I challenge anyone to read R.C. 4511.19 in one sitting and not pass out or have your eyes completely glazed over.

There are many pros and cons with the new law for offenders. And many more options for those charged. It makes more sense than ever to get advice to see which option is best for you and your particular situation.