What Is the Difference Between an OVI and a DUI?


What Is the Difference Between an OVI and a DUI?

If you’ve been charged with a drunk driving charge, you’re probably aware of the serious consequences that come with a conviction. What you may not know, however, is the difference between an OVI (Operating a Vehicle under the Influence) and a DUI (Driving Under the Influence). Susan Gwinn, Attorney at Law specializes in DUI and OVI cases, and in today’s post, we’re sharing insight into the differences between the two offenses. Learn more below, then reach out today to get the help you need from a trusted OVI and DUI lawyer.

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The Definition of Intoxication

The first key difference between DUIs and OVIs is the definition of intoxication. DUI laws are generally less strict than OVI laws. Most states consider someone to be drunk when their blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08 percent or higher, while OVI laws typically define intoxication as having a BAC of .10 percent or higher.

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The Offense

While a DUI is generally considered a misdemeanor offense, an OVI is typically considered a felony. This means that a DUI conviction could result in a jail sentence of up to six months, while an OVI conviction could result in a jail sentence of up to five years.



Both DUIs and OVIs can carry hefty fines, the amount depending on the severity of the offense and the state in which the driver was charged. OVIs, however, tend to carry more severe penalties, including longer license suspensions, higher fines, and even vehicle impoundment.



While it can be difficult to defend against a DUI charge, an OVI charge may be more difficult to fight as the laws surrounding OVIs are more stringent. An experienced DUI attorney can review the evidence in your case and look for potential defenses that may lead to a reduced charge or even a dismissal.

Every location is different, and no matter which charge you’re facing, it’s important to understand the consequences of a conviction and the potential defenses. An experienced attorney can help you understand the differences between DUIs and OVIs and determine the best course of action for your particular case. In need of a DUI lawyer in Athens, Ohio? Reach out today!

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