Kentucky DUI / Ohio OVI Attorney

Located in Wilder, Kentucky, Selby Law aggressively defends clients against drunk driving and drugged driving charges in Northern Kentucky and Southwestern Ohio. If you face charges for Driving Under the Influence / DUI, Operating a Vehicle under the Influence / OVI, or Operating a Vehicle after Underage Consumption / OVUAC, you can count on attorney Elizabeth Selby to protect your rights vigorously, represent you forcefully, and fight for you at every stage of the process.

Through her work as a local criminal defense attorney for over 15 years, Attorney Selby is known by her clients and in the legal community as a zealous and compassionate defender whose trial skills, investigative abilities, and plea negotiation savvy ensure exceptional quality representation for her clients. You can talk with Attorney Selby about your case in a free initial consultation.

Seriousness of Drunk Driving & Drugged Driving Offenses

Criminal charges involving drunk driving and drugged driving are always extremely serious and should never be taken lightly. Even a misdemeanor first-offense conviction has significant implications. The possible penalties (including fines, prison time, loss of driving privileges) are substantial but are only the beginning of potential long-term effects. Defending against any DUI or OVI charge is absolutely essential.

If you have even a single misdemeanor DUI / OVI conviction on your record, that fact is public and available to anyone who searches your background in connection with employment, housing, finances, and other important aspects of your life. Possible adverse effects include:

  • Loss of your job, if you lose your license and cannot get to work or carry on your duties
  • Unfavorable treatment by prospective employers who screen applicants for potential alcohol and drug problems
  • Adverse effects on professional or occupational license or security clearances required for your job
  • Increased auto insurance premiums
  • Limitations on housing opportunities
  • Negative impact on college admission applications, including financial aid and scholarship eligibility

If you have multiple arrests and convictions for DUI or OVI offenses, the penalties increase substantially and so does the overall adverse impact on your life. If you face charges, representation by an experienced drunk driving and drugged driving attorney like Elizabeth Selby is your best strategy for minimizing the penalties and the effects on your life.

Defending Against DUI / OVI Charges

State statutes govern drunk driving and drugged driving charges. In Kentucky and Ohio, those laws are extremely complex and provide numerous opportunities for a skillful criminal defense attorney to develop strategies to defend against charges. But the complexity of the laws is one of the most important reasons why you need representation by an experienced lawyer to defend you against a DUI or OVI charge.

For an individual case, the best defense strategy depends substantially on the specific facts surrounding the arrest and charges. Attorney Elizabeth Selby has substantial experience handling drunk driving and drugged driving cases. She knows how to investigate your case, how to track down the facts, and what to look for in the evidence. Examples of defenses that may apply in a specific case include:

  • Improper police conduct in the stop that led to the arrest
  • Unconstitutional police interrogation and arrest procedures
  • Law enforcement failure to follow proper testing protocol
  • Improper testing and storage of samples
  • Chain of evidence issues with tests
  • Factual mistakes by the police or prosecutor

Whether these defenses apply to a specific case depends on a legal analysis of the circumstances of the stop and arrest, after your attorney completes a full investigation of exactly what occurred. You should not try to evaluate your own case and defenses without the benefit of legal counsel.

Kentucky DUI Offenses and Penalties

Kentucky statutes relating Driving Under the Influence (KRS 189A.005 through KRS 189A.560) cover operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or another substance that impairs driving ability, such as marijuana, heroin, meth, cocaine, or oxycodone.

Drunk Driving and Drugged Driving Offenses in Kentucky

Specifically, the law prohibits a person from operating or being in physical control of a motor vehicle, if the person:

  • Has an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more
  • Is under age 21 and has an alcohol concentration of 0.02 or more
  • Is under the influence of alcohol
  • Is under the influence of any other substance or combination of substances that impair driving ability
  • Is under the combined influence of alcohol and any other substance that impairs driving ability
  • Has a controlled substance in the blood

Importantly, a person can be charged if evidence demonstrates driving impairment, even in the absence of test results indicating alcohol or drug levels.

Kentucky Implied Consent Law

Kentucky law (KRS 189A.103) provides that anyone operating a vehicle or in physical control of a vehicle gives implied consent to testing of blood, breath, or urine for the purpose of determining the presence of a substance that impairs driving ability. The only prerequisite for triggering implied consent is an officer’s reasonable grounds to believe that a violation has occurred.

Refusal to consent to testing is an offense on its own under these provisions. Conviction may result in loss of driving privileges, even if DUI charges are dismissed.

Aggravating Circumstances

Under Kentucky law, aggravating circumstances affect the seriousness of and penalties for a Kentucky DUI offense. Aggravating circumstances exist in the following situations:

  • Operation of a vehicle more than 30 miles per hour over the speed limit
  • Traveling the wrong direction on a limited access highway
  • Operation of a vehicle that causes an accident resulting in death or serious physical injury
  • Having a BAC level of 0.15 or higher
  • Refusal to submit to any test or tests of blood, breath, or urine
  • Presence in the vehicle of a passenger under the age of 12 years

Kentucky DUI Penalties

For a DUI conviction, the law establishes parameters for jail time, fine amount, and period of license revocation based on the number of DUI convictions within the last ten years. DUI convictions in other states count. The penalty ranges are as follows:

  • 1st offense, Misdemeanor: 48 hours to 30 days jail time; fine of $200 to $500; license revocation for 30 to 120 days, followed by 6 months with an ignition interlock device (IID)
  • 2nd offense, Misdemeanor: 7 days to 6 months jail time; fine of $350 to $500; license revocation for 12 to 18 months, plus 12 months with an IID
  • 3rd offense, Misdemeanor: 30 days to 12 months jail time; fine of $500 to $1,000; license revocation for 12 to 18 months, plus 30 months with an IID
  • 4th and subsequent offenses, Felony: 120 days minimum jail time; fine set by court plus mandatory $375 service fee; 60-month license revocation (eligible for IID after 30 months) plus 30 months with an IID after conclusion of revocation period
  • Driver under 21 years of age, if convicted with a BAC between 0.02 and 0.08: No jail time; fine of $100 to $500 or community service; 30 day to 6-month license revocation; treatment program for a period of 90 days

The following additional penalties also apply:

  • If one or more aggravating circumstances are present, the amount of jail time is doubled.
  • All convicted defendants must complete a substance abuse program. The length of treatment varies with the number of past offenses.
  • For any defendant under the age of 18 years, license revocation lasts until age 18.
  • For a first offense, a judge may grant permission to enter a community labor program for 48 hours to 30 days in lieu of fine and/or imprisonment.
  • Judges have authority to order community service in addition to other penalties.
  • For second and subsequent offenses, the defendant also surrenders his or her license plate, unless specific conditions are met.

A judge may impose a license revocation penalty for refusal of a test under Kentucky’s implied consent law. The penalty may be imposed even if the DUI charge is dismissed. The license revocation period for a first test refusal is 30 to 120 days. The potential revocation period increases for subsequent convictions.

Ohio OVI / OVUAC Offenses and Penalties

Drunk driving and drugged driving laws in Ohio differ substantially from those in Kentucky. The difference begins with the terminology for the offenses. The Ohio statute (R.C. 4511.19) uses the term OVI (sometimes called OMVI), for Operating a Vehicle while under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs, and OVUAC, Operating a Vehicle after Underage Consumption. OVUAC laws are special provisions that apply to drivers under the age of 21 years. OVI and OVUAC are the same as DUI or DWI offenses in other states.

Ohio OVI laws are extremely complex. To complicate matters even more, Ohio municipalities can — and do — enact their own OVI ordinances. In some Ohio counties, local ordinance provisions also apply. This discussion covers only the state law provisions.

Drunk Driving and Drugged Driving Offenses in Ohio

A violation of Ohio OVI / OVUAC laws occurs if:

  • A person operates a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, a drug of abuse, or a combination of alcohol and drugs.
  • A person has a BAC over 0.08, or equivalent concentration in blood serum, plasma, or urine, or prohibited concentration of a drug of abuse or metabolite of the drug.
  • A driver under 21 years of age has a BAC over 0.02 or equivalent concentration.

Drugs of abuse include amphetamines, cocaine, heroin, LSD, marijuana, methamphetamine, and other controlled substances. Evidence (such as poor driving, alcohol odor, slurred speech, poor performance in field sobriety tests) can demonstrate impairment, even if test results do not meet the thresholds or are not available.

If a driver is under 21 years old, a BAC over 0.08 subjects the person to the standard OVI provisions. OVUAC provisions apply when the BAC is between 0.02 and 0.08.

For penalty purposes, Ohio law differentiates OVI with high blood alcohol concentration, defined as a BAC of 0.17 or higher (or equivalent concentration).

Ohio Implied Consent Law

Ohio OVI / OVUAC laws include an implied consent provision. Any person operating a vehicle or in physical control of a vehicle consents to “a chemical test or tests of the person's whole blood, blood serum or plasma, breath, or urine to determine the alcohol, drug of abuse, controlled substance, metabolite of a controlled substance, or combination content of the person's whole blood, blood serum or plasma, breath, or urine.”

Refusal to submit to testing is itself a violation of Ohio law that results in license suspension. Repeated refusals result in increased license suspension penalties and heavier penalties for an OVI conviction.

Ohio OVI Penalties

Consequences for Ohio OVI convictions are broad-ranging and significant. After conviction, a judge is authorized — and sometimes required — to impose specific sanctions, including:

  • Jail or prison term
  • Alcohol or substance abuse treatment
  • Fines
  • License suspension
  • Vehicle immobilization or forfeiture

The first and second violations within a 10-year period are misdemeanors. A second violation carries higher penalties than a first violation. When a person has three or four prior convictions within a 10-year period, or five or more prior convictions within a 20-year period, the offense becomes a felony with substantially increased penalties. For all violations, high alcohol levels (over 0.17 BAC) or repeated test refusals carry increased mandatory penalties.

A first offense with no priors carries the following potential penalties:

  • Jail term of 3 days and up to 6 months in the judge’s discretion
  • Drivers’ intervention program in addition to or in lieu of jail time, in the judge’s discretion
  • Fine of $375 to $1,075
  • License suspension of 1-3 years, with a mandatory suspension for the first 15 days
  • Restricted plates
  • Treatment or education programs or any other community control conditions

A court may grant limited driving privileges beyond the first 15 days, with an interlock device either optional or mandatory. A first offense does not include vehicle immobilization or forfeiture. For high alcohol violations and repeat test refusals, a 3-day jail term and drivers’ intervention program are mandatory.

After the first violation within 10 years, all sanctions increase. Vehicle immobilization and license impoundment also apply. A mandatory assessment by a community addiction services provider and compliance with recommendations applies as well.

Penalties for all OVI convictions are extremely detailed and complex. The above information is provided only a general summary. Your attorney will review the detailed potential consequences of an OVI or OVUAC charge with you.

Why Do You Need a Lawyer for a Kentucky DUI or Ohio OVI / OVUAC Charge?

The general discussion above covers only a small portion of the statutory provisions for drunk driving and drugged driving in Kentucky and Ohio. In both states, the laws are extremely detailed, long, and complex. Defending against a charge requires full knowledge of all the statutory provisions, as well as the skill to navigate through the legal process. If you face any charges in either state, representation by an experienced DUI / OVI attorney is necessary.

The consequences of a DUI or OVI conviction extend far beyond those imposed under state law. Your life can be significantly affected if you have a conviction on your record. The only way to minimize the harm you suffer from a drunk driving or drugged driving charge is to retain a skillful lawyer to represent you.

Schedule a Free Consultation with an Experienced DUI / OVI Attorney for Drunk Driving or Drugged Driving Charges in Northern Kentucky or Southwestern Ohio

Attorney Elizabeth Selby provides vigorous representation and an aggressive defense for clients facing DUI charges in Northern Kentucky or OVI charges in Southwestern Ohio. Selby Law is located in Wilder, Kentucky, and serves clients in Boone County, Kenton County, Campbell County, Hamilton County, Clermont County, and surrounding areas.

Your initial consultation is free of charge. To schedule a consultation, call 859.360.2577 or use the online contact form.