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Annie’s Law in Ohio and the ignition interlock device

On Behalf of | Sep 4, 2017 | DUI |

Whether you are driving away from the stadium, having consumed one too many beers, or on your way home from a party or wedding reception, having enjoyed a little too much wine, law enforcement might stop you for OVI. In the state of Ohio, if police charge you with operating a vehicle while impaired, you face both mandatory and optional penalties.

Annie’s Law became effective in the spring of 2017. Under the new law, you might find the obligatory license suspension reduced if you opt for the use of an ignition interlock device.

License suspension

When police arrest you for OVI, you are looking at two different kinds of driver’s license suspension. The Administrative License Suspension, or A.L.S., will occur if you either refuse to take a breath test or fail one. The court can also suspend your license if a judge sentences you following a trial or plea agreement. Depending on the circumstances and your record, you might be able to reinstate your driving privileges, but only after a waiting period of between 15 days and three years.

Explaining Annie’s Law

Ohio House Bill 388, better known as Annie’s Law, honors Annie Rooney, a Chillicothe attorney who lost her life in an accident caused by a repeat OVI offender. Under this law, the mandatory driver’s license suspension time frame for a first offense is now one year minimum, an increase over the previous suspension of six months. However, the law does permit unlimited driving privileges with the installation of an ignition interlock device, also known as an IID, for first offenders who request it.

How it works

The IID is a small instrument about the size of a mobile phone that is basically a computer with a mouthpiece. After installing it in your car, you will breathe into the mouthpiece and the IID will measure your blood alcohol content. If you pass, the car will start; it is as simple as that. The idea behind the IID is to keep repeat drunk drivers off the road. If you are dealing with your first OVI, you are probably struggling with considerable stress. The use of an ignition interlock device under Annie’s Law will enable you to drive – and avoid harsher penalties – as long as you remain sober.