Ohio DUI Insurance Laws

Ohio DUI insurance laws enforce multiple penalties, including up to a year in jail, $10,000 in fines and points on your license which could increase your car insurance rates by up to 41%.

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP® Joel Ohman

UPDATED: May 4, 2022

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Ohio DUI Insurance Laws
Operating a Vehicle Intoxicated (OVI) in OhioThe legal blood alcohol level in Ohio is 0.08 or higherOhio Bureau of Motor Vehicles
Physical Control Charge A physical control charge deals with being in a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs and being in possession of the keys to the car. Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles
Insurance Rates in Ohio after an OVI conviction Average premiums in Ohio could increase 58% with an OVI conviction Quadrant Data
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All Ohio drivers must adhere to the rules and regulations of the road. A lot Ohio drivers might be asking, “Does physical control increase insurance?” Ohio DUI insurance laws dictate that your rates will go up with a conviction.  So if you get a DUI in Ohio, your car insurance will be more expensive.

Finding cheap auto insurance after a DUI conviction is not an easy task. A DUI usually equals a larger insurance premium increase than any other driving incident. The increase will typically be more than a reckless driving incident or having an at-fault accident. You have a lot of questions about Ohio DUI convictions, like “Does physical control increase rates after a DUI?” We have answers.

We have put together this guide to help you understand the consequences of a DUI and the financial burden that can hang over you after a conviction. Before learning more about Ohio DUI insurance laws, you may use the free tool above to start comparing average rates and plans.

Ohio DUI Requirements

Driving under the influence of alcohol is called an OVI by the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV), which means Operating a Vehicle Intoxicated. This OVI level is for drugs and/or alcohol. A person that has been convicted of driving under the influence, or an OVI, will be required by the Ohio BMV to provide proof of car insurance in order to get their license reinstated.

According to the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles Insurance Requirements, it is not legal to drive with a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 or higher. This level, or blood alcohol concentration (BAC), is lower for drivers that are under the age of 21 and for commercial drivers.

It is illegal to drive while under the influence of any controlled substance in Ohio. Controlled substances include:

  • Heroin
  • Marijuana
  • Cocaine
  • Meth

DUI affects car insurance rates greatly, so don’t drink and drive.

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Ohio State DUI Laws

In Ohio, license requirements laws create a state of Implied Consent for anyone operating a vehicle on any highway, private or public property used for vehicular travel, or even any person in physical control of a vehicle. What does physical control of a vehicle mean?

What does physical control mean?

Physical control means that the person is in the front driver’s seat and is in possession of the ignition keys or other ignition starting devices.

What does physical control mean in Ohio? Similar to an OVI charge, physical control deals with being in a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.  So, what is the difference between physical control and DUI? Physical control does not require that the vehicle has ever been driven or even started.

What does a physical control charge mean? Carrying similar penalties as other traffic violations, a physical control charge can result in consequences for your license and driving privileges. Ohio does not add points to your license as a result of this charge, however.  Does physical control increase insurance?

Also similar to an OVI charge, a physical control charge will result in increased rates from your insurer.

The following video will give you an explanation of physical control in Ohio.

How long does physical control stay on your record? A conviction for or plea to physical control remains on a driver’s record forever, just as speeding ticket or failure to yield offense would. For licensing purposes, however, the BMV will keep the charge at the front of your electronic record for three years.

What is implied consent?

Implied Consent means that when the person is stopped for suspected OVI, they are deemed to have given consent to alcohol, blood, urine, or breath testing in order to determine if they are over the legal limit of 0.08 for alcohol while driving.

The Implied Consent law is an important statute to note, as a person cannot refuse the OVI testing when arrested.

A person who tests with a BAC of 0.08 is considered driving under the influence even if the person is not affected or influenced by the alcohol level. The person can still be arrested and/or convicted, and this is often called a DUI or OVI offense.

Another aspect of the law is for underage alcohol consumption. Any person under age 21 found to be operating a vehicle with a BAC of 0.02 percent or more is in violation of the law and can be charged and arrested for an OVI.

Can you get a DUI on private property in Ohio?

You can be arrested on private property for OVI if the police officer has reasonable suspicion to believe you are operating a vehicle under the influence.

These criminal charges can be found under the Ohio code ORC 4511.19, and there are two separate levels of charges that a person can receive:

  • Administrative Issue One – This is relative to the implied consent application of the law where a person fails or refuses to take a breath or blood test. If the license has been suspended for this cause, the person has the right to appeal the suspension.
  • Administrative Issue Two – This is relative to a criminal charge for OVI or for physical control of the vehicle while impaired. The person must appear in court or a warrant will be issued for an arrest for failure to appear. If convicted, the driver could lose their license for a period of time.

Now let’s read about the penalties for driving under the influence.

Ohio State DUI Penalties

Ohio has penalties for driving under the influence. When a driver is arrested for an Ohio DUI offense and refuses to take a breath test, the BMV will refuse driving privileges.

The driver will be issued an Ohio BMV 2255 form advising the person that they are immediately being placed under an administrative license suspension. In some instances, you may be able to request a BMV administrative hearing for a stay of administrative license suspension.

In 2019 Ohio enacted a new law, that might give first time DUI offenders the option of keeping their driving license. Take a look at the video below.

Regardless of which offense number this is, any DUI infraction in Ohio will come with consequences. They range from less severe to extended jail time. The graph below outlines all of the potential consequences that could follow an OVI conviction in Ohio.

Ohio DUI Punishments
First Conviction- Jail time ranging from three days to six months
- Drivers Intervention Program
- If BAC is 0.17 or higher, six days jail time
- Suspended license from six months to three years
- Fine from $250 to $1,000
- License reinstatement fee of $450
Second Conviction- Minimum of 10 days in jail
- Electronic home monitoring device from 18 days to six months
- If BAC is 0.17 or above, jail time of 20 days
- Fine from $350 to $1,500
- License suspended for up to five years
- Mandatory driver intervention program
- License reinstatement fee of $450
- Vehicle immobilized for up to 90 days
Third Conviction- Jail time from 30 days to a year
- Electronic home monitoring device from 55 days to a year
- If BAC is 0.17 or above, 60 days in jail
- License suspended from one to 10 years
- License reinstatement fee of $450
- Mandatory attendance in an alcohol treatment program
- Immobilized vehicle for up to 180 days
- Fine from $350 to $1,500
Fourth Conviction- Felony offense
- 60 days to one year in jail
- Fine of up to $10,000
- Possible permanent license suspension
- Possible forfeiture of vehicle
- Mandatory drug and/or alcohol treatment
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While an OVI is generally a misdemeanor crime in Ohio, three or more convictions of driving under the influence in a six-year time span can turn the misdemeanor into a felony charge. The same holds true if a person has four or more convictions within 20 years.

The video below gives more details about the OVI laws in Ohio.

Now let’s read more about DUI stats in Ohio.

Ohio DUI Statistics

Drunk driving, or driving while impaired by alcohol, has devastating consequences. According to government statistics, every 30 minutes a traffic fatality related to alcohol and driving occurs. Even more startling and frightening is that every two minutes a traffic injury occurs related to driving under the influence of alcohol.

Even with all the fines and jail time imposed on people caught driving while impaired by alcohol, nearly half of all the drivers arrested for driving while drunk are repeat offenders.

A third of people who have suspended licenses for driving while impaired by alcohol will keep on driving.

In Ohio alone, there will be approximately 400 alcohol-related deaths, 15,000 injuries, and 20,000 alcohol-related crashes each year.

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Ohio DUI Insurance Rates

In Ohio, it is illegal to drive without car insurance or other financial responsibility documents. A person with an OVI will find that their current driving insurance provider may increase their rates or cancel or not renew their insurance policy.

Ohio OVI insurance rates are similar to rates in other states. A conviction or a plea will result in a rate spike.

Ohio Car Insurance Rates With An OVI
LocationAverage Annual Rate Without DUIAverage Annual Rate With DUIAverage Increase
United States$1,548$2,556+65%
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As you can see from the above data, aside from legal consequences, the financial burden can be impactful and long-lasting. The video below explains some potential insurance consequences of a DUI infraction.

How long does a DUI affect your insurance in Ohio? Even if the insurance rates are increased, any convictions or points against a driver’s license are only valid for three years. As long as there are no more problems related to the license in three years, the rates should decline after that time.

Purchasing Auto Insurance in Ohio After a DUI Conviction

Getting vehicle insurance after an OVI can be a difficult task.

The rates will be higher after an OVI conviction, but some auto insurance companies have programs that can help reduce the normally high rates after an OVI or traffic conviction.

Cheap Car Insurance After a DUI in Ohio

A company can decide to count the first OVI conviction as a regular traffic violation, so the impact on the car insurance rates is could be not as high. More than likely, however, there will be a financial impact on your rates.

If you are convicted of an OVI violation in Ohio, it’s important to look at all of your insurance options. Car insurance rates after an OVI infraction can vary depending on the company. In looking at several insurance quotes, the car insurance company with the cheapest rates for an OVI in Ohio is State Farm.

The yearly premiums from State Farm were about 43 percent below the state average with an OVI conviction. The second cheapest option for car insurance after an OVI in Ohio is Erie Insurance.

Nationwide had the most expensive rates at more than 50 percent over the average.

Average Insurance Rates After an OVI Conviction in Ohio
CompanyAverage Ohio Car Insurance Rate With an OVI Conviction
State Farm$952
Liberty Mutual$1,796
Cinncinati Insurance$2,145
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Comparative rates can be found online. A person seeking car insurance after an OVI can input their information and driving history and get quotes from several insurance companies.

This is a quick and easy way to compare insurance options quotes side by side. Even though insurance options are available at a higher premium, the best advice is still to don’t drink and drive.

Now that you’ve learned about Ohio DUI insurance laws, compare car insurance policies online by entering your ZIP code below.

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