Reckless driving behavior such as street racing, operating a vehicle while intoxicated, and speeding claimed thousands of lives each year. Ohio has a serious issue with people driving intoxicated, speeding, and using their phones on the road. We have gotten to a point where distracted driving and reckless driving behavior are becoming more responsible for a car accident than any other form of a traffic violation.
But what are the real consequences for reckless driving behavior? The victims of reckless driving car accidents or DUI accidents will tell you that they aren’t serious enough. Ohio is actually one of the more relaxed States when it comes to OVI penalties, and penalties for reckless driving. It’s shocking how low the title teas are for street racing or for using the phone behind the wheel.
Drunk Driving Penalties
The first penalty for OVI in Ohio is a minor suspension of the license, a reinstatement fee, and proof that the driver still has Insurance. Some of these suspensions are as little as a few days. Now, repeat offenders and do have a bit more of a stiff time. Anyone with a second OVI will face at least 10 days in jail, hundreds of dollars in fines, and a license suspension between one and five years.
Under Annie’s law in Ohio, a drunk driving penalty can include an ignition interlock device that can go into effect if someone has prior OVI offenses and killed a person in a DUI crash. Interlock devices can last for 6 to 18 months.
Are Ignition Locks Effective in Preventing Reckless Driving Behavior?
Studies are mixed on whether ignition interlock devices or ignition locks were effective. The consensus among researchers is that in five out of six instances, interlocks reduce the likelihood of additional offenses when the interlock was on the vehicle. That means after 18 months when the interlock ignition device comes off that person is just as likely to re-offend as any other OVI multiple offender.
Alcohol ignition interlock programs really do seem to be effective, but 18 months may not be enough time for that person to establish sobriety or sober driving habits.
What About Ohio Residents that Still Text and Drive?
Ohio was one of the last states to adopt a hands-free law, and it’s really not that effective. The fines or penalties for committing a traffic offense because of cell phone distraction can go as high as $150. That is not going to stop someone from texting and driving again. There are various issues with this law because police officers cannot pull someone over simply because they’re texting and driving.
The hands-free Law requires that there be an existing moving traffic violation in order to pull over the vehicle. It is possible that when police identify reckless behavior such as lane weaving or inconsistent speed, they can pull the vehicle over. This is the same standard that officers used to determine intoxicated drivers. However, unless there is another moving traffic violation, there is no way that these drivers are going to see consequences for texting behind the wheel.
Streaming Behind the Wheel? What’s the Penalty?
The driving factor of Ohio’s hands-free law is that the person is only violating the law if they are using their hands on their device while driving and committing a moving traffic violation. The trouble is that texting behind the wheel isn’t even the most dangerous thing you can do on your phone while driving.
Many drivers now are streaming behind the wheel. At this point in time there’s no penalty for streaming behind-the-wheel other than distracted driving, which is only an issue that comes up when someone pushes for a crash investigation.
Get Compensation After A Reckless Driver Hits You
Did the driver who hit you have a BAC over the limit? Is it possible that they were using their phone rather than paying attention to the road? The compensation that comes with reckless driving is not always what victims would expect. However, with a skilled attorney you might have the opportunity to seek out compensation for elements of your claim that would otherwise be overlooked.
Ohio car accident attorneys, we focus on pairing victims with attorneys who can genuinely serve the victim best. Contacting Ohio car accident attorneys is often the first step that victims can take to regain control on their claim. Explore the options of punitive damages, damage recovery for mental trauma, and recovery for lost income or lost time at work. Don’t let an insurance company decide how much compensation you deserve as the victim. You should have an advocate for you fighting for full compensation.