Drinking and driving is an incredibly irresponsible decision with enormous repercussions, not only for the perpetrators but for other drivers and pedestrians on the road. In Ohio, as in all states, the penalties are severe for this public hazard in an effort to mitigate the problem. Even if you are a responsible driver, you still run the risk of being affected by other drivers that choose to flout the law and drive while intoxicated.
If you ever find yourself in a position where you are intoxicated but must reach your home by the end of the night, always call a cab or other driving service. Fortunately, now it is easier than ever to hitch a ride home due to the advent of ride-sharing smartphone applications such as Uber and Lyft. There is no excuse for driving with even one or two drinks over the limit. The expense of a cab ride will never exceed the staggering costs of a DUI conviction that can cost as much as $10,000.
Penalties for Drinking and Driving in Ohio
The penalties for drinking and driving in Ohio are considerable, yet understandable considering a large number of casualties accumulated through drinking and driving accidents. Here are some of the costs one may incur when charged with a first offense DUI.
- Three days to six months in jail;
- $250 to $1000 fine;
- License suspension from six months to three years; and
- Costly attorney’s fees.
In Ohio, the legal limit is .08 percent BAC. For a 160 lb. person this amounts to four standard drinks (four 12 oz beers). The lookback period, or period in which prior DUIs are relevant in sentencing, is six years. As more offenses accrue, the penalties become harsher and after the third offense, an interlock ignition device is installed in the offender’s car, a mechanism that requires the driver to pass a breathalyzer test before starting his or her vehicle.
Seeking Restitutions in Drunk Driving Accidents
When filing a DUI lawsuit against a drunk driver, the victim must have suffered personal injury, death or property damages. Any time a drunk driver is involved in an accident they are always assumed responsibility for the resulting damages. However, they are not always the sole party that holds the responsibility. The institution that served them drinks could also share some of the blame, especially if they negligently over-served their customer who looked drunk to the average person.
Here are a few of the legal recourses available to victims of drunk driving accidents:
- Compensatory Damages – This is the most common type of DUI related lawsuit. The lawsuit usually seeks damages involved in most types of car accident suits including medical expenses, loss of wages, property damages, pain and suffering, and loss of wages.
- Dram Shop Laws – These laws hold the owners of establishments that serve alcohol, such as bars, restaurants, liquor stores or clubs responsible for the damages. These types of cases can be made if the establishment serves alcohol to a minor or someone who is noticeably intoxicated.
- Punitive Damages – These damages are intended to simply punish the drunk driver for being irresponsible. These cases are primarily intended for perpetrators that have a very high BAC or were on prescription or illegal drugs that contributed to the accident.
Contact a Cleveland Car Accident Attorney Today
If you or a loved one were hurt in a drunk driving accident call the experienced Cleveland car accident lawyer at the Ohio Car Accident Lawyers today. Drunk drivers are a public menace that needs to see the consequences of their actions, and we are here to help guide you through this painful legal process. Call today for a free consultation.