Ohio DUI Insurance Laws

If you get a DUI or an OVI in Ohio you will have to pay higher insurance rates. Read on for more information on Ohio DUI insurance laws and how a DUI affects insurance rates

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UPDATED: May 29, 2022

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Written By: Laura BerryReviewed By: Joel OhmanUPDATED: May 29, 2022Fact Checked

Here's What You Need to Know

  • An OVI — or operating a vehicle intoxicated — is when the blood alcohol level is 0.08 or higher
  • Physical control deals with being in a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs and having the car keys
  • The average car insurance rates in Ohio could increase by 58% with an OVI conviction

All Ohio drivers must adhere to the rules and regulations of the road. However, many Ohio drivers might not understand the consequences of an OVI or DUI conviction.

Ohio DUI insurance laws dictate 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 easy. A DUI usually yields the highest insurance rate increase of any driving incident. The increase will typically be more than a reckless driving incident or an at-fault accident. 

We’ve put together this guide to help you understand the consequences of a DUI in Ohio and the financial burden that can hang over you after a conviction.

Keep reading to learn more about Ohio DUI insurance laws and the effects of a DUI on car insurance.

Ohio DUI Insurance Requirements

You must have Ohio car insurance to drive in the state legally. Fines, fees, and a driver’s license suspension are some of the consequences of driving without insurance. Also, expect harsher penalties if you’re driving under the influence with no insurance.

The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) refers to driving under the influence of alcohol as an OVI or operating a vehicle intoxicated.

A person convicted of driving under the influence, or an OVI, must provide proof of car insurance to the Ohio BMV to reinstate their license.

According to the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles insurance requirements, driving with a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 or higher is not legal. This level — also known as blood alcohol concentration (BAC) — is lower for drivers under 21 and commercial drivers.

It is also illegal to drive while under the influence of any controlled substance in Ohio. 

Controlled substances in Ohio include:

  • Heroin
  • Marijuana
  • Cocaine
  • Methamphetamines

A DUI affects car insurance rates significantly, so don’t drink and drive. In addition, each state has its own DUI and reckless driving laws with significant penalties.

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Ohio DUI Laws

In Ohio, license requirement laws establish a state of implied consent for anyone operating a vehicle on any highway, private or public property used for vehicular travel, or any person in physical control of a car.

Let’s break down implied consent and physical control to understand Ohio DUI laws better.

What does implied consent mean?

Implied consent means when the person gets stopped for suspected OVI, they automatically consent to alcohol, blood, urine, or breath testing to determine if they’re over the legal driving limit of 0.08 for alcohol in Ohio.

The implied consent law is crucial, as a person cannot refuse the OVI testing when arrested.

A person with a BAC of 0.08 is driving under the influence even if they aren’t affected by it. Therefore, the person can still get arrested for a DUI.

Any person under 21 operating a vehicle with a BAC of 0.02% or more is violating the law and can get arrested for OVI.

What does physical control mean?

Ohio defines physical control as someone in the front driver’s seat possessing the ignition keys or other ignition starting devices. Physical control involves being in a vehicle while under alcohol or drugs, like an OVI charge.

So what is the difference between physical control and DUI? Physical control doesn’t require the vehicle to have ever been driven or started.

A physical control charge results in consequences for your license and driving privileges, similar to other traffic violations. While Ohio doesn’t add points to your license with this charge, you’ll see a rate increase from your insurer.

A physical control plea or conviction remains on a driver’s record forever, like a speeding ticket or failure to yield offense.

However, the BMV will keep the charge at the front of your electronic record for three years for licensing purposes.

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 are under the Ohio code ORC 4511.19, and there are two separate charge levels that a person can receive.

First, there is Administrative Issue One, 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 gets suspended for this cause, the person has the right to appeal the suspension.

On the other hand, Administrative Issue Two is relative to a criminal charge for OVI or physical control of the vehicle while impaired.

The person must appear in court, or a judge will issue an arrest warrant for failure to appear. If convicted, the driver could lose their license for a period.

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 gets arrested for an Ohio DUI offense and refuses to take a breath test, the BMV will refuse driving privileges.

The BMV will issue an Ohio BMV 2255 form advising the person they’re 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.

Regardless of the offense number, any DUI infraction in Ohio comes with consequences, ranging from license suspension to extended jail time. The table below outlines all of the potential consequences that could follow an OVI conviction in Ohio.

Ohio DUI Punishments
OffensePenalties
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 six years can turn the misdemeanor into a felony charge. If a person has four or more convictions within 20 years, the same holds.

However, you may be eligible for a restricted driving privilege to drive to specific places, such as work or school. In addition, the state may require an ignition interlock device and continuous alcohol monitoring. 

An OVI conviction shows up on background checks forever. So if you apply for a job, your potential employer will see your conviction.

Now we’ll learn more about DUI statistics in Ohio.

Ohio DUI Insurance Rates

A person with an OVI may incur higher insurance rates, or their insurer could choose to cancel or not renew their policy.

Ohio OVI insurance rates are similar to rates in other states in that 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
Ohio$1,047$1,658+58%
United States$1,548$2,556+65%
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As you can see, aside from legal consequences, the financial burden can be impactful and long-lasting.

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

Though rates are higher after an OVI conviction, some auto insurance companies have programs to help reduce high rates after an OVI or a traffic conviction.

How to Get Cheap Ohio Dui Insurance

Insurance companies can decide to count the first OVI conviction as a regular traffic violation, so the impact on car insurance rates isn’t as substantial. However, there will likely be a financial impact on your rates.

If you receive an OVI conviction in Ohio, it’s essential to look at all of your insurance options. Car insurance rates after an OVI infraction can vary depending on the company. 

Looking at several insurance quotes, the car insurance company with the cheapest rates for an OVI in Ohio is State Farm.

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

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

Average Insurance Rates After an OVI Conviction in Ohio
CompanyAverage Ohio Car Insurance Rate With an OVI Conviction
State Farm$952
Erie$1,189
Grange$1,237
Progressive$1,484
GEICO$1,548
Liberty Mutual$1,796
Cinncinati Insurance$2,145
Nationwide$2,200
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You can find comparative rates online. After an OVI, a person seeking car insurance can input their information and driving history to get quotes from several insurance companies.

Getting online quotes is a quick and easy way to compare insurance options side by side. Though DUI insurance options are available at a higher rate, avoid drinking and driving.

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Ohio DUI Statistics

Drunk driving, or driving while impaired by alcohol, has devastating consequences. According to government statistics, a traffic fatality related to alcohol and driving occurs every 30 minutes. 

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 drivers arrested for driving while drunk are repeat offenders.

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

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

Ohio DUI Insurance Laws: The Bottom Line

Drivers in Ohio who have a BAC higher than 0.08% receive an OVI charge.

Ohio has stiff penalties in place for drivers convicted of an OVI. Consequences include a fine of up to $1,000, possible jail time, and higher insurance rates. In addition, if you’re a repeat offender, you can be charged with a felony.

As an implied consent state, Ohio drivers automatically agree to DUI testing, meaning they can’t refuse to test.

Drivers can also receive a physical control charge. While a person may not have been driving the vehicle, they had control of it and the potential to drive. However, this is a lesser charge and doesn’t add driver’s license points.

An OVI charge significantly increases car insurance rates and makes it harder to find coverage. Although State Farm offers the lowest average Ohio DUI rates, costs vary by driver.

The good news is that an OVI only affects your car insurance for three years. So while you’ll pay much higher rates with the conviction on your record, at some point, rates will decrease.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

A former insurance producer, Laura understands that education is key when it comes to buying insurance. She has happily dedicated many hours to helping her clients understand how the insurance marketplace works so they can find the best car, home, and life insurance products for their needs.

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Written by Laura Berry
Former Insurance Agent Laura Berry

Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP® Joel Ohman

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