Operating Vehicle Impaired

Operating a Vehicle Impaired (OVI) is a serious charge. You need serious lawyers that know an OVI causes stress and can threaten your academic success. You need Student Legal Services.

OVI is operating a vehicle impaired by alcohol or other drugs.  Depending on where you are from, you may know OVI as a DUI (driving under the influence) or OWI (operating a vehicle while intoxicated), or just drunk driving. 

According to Ohio law, if you are over 21 and your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) is 0.08 or greater, you are operating a vehicle impaired. If you are under 21, the legal limit is 0.02 BAC. 

OVI is a serious offense with a mandatory minimum penalty of: three days in jail, or three days in a driver intervention program; a one year driver’s license suspension; a fine plus court costs; and six points on your driver’s license. 

Depending on the individual circumstances of your case and your history, you may be charged with different types of offenses with varying criminal consequences including high test OVI and underage OVI.  

In addition to the criminal penalties, OVIs are expensive.  If convicted, you will pay $400-$500 for the driver intervention program, a $375 fine, around $125 in court costs, and $475 to reinstate your license.  Plus, your car insurance premiums will go up.

If charged with an OVI offense, schedule an appointment with Student Legal Services as soon as possible to determine next steps. 

The Office of Student Conduct upholds the University's policies and standards with regard to conduct of Ohio State students.  Student Conduct may investigate, charge, and sanction for violations of the Code of Student Conduct that fall within the Code's jurisdiction.  The Code jurisdiction may extend to off-campus conduct, including OVI charges off University property.  Student Code considers a number of factors in determining appropriate sanctions and Student Conduct has a number of sanctions available for violations, up to suspension and dismissal from the University. 

Student Legal Services cannot represent you in a Student Conduct hearing.  However, if you are being investigated or have been charged by Student Conduct, SLS will provide a consultation to eligible students about the Student Conduct process and the process may impact your criminal case. 

An OVI charge is serious for any person.  For nonimmigrant visa holders, the consequences are even more severe. According to U.S. State Department, Consular Officers abroad are authorized to revoke nonimmigrant visas on the nonimmigrant is shown to have an arrest or conviction of driving a vehicle impaired within the previous five years.  

International students should not believe advice from friends, or even attorneys, that an attorney can stop the visa revocation of nonimmigrants charged with OVI.  An attorney can assist at the local court level with reduction of charges, potential penalties, and fines and costs.  However, if the arrest information, charging document. police report, or other evidence indicates the nonimmigrant visa holder was driving a vehicle impaired, the Consular Officers may revoke the visa on their own authority. 

If charged with an OVI offense, schedule an appointment with Student Legal Services as soon as possible to determine next steps.


Who better to represent you than Student Legal Services?

We care about Ohio State students.  We work with students day in and day out.  We will listen to your concerns and help you get the best outcome for your case. We also know the resources available to students and will aid in connecting you. Our primary mission is to ensure Ohio State students succeed at Ohio State.  

The old adage "you get what you pay for" does not apply here.  You do not need to pay hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, for high quality, experienced representation.  You have it already with Student Legal Services. 

If you would like immediate and personalized feedback about your alcohol and other drug use, there are several online ScreenU assessments provided by the Student Wellness Center for Alcohol, Prescription Drugs, and Marijuana.  

Counseling and Consultation Service provides individual and group mental health services to Ohio State students.

The Collegiate Recovery Community (CRC) is a program designed to support students in or seeking recovery from alcohol and other drug addiction.  

Wellness Coaching is a free service that takes a positive approach to personal development and provides one on one coaching. 


The best way to avoid OVI charges is to not operate a vehicle when you are impaired.  Ohio State offers discounted rides with the Lyft Ride Smart program. Other alternatives include Uber, COTA and CABS buses, and walking! All are far less expensive and healthier for you and the community than driving drunk or impaired. 

Be safe out there, Buckeyes, and Party Smart