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  • 3912 Prospect Avenue East
  • Cleveland, OH 44115
  • Phone: (216) 696-0900
  • Fax: (216) 696-8800

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Zukerman, Daiker & Lear Co., L.P.A.

Attorneys at Law

Dui / Traffic

DUI's / OVI's, CDL's and your Insurance
Under Ohio Law

Just being charged with a DUI / OVI in Ohio can wreak havoc on your insurance.  Every time an officer issues a citation, be it for Operating a Vehicle while Intoxicated (OVI) or any other charge, the officer is required to check to see if the driver has proof of insurance. If the driver cannot produce valid proof of financial responsibility at the scene, the driver must show the court at some time that he/she did have valid insurance at the time the citation was issued. A failure to do so will place the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) on notice that the driver may be uninsured. A driver who fails to show proof of insurance may eventually receive a letter from the BMV indicating that a traffic stop was initiated and no insurance was shown. The letter will require the driver to show proof of insurance to the BMV immediately. If the driver still fails to show proof of insurance, the BMV will suspend the driver’s license regardless of whether or not the driver is ever convicted of a traffic offense. The BMV will automatically suspend your license for a minimum of 90 days. You may apply for limited driving privileges if you pay a reinstatement fee, obtain proof of financial responsibility and get the approval of the court in the jurisdiction in which you reside.

If you do have valid insurance, and do not fail to show it to the officer when stopped, there are still consequences if you are convicted of a traffic offense. If you are charged with a DUI / OVI you face the potential consequence of having six (6) points assessed to your license if convicted, which will likely raise your rates substantially. In addition, a conviction for a first time DUI/OVI will result in a mandatory drivers license suspension of anywhere between six (6) month and three (3) years. Even if the charge is reduced to a lesser offense, common reductions such as Reckless Operation of a Vehicle carry four (4) points. 

These points remain on your driving record for a period of two (2) years from the date of incident.  If you accumulate twelve (12) points on your license within a two (2) year period, the BMV will automatically suspend your license for a period of six (6) months. 

A little known fact regarding twelve (12) point suspensions, however, is that if this type of suspension is a result, in part, of a traffic offense, such as an DUI / OVI, that carries a license suspension in and of itself, a second suspension will not be effectuated.  In such cases driving privileges will only be revoked for as long as it takes the driver to complete a remedial driver’s course, file for an SR-22 financial responsibility bond, and pay the reinstatement fee. Often these requirements can be completed prior to the date of suspension, meaning the driver’s license is reinstated immediately without the suspension actually taking place.

For those of you with Commercial Driver’s Licenses or “CDL’s” the penalties for OVI can be even more severe. Regardless of whether or not you are operating a commercial vehicle at the time of your traffic stop, or your private vehicle, pursuant to Ohio Revised Code Section 4506.17, any refusal to submit to a test measuring Blood Alcohol Content, or any test resulting in a measurement above .08 percent alcohol by volume will result in a mandatory one year suspension of your commercial driver’s license.  Furthermore, a conviction for OVI will make obtaining insurance for your CDL extremely difficult.  If you are charged with a second OVI violation, your CDL will be subject to lifetime revocation, and available for reinstatement under the sole discretion of the registrar.
Disclaimer � Copyright 2007 Zukerman, Daiker & Lear Co., L.P.A. All rights reserved.

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