What Happens When An Ohio Driver Gets A DUI In Another State?

DSC04472I’m traveling to another state for a seminar next week. It just so happens the state is Nevada, and the seminar is in Las Vegas. For me, there is no risk of being convicted of DUI in Nevada because the trip is all about education! Sometimes, however, an Ohio driver comes home with the unwanted souvenir of an out-of-state DUI conviction. When it comes to DUI, what happens in Vegas does not stay in Vegas: there are consequences in Ohio for a DUI conviction in another state.

The consequence in Ohio for an out-of-state DUI conviction is suspension of the person’s Ohio driver license. Another state cannot suspend an Ohio driver’s license. Instead, if that state is part of the Interstate Driver License Compact, that state transmits to the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) information that the Ohio driver was convicted of DUI in the other state. The Ohio BMV then takes action against the person’s Ohio driver’s license according to Ohio law.

Ohio law instructs the Ohio BMV to impose a license suspension on any person who is convicted of DUI in another state. Ohio Revised Code 4510.17 states the suspension shall be a ‘Class D’ suspension, which means the suspension is six months. When the BMV receives the report from the other state, the BMV sends a notice to the driver indicating his or her driver license will be suspended beginning 21 days after the day the notice was issued.

An Ohio driver can appeal the suspension (with or without the help of an Ohio DUI/OVI lawyer).  If a driver receives the 21-day notice and wants to appeal, the driver must file a notice of appeal before the license suspension is scheduled to begin.  When the notice of appeal is filed, the BMV registrar is required to hold a hearing within 40 days of when the notice of appeal was filed.

At the appeal hearing, the Ohio driver can seek to have the suspension terminated, can seek to reduce the duration of the suspension, and can seek to obtain limited driving privileges.  To have the suspension terminated, the Ohio driver must prove he or she was not actually convicted of DUI or the other state’s DUI offense is not substantially similar to Ohio’s OVI offense.  To have the suspension duration reduced, the Ohio driver must prove the other state imposed a driving rights suspension, and that suspension ends before the Ohio suspension ends.  Limited driving privileges may be granted for occupational, educational, vocational, and medical purposes, as well as taking the driver’s license examination and attending court-ordered treatment.

The Ohio BMV’s suspension of a person’s Ohio driver license is in addition to whatever sentence was imposed by the court in the other state.  For example, if a court in Nevada sentences an Ohio driver to three days in jail, 20 hours of community service, and a $700 fine, the Ohio driver must serve that sentence and also deal with the license suspension imposed by the Ohio BMV.  So if a person is convicted of DUI in Las Vegas, it truly does not stay in Vegas.  Nevada, by the way, was the first state to adopt the Interstate Driver License Compact in 1960.

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