You bet it is. On a first offense it is punishable for up to 180 days in jail, 3 year license suspension, 5 years probation, 6 points on your license, privileges can be with restrictions like DUI plates and a breath testing device in your car, up to a $1000 fine, plus court costs and supervision fees. The court will likely require you to attend a 72 hour inpatient driver intervention program at a cost of about $500, is not able to be sealed or expunged, will be on your driving and criminal record forever, and might cost you a job.

If you crash your car and injure someone seriously you will be charged with a felony called aggravated vehicular assault. This has some of the same penalties as an OVI, which is the same as a DUI in Dayton Ohio. It is more serious and carries up to a mandatory 1-5 years in prison. This means that you cannot have any good time and get out early. It also carries a 2-10 year license suspension.

If you work in an industry that requires you to maintain a valid license then your job can be on the line. Most cases I have handled in Ohio usually result in a five-year look back period by underwriting agencies doing background checks. I have seen this cause trouble in many professions from accountants to car salesmen, and airline pilots to CDL drivers. Be aware that amending an OVI to another charge like Physical Control in violation of Ohio Revised Code 4511.194. This means that you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol and in physical control of the vehicle like having the keys and sitting in the driver’s seat. This might be a non-moving no-points violation, but I have seen underwriting companies and other states consider this just as serious as an OVI. Kentucky, does not distinguish between the two and I have seen at least one car salesman lose his job for 5 years because he pled guilty to this after his company told him that it would be OK.