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Understanding BAC and OVI in Ohio

Whenever, you see the flashing lights of a police car in your rearview mirror, your heart might skip a beat. You especially may feel nervous if you were out celebrating landing a new job or a promotion. Did you have too much to drink? Will you face a DUI arrest?

Blood alcohol content (BAC)

In Ohio, as in many states, drivers will face drunk driving charges if they have a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of .08. Your blood alcohol content is determined by:

  • how much you drank
  • what type of alcoholic drink you had
  • how quickly you drank the alcohol
  • how much you weigh
  • your gender

With a .08-.13 BAC, your motor skills and sense of balance become impaired. Your judgement is impaired, even though you believe you are functioning better than you think.

How many drinks is too many

You may wonder how many drinks you can have before you are legally drunk and shouldn’t drive. You need to keep in mind that different types of alcoholic drinks have different levels of alcohol. For example:

  • A standard 12-ounce beer has 5% alcohol.
  • 5 ounces of wine has 12% alcohol.
  • 5 ounces of tequila, whiskey or vodka (a standard shot) has 40% alcohol.

The higher percentage of alcohol you consume in your drink, the fewer drinks you can have to reach .08 BAC.


In Ohio, you will face OVI (operating a vehicle under the influence) charges for driving drunk or driving while under the influence of drugs. Police may use a blood test to determine if you were driving while high on drugs.

For a first-time OVI conviction, you could:

  • Spend 72 hours in jail
  • Pay a $250-$1,000 fine
  • Have your driver’s license suspended for six months to three years

If police arrest you for OVI in Ohio, you need to seek legal help. You want to get the best outcome possible when you are facing drunk driving charges.