stopped for a DUI

Cincinnati DUI/OVI Attorneys Explain The Process

Despite the differences in terminology across each state, all OVI or DUI statutes consist of several elements. An individual must have operated or driven a vehicle while under the influence or while impaired. Most people understand a car is considered a vehicle, but Ohio law has expanded the definition of vehicle.

The following can also be considered a vehicle:

  • Bikes
  • Golf carts
  • Tractors
  • Boats
  • Mopeds
  • ATV’s

The law specifically states electronic wheelchairs are not considered vehicles for purposes of OVI law. At The Law Offices of Steven R. Adams, LLC, we wish to help our clients become better informed about their rights during DUI / OVI cases. We are here to help protect your rights by helping you understand the essentials of an OVI arrest.

Arrested for DUI / OVI? Call us at (513) 929-9333 for legal help.


The term sounds simple in and of itself. An individual must have operated or driven a vehicle in order to have fulfilled this requirement. The reality is, operation is not a simple concept. Operation does not require actual movement of a vehicle. Ohio law includes a statute for physical control. For example, individuals who fall asleep behind the wheel of the vehicle or stop on the side of the road to rest may be charged with the lesser offense of physical control. Though not as serious as an OVI or DUI arrest, a conviction for this charge carries the possibility of fines, jail sentences, and driver’s license suspensions.


The legal limit for Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) for drivers over the age of 21 in Ohio, as with every other state, is .08 or over. Increased penalties take effect for high-tier (.170 or more in Ohio, and .150 or over in Kentucky) offenders. Individuals under the age of 21 may be arrested for OVI if they are found to have a BAC level of .02 and over.

Ohio law states a person does not have to be intoxicated to be considered under the influence. Police officers, when making an OVI or DUI arrest, must determine if an individual is noticeably or appreciably impaired. There is no legal limit to define if an individual is under the influence. An individual may be arrested for a BAC under .08 if an officer establishes probable cause that the motorist is under the influence of alcohol and appreciably impaired to operate a motor vehicle. However, it is against Ohio law to have a BAC of .08 or greater, even if the individual is not impaired.

Legally defined, an individual would be considered potentially impaired if he / she consumed alcohol - whether mild or potent, or small or great - that it adversely affects the suspect’s actions, reaction, or mental processes under the circumstances - and deprives him / her of the clearness of intellect and control they would otherwise have normally possessed. The question is not how much alcohol would affect an ordinary person, but rather what effect did any alcohol have on the suspect at the time and place involved.

Are you or someone you know facing DUI / OVI charges? 

If you are facing DUI charges, you need to speak with an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible. The Law Offices of Steven R. Adams is recognized by Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers, The Best Lawyers in America, National Trial Lawyers Top 100, and is one of U.S. News' Best Law Firms.  Please contact us online or call our Cincinnati office directly at 513-929-9333 to schedule your free consultation. 

Steven R. Adams
Steven R. Adams was a criminal defense lawyer dedicated to DUI, OVI, and criminal defense in Cincinnati, Ohio.