High BAC at .17 or Above

It's illegal to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol across the nation, but you might not know the penalties for OVI could be enhanced if the driver has a BAC of .17 or above. Because this is nearly twice over the legal limit (.08 BAC), the state of Ohio has implemented harsher consequences for OVI offenders with a high BAC. The court also refers to this type of OVI as an high test OVI or high tier OVI, which is in contrast with an low test OVI where their results are around .08 BAC. 

If convicted of a high BAC OVI, you could face years in prison and be required to pay extensive fines. Not only that, but the judge may court order you to attend a drug and alcohol substance abuse program as an added condition to your sentence. With so much at stake, it's important you secure trusted legal representation if you've been arrested for OVI with a BAC of .17 or above. Having a experienced attorney on your side can be the difference between time behind bars and freedom. 


High BAC OVI Attorney in Cincinnati, Ohio 

Although any OVI charge is serious, if your BAC was at .17 or above then the penalties are increased. Call the Cincinnati drunk driving defense attorneys at Joslyn Law Firm to discuss your case and any breath or blood alcohol concentration over .17.

We provide a free consultation. The most effective defense in these cases involves fighting to get the chemical test results excluded at trial. We are experienced with the techniques used by local law enforcement agencies in Hamilton County, OH, including the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office, the Cincinnati Police Department and the Hamilton County OVI Task Force. Call us now to set up your first consultation in the Cincinnati and greater Hamilton County area including Harrison, Forest Park, Springdale, Blue Ash, Mount Healthy, Indian Hill and North College Hill. 

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What is a Super DUI in Ohio?

Operating a vehicle while under the influence (OVI) is a serious crime in Ohio with heavy penalties. Unfortunately, these consequences are enhanced even further if the court finds you had a high blood alcohol concentration, also known as a high test OVI or high tier OVI. The standard legal limit in the state of Ohio is .08 and if a person’s test reveal they have a BAC of .08 or around there, they will be arrested for a low test OVI.

A high test or high tier OVI is when the driver’s blood alcohol concentration level is at .17 or above. Because this more than twice the legal limit, the state of Ohio has branded offenders who have such a high BAC as an high test OVI. 

According to the ORC 4511.19(A)(1)(h), a high test result is as follows:

  • a breath test at .17 or above; 
  • a urine test at .238 or above; or
  • a whole blood test at .17 or above; or
  • a blood serum or plasma test at .204 or above.

The penalties for a high BAC for a First OVI charge include:

  • a minimum of 6 days in jail (or 3 days in jail and 3 days in a driver's intervention program) and up to 6 months in jail as the statutory maximum;
  • fines of $375 to $1,075;
  • a driver’s license suspension for between 6 months to 3 years;
  • the person is not eligible for driving privileges until 15 days from the date of the offense (ALS suspension);
  • yellow plates are mandatory; and
  • the ignition interlock devise is optional at the discretion of the judge.

Chemical Testing for OVI in Ohio

Law enforcement utilize three different types of chemical test when they are trying to determine a person’s blood alcohol concentration level. The first test is a breathalyzer, which is the most well-known and common. Police officers will typically carry a portable breathalyzer on them (also known as a PBT) and request drivers to submit a breath sample if they suspect they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

If the officer suspects the driver is under the influence of drugs, they may instead ask them to undergo a blood or urine test. The reason for this is drug use hardly ever shows up on a breathalyzer test, so officers turn to blood or urine samples. To conduct a urine test, you will have to submit a sample to a state lab or hospital. They will then test it and inform you of the results right then and there. 

Blood analysis is usually the last resort officers have to find some scientific evidence of your intoxication. It’s considered the most accurate of the three chemical tests and measures the number of grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood.


Can a BAC Test be Wrong?

Chemical testing used to determine a person’s blood alcohol concentration level is by no means flawless. Several reports have surfaced of perfectly sober people failing OVI testing because of outside or internal factors. Certain internal factors such as not calibrating a breathalyzer correctly could seriously skew BAC results. Other outside factors such as the weather or even someone’s breath temperature can influence the results of the test.

Listed below are some common issues with OVI testing by law enforcement. 

  • Poorly maintained equipment;
  • Old outdated equipment;
  • Diluted samples;
  • Contaminated samples;
  • Mishandled samples;
  • Old outdated equipment;
  • Unsupervised test administrators;
  • Improper procedures;
  • Results were determined by an unqualified laboratory;
  • Unqualified personnel;
  • Unsupervised test administrators; and
  • Tampered test results

Additional Resources

Driver Intervention Program (DIP) in Cincinnati, Ohio - The DIP weekend program is offered Thursday evening through Sunday afternoon. Certified by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OMHAS), the Driver Intervention Program in Cincinnati, Ohio, provides prevention and assessment within a hotel setting for first-time DUI offenders in the state of Ohio. Services include alcohol and drug education, traffic safety, and referral. DIP is designed to reduce the likelihood of repeat DUI behavior.  Special sessions are offered to adolescents, juvenile drivers, and those under the age of 21 years old.


Super Drunk OVI Attorney in Cincinnati, OH

If you were arrested for a drunk driving offense in Cincinnati or the surrounding areas of Hamilton County, Ohio, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at Joslyn Law Firm. Whether this is your first OVI case or a second or subsequent OVI, we can help you fight for the best result.

We work hard to protect our clients from the harsh and enhanced penalties that come with this offense. Call (513) 399-6289 to talk to us about your case and to schedule a free consultation.