Drinking and driving is a serious charge in Ohio. The state might warm up by issuing party plates, but the specialized badge is the start of anything but a good time.
The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles handed out 3,538 special plates for those convicted of Operating While Intoxicated (OWI) in one year. The plates, known locally as party plates, stand out to let people know your past mistakes, and they could just be the start of prices you’ll have to pay that aren’t so obvious.
While you may associate jail time and court fines with getting an OWI, there are other ways the state looks to keep your number of offenses limited:
- Assessing: Required treatment could be on the table after your first offense, and it’s likely mandatory for repeaters. It begins with an assessment to see if you might have a recurring problem and an addiction recovery program could follow.
- Interlocking: You could end up with some extra equipment to mount on your car along with your new plate. The court can require you to install an interlock ignition device. This device requires you to submit to a breath test in order to start your car to limit repeat problems.
- Forfeiting: But those only come into play if Ohio lets you stay on the road. You may have to hand over your license for months or even years, and your car could be up for forfeit. Even if you transfer your title to someone else, you’ll probably still have to pay the amount of the vehicle value to the state.
There is room for discretion when you go before the court, but repeat offenses and more serious circumstances can tie the hands of those in charge of your future. A slow scale may accelerate quickly with aggravated accusations, so remember that the penalties you face are guaranteed.
Knowing the consequences of an OWI in Ohio is crucial before you go to court. Make sure you know what you might be in for, and you’ll likely be in a better position to tackle the task.