What is OVI / DUI?

Drunk driving, impaired driving, OVI, OMVI, DUI, and DWI are interchangeable in Ohio. The official acronym or term is “OVI.” In 2004, the Ohio legislature invented the term “Operating a Vehicle (while under the) Influence,” or OVI, as the general term. Ohio Lawyers tend to use the term DUI most of the time, instead of OVI, as DUI is a more universal term. Additionally, OVUAC (or OMVUAC) is a legally distinct term used for certain OVI charges that apply to those less than age 21.

When are you committing OVI/DUI?

Under Ohio Law a person commits OVI or DUI when they “operate” a vehicle while under the influence of an illegal substance or while over the legal blood-alcohol limit. Ohio law defines operation as an act “to cause or have caused movement” of the vehicle.

What is considered a “Vehicle”?

Under Ohio law, “vehicle” means every device, including a motorized bicycle, in, upon, or by which any person or property may be transported or drawn upon a highway, except that “vehicle” does not include any motorized wheelchair, any electric personal assistive mobility device, any device that is moved by power collected from overhead electric trolley wires or that is used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks, or any device, other than a bicycle, that is moved by human power.

Further, Ohio law prohibits the operation of the vehicle while intoxicated to boundaries “within this state” whether on a road or not.