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Ohio Administrative License Suspension


Ohio Administrative License Suspension

An Ohio Administrative License Suspension (ALS) is a driver’s license suspension for an Ohio DUI / OVI charge.

It’s called “administrative” because it’s through the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV). It is civil not criminal.

Adam Burke is an experienced and highly effective Columbus Criminal Defense Attorney. Mr. Burke is a skilled Ohio DUI Attorney.

Reasons for an Ohio Administrative License Suspension

Police will suspend your license for 1 of 2 reasons:

  1. Testing over the legal limit (.08).
  2. Or refusing to take a test.

Refusal or Failed Test. Ohio Administrative License Suspension

If you refuse or fail a breath test, police will take your license immediately.

If you take a blood or urine test, police shouldn’t take your license automatically. These results are not available until later. Without a refusal or failed test your license is valid.

CHART – Ohio Administrative License Suspension

Below are suspensions and waiting periods for driving privileges.

Ohio DUI / OVI Refusal Suspension

Prior Refusals or Convictions
Suspension Length
Driving Privileges
1 Year
After 30 Days
2 Years
After 90 Days
3 Years
After 1 Year
5 Years
After 3 Years

Ohio DUI / OVI Test Over the Limit Suspension

Prior Failed Tests
Suspension Length
Driving Privileges
90 Days
After 15 days
1 Year
After 45 days
2 Years
After 180 days
3 Years
After 3 years

3 Types of Ohio Alcohol Tests

Ohio has 3 types of blood alcohol tests:

      1. Breath Tests. (.08 limit).
      2. Blood Tests. (.08% limit).
      3. Urine Tests. (.096% limit).

Length of Suspension

The length of an Ohio Administrative License Suspension varies. It depends on if you refused or failed a test. And on prior failed tests, refusals, or convictions.

If you have no priors, your suspension for refusing is 1 year. A failed test is 90 days.

But there is a separate suspension for a conviction.  It’s called a Court suspension and it is a minimum of 6 month. You get credit for the ALS Suspension.

Driving Privileges

Even with a suspension, you may get driving privileges. However, you must show proof of insurance.

Privileges Waiting Period

There is a waiting period for privileges. This waiting period is also called a “hard suspension.”

The waiting period depends on if you failed a test or refused it. And if you have past failed tests, refusals, or convictions.

Ohio treats driving as a privilege not a right. The judge can withhold privileges.

Ohio Administrative License Suspension Appeal. (ALS Appeal)

You have the right to appeal your suspension. You must appeal within 30 days of your 1st court date.

This 1st court date is called an arraignment. If you don’t appeal in time, it’s waived.

Grounds to Appeal

There are many grounds to appeal your suspension. Ohio OVI law says a driver gives implied consent to a breath test. A license suspension is one consequence of refusing or failing a test. But police must explain this.

Improper form

Police have a license suspension form. It’s called a BMV 2255 form. You should get a yellow copy. It lists the consequences of refusing or failing the test. Police must read you the back of the form before the test.

Police must then file the notarized form. They can file it with the BMV or the court. They must file it within 48 hours.

Health Conditions

You can also appeal if health problems disrupted a test. Problems with breathing, reflux, or veins can prevent a proper test. Police may treat this as a refusal. But this is not a valid suspension.

Passed Test.

Police can charge you with OVI even if you pass the test. You may be impaired and below the legal limit. But police can’t suspend your license if you passed the test.

Broken Rules.

To suspend your license, police must follow certain rules. They must:

  1. Give you a suspension hearing within 5 days.
  2. Let you refuse or take the test within 3 hours.
  3. Read you the consequences of refusing or failing a test.
  4. Find that you refused or failed (.08+ breath) the test.
  5. Validly execute a suspension form (BMV 2255).
  6. File a valid suspension form with the court or BMV.
  7. File the form within 48 hours.
  8. Have a valid reason to stop and arrest you.

If police break any of these rules, the suspension is invalid. Immediate suspensions from urine or blood tests are usually invalid.

Unless you win the ALS appeal, it continues even if you win the case.

Even with a successful appeal, the court may order a public safety suspension. These are common in accident cases. They’re also common for very high tests or prior OVIs.

Stay of the Ohio Administrative License Suspension

If your appeal is unsuccessful, the court can stay your suspension. A stay basically pauses your suspension.

With a stay, you can drive during your case. Even during the waiting period.

Court Ordered Suspension

If you’re convicted, the court suspends your license again. A court suspension is a separate penalty. It is from the judge not the BMV. This suspension is 6 months to 3 years. The court’s suspension gives you credit for the ALS Suspension.

Getting your License Back

After your ALS suspension, you’ll get a BMV letter. It says to pay a $475 reinstatement fee. There is only one reinstatement fee for both the ALS and court suspension.

This fee is refundable if you win the ALS appeal.

Get your license back. Discuss your Ohio Administrative License Suspensions. Call Attorney Adam Burke. 614-280-9122.

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Attorney Adam Burke Llc


625 City Park Ave, Suite 200A
Columbus, Ohio 43206