It is common for each state to have its own ways of defining a crime. However, there are also many similarities between terminology. The most common terminology used for a drunk driving charge is a DUI or driving under the influence or DWI, which is driving while intoxicated. However, in Ohio, the terminology used is OVI, which according to the Ohio State Bar Association, stands for operating a vehicle impaired.
Originally, the law used OMVI or operating a motor vehicle impaired, but the law changed to remove the requirement of a motor on the vehicle. This changed the term to OVI and allows for prosecution of those driving other vehicles that do not have motor operation. It widened the law to encompass any type of vehicle operation while under the influence of drugs or alcohol as a crime.
While OVI is a different term, it means the same general thing as DWI or DUI. It is really only applicable in court documents and when making formal charges in court. The penalties and the requirements for getting an OVI are the same as they would be if the state called it a DUI or DWI.
In Ohio, as in every other state, you may get an OVI if your blood alcohol content is .08 or more. That is unless you are under the legal drinking age of 21. In that case, you face an OVI if your BAC is .028 or more. This equates to drinking any amount of alcohol because the law’s stance on underage drinking is very strict. This information is for education and is not legal advice.