Bipartisan OVI Immobilization Reform Bill Clears Ohio House
Legislation makes common-sense changes to OVI sentencing, vehicle impoundment

State Reps. John Rogers (D-Mentor-on-the-Lake) and Robert Cupp (R-Lima) today hailed the House passage of House Bill (HB) 436, legislation to addresses inconsistency in state law with regard to OVI license suspension and offender vehicle immobilization.  

“This issue was brought to my attention by Judge John Trebets and other members of the judiciary in Lake County,” said Rogers. “Essentially, because of a clear discrepancy in state law, judges are faced with a situation where OVI offenders are issued a license suspension of 45 days with a mandatory vehicle immobilization of 90 days. Thus, after 45 days an offender with their driving privileges restored are still not allowed the ability to use their car. This bill remedies this inconsistency while keeping in place proper judicial discretion and penalties in OVI cases. It just makes sense.”  

Under current law, the court may allow a second-time OVI offender restricted driving privileges after 45 days of the imposition of a driver’s license suspension. However, a court may not release the offender’s vehicle from the immobilized order until 90 days have elapsed. This lack of conformity is problematic as individuals may be permitted to drive to work, but not have a vehicle to do so.  

“HB 436 will enable the existing law on this matter to work better and in a more practical way by making the time periods for suspension and immobilization work together. Moreover, it gives the judges handling the case needed discretion tailored to the particular circumstances,” said Cupp.

If the courts lift the immobilization order, and the offender later violates any condition imposed by the court, the bill authorizes re-imposition of the immobilization for the duration of any time remaining on the original immobilization period.

The bill now goes to the Senate for further consideration. 

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