What If I Didn’t Have Insurance When I Was Charged with DUI

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Ohio law prohibits the operation of a motor vehicle unless proof of financial responsibility is maintained.  Even though proof of financial responsibility must be maintained, there are limited circumstances under which a person is required to provide such proof.  One of those instances is when a person has been stopped and issued a traffic citation by a police officer.

If a driver is stopped and cited for a traffic offense, such as Operating a Vehicle Impaired (commonly known as OVI or DUI), and no OVI insurance was maintained, the person will face civil penalties including suspension of their driver’s license and imposition of reinstatement fees by the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV).

These penalties are in addition to any criminal penalties for the underlying traffic offense.  The length of the suspension and the amount of the reinstatement fee depends on the number of prior financial responsibility suspensions that were imposed against that person within the last five years.

Limited driving privileges can often be sought and obtained for a first or second suspension, but the BMV is not allowed to grant limited driving privileges for a third or more suspension.

However, if the person’s license has been suspended for other reasons, such as an Administrative License Suspension or court ordered suspension, driving privileges may have to be obtained for each suspension.  This can be cumbersome, but driving a vehicle without all the necessary paperwork can land you in even more trouble.

What if it was a fluke and proof of financial responsibility is usually maintained?  Fortunately, the BMV can be persuaded to terminate such a suspension under certain circumstances.  For instance, if the owner of the vehicle customarily maintains proof of financial responsibility and the lapse was caused by some excusable neglect under circumstances not likely to happen again, the suspension can be terminated and the driver’s license reinstated.

If you’ve been charged with DUI and didn’t have an OVI insurance at the time of the stop, contact an OVI defense lawyer in Columbus to learn more about your rights and options.