If you live in the Buckeye state or plan to visit in the future, you should know the laws regarding the sale, purchase and consumption of beer, wine and liquor. If you are familiar with the state of Ohio, you know that OSU football is a huge part of the culture in Columbus and the entire state, so please take the time to read and understand Ohio’s alcohol laws before heading out to celebrate an OSU victory this fall or winter.
Purchase and Sale of Alcohol in Ohio
Ohio has some pretty lenient laws when it comes to the sale and purchase of beer, wine and liquor. You can buy all three in grocery stores in Ohio from 5:30 a.m. to 1:00 a.m., which means that there’s only a four and a half hour window of time every day that you cannot purchase spirits. You can even buy beer, wine and liquor at the same times on Sundays.
Bars in Ohio, unlike most states that close at 2:00 a.m., are allowed to stay open until 2:30 a.m. (one of the reasons many people in the surrounding states of West Virginia and Kentucky travel to Ohio to imbibe into the wee hours of the morning).
One confusing aspect of Ohio alcohol law is that hard liquor can only be sold in state-run liquor stores, but these stores can be found inside grocery stores like Kroger. So, as you shop for your groceries and other items, you can also buy vodka, bourbon, scotch, rum or any other hard liquor. At a large grocery store like Kroger, you can also purchase your favorite wines and beers.
DUI Law in Ohio
Just like in many other states, DUI law in Ohio can be complex and confusing. The best way to avoid the complexity and confusion of a DUI charge and its penalties is to never drink and drive in Ohio or anywhere else, for that matter. Here are just some of the penalties an Ohio DUI charge may result in for you:
- Jail time/prison time
- Hefty fines
- Loss of vehicle
- Ignition Interlock Device installed on vehicle
- Yellow OVI (Operating a Vehicle while Impaired) Plates
- Driver intervention programs
- Loss of driver’s license
- Alcohol or drug treatment programs
Here is what you can expect on your very first OVI/DUI conviction in Ohio:
- Jail time of at least 72 hours (three days)
- License suspension minimum of 90 days
- Several hundreds of dollars in fines
- Six points added to your license (minimum)
- Installation of Ignition Interlock Device
If there are aggravating factors associated with your conviction or if you are a repeat offender in Ohio, you can expect much harsher penalties. If you are arrested and charged with DUI/OWI, you should contact an Ohio criminal defense attorney with experience in these difficult cases right away. Your attorney will explain your rights to you and begin preparing your defense.