WHAT IS AN OVI?
OVI is the abbreviation for Operating a vehicle impaired. Ohio’s General Assembly amended our drunk driving / DUI statute to broaden the offense from driving under the influence to operating a vehicle impaired. The big difference is that operation does not require that the vehicle actually be moving. As a matter of fact, the vehicle doesn’t even have to be running so long as you are in the driver’s seat and the keys are within reach. Example: the vehicle is pulled off to the side of the roadway with the driver in the driver’s seat asleep (passed out) and the keys in the driver’s hand. If the police officer can’t prove that you actually drove the vehicle while impaired, you can be charged with Physical Control (Ohio Revised Code Section 4511.194), however, so long as it can be reasonably inferred (either through direct or circumstantial evidence) that you drove while impaired, you can be charged with OVI.