Important Things to Understand About Ohio Teen Driving Laws
Teens under 18 can drive on a permit for one year while they accumulate the required number of supervised practice hours for the Graduated Driver’s License program. While on a permit, you are not allowed to drive after midnight or before 6:00 a.m. unless you are accompanied by a parent or guardian.
16-year-old probationary license holders cannot drive after midnight or before 6:00a.m. unless you have a parent or guardian with you unless you are driving to or from work, or a school activity or you are in an emergency situation. You also may not have more than one non-family passenger unless your parent is with you.
17-year-old probationary license holders are not allowed to drive after 1:00 a.m. or before 5:00 a.m. unless your parent or guardian is with you, or you are going to or from work, school, or emergency situation. You can’t only have as many passengers as safety belts in your vehicle, and all your passengers must wear their seatbelt.
Be aware that while you are under the age of 18, it is illegal for you to use your cell phone even hands-free. All drivers are banned from texting. Adults over the age of 21 can use a hands-free device while driving.
Be aware that the adult that signs your driver’s license or permit is financially responsible for damage resulting from your negligence, wanton or willful misconduct while you are driving.
At age 18 you are eligible for an unrestricted license and full driving privileges. However, there are still rules that you must follow. You are banned from driving after consuming alcohol. In fact, the makes it very easy for drivers under the age of 21 to be charged with drunk driving by setting the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit at .02. If you operate a vehicle with a BAC of higher than .02 but lower than .08 you may be charged with Operating a Vehicle after Underage Consumption. If your BAC is above .08, you will be charged with drunk driving.
If your OVUAC is heard in adult court, your punishment could include:
- up to 30 days in jail
- a fine up to $250
- license suspension for up to two years
- using yellow license plates
- mandatory alcohol treatment
If adjudicated to juvenile court, your punishment may include:
- a license suspension of up to two year
It is absolutely not worth driving after having anything to drink, and Ohio has four specific rules that deal with driving after marijuana consumption, so don’t consider doing that either. Aside from putting your life and lives of anyone in your vehicle or on the road in danger, you will be punished under Ohio law, and you won’t be able to get full driving privileges for a very long time.