Summertime means a break from classes at the University of Toledo and perhaps a summer job, but most of all, fun with friends.

Unfortunately, fun sometimes leads to one beer too many. If you drink and drive, you risk an arrest on suspicion of OVI, and a conviction could seriously disrupt your plans for the future.

Facing penalties

You may think that if law enforcement pulls you over on suspicion of operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol, you will simply pay a fine and go on with your life. However, in addition to a fine and court fees, you will lose your driver’s license for a period of time, and depending on the circumstances of your arrest, you could face jail. The court may order you to have an ignition interlock device in your vehicle and likely require you to enroll in an alcohol treatment program. These are your immediate concerns. If you receive a conviction, the OVI mark will go on your record and cause problems for you down the road.

Career and certification issues

Remember that these days anyone can go online and take a look at your criminal background. When you apply for a job, the OVI conviction on your record may cause the recruiter to hire a candidate who has a clean record, even if you have the better qualifications. An OVI will also prevent you from attaining the licensing or certification you need for certain professions, such as law, teaching or nursing.

A word about license reinstatement

In order to have a reinstatement of your driving privileges, you will have to show proof of auto insurance. Because of your OVI conviction, your current insurer may regard you as a high-risk driver. The insurance company will either drop you as a customer so that you would have to find another insurer or sell you a new policy with very high rates—rates that would continue for a long time.

What to do

If the police arrest you for OVI, explore your legal options without delay. You can expect a defense aimed at reducing the penalties or even obtaining a dismissal of your case. The goal is not only to prevent OVI from ruining your summer but also from disrupting your plans for the future.