Drugs & Driver’s License Changes: The New Law


Current situation: you are charged with a minor misdemeanor for possession of weed while you are at a house party off campus. The result? A mandatory 6 month minimum driver’s license suspension. But you weren’t even near a car.

Senate Bill 204:

  • No more mandatory 6 month driver’s license suspension for Ohio drivers convicted of drug offenses. 
    • (Unless an OVI conviction was attached to the drug conviction – mandatory suspensions still apply).
    • Now each Court has discretion in whether to impose the suspension. Therefore, this isn’t a green light to say no suspension will occur – it just doesn’t have to happen. Each judge will be different, and that is where a criminal defense attorney can really help you. For example, a Mt. Vernon judge has indicated in recent news reports that he would still impose a driver’s license suspension if the drug conviction stems from a traffic stop.
  • If you are under a previously imposed driver’s license suspension, you can request termination.
    • (However, for major offenses such as aggravated trafficking, trafficking, manufacturing, etc., you must wait 2 years from date of offense to apply for termination of the suspension).
    • Contact us if you need help or guidance on this!
  • This bill also expands the purposes for driving privileges.
    • Previously, you could get driving privileges only for work, school, or court-ordered treatment.
    • Now, you can get privileges for those reasons plus any other purpose the Court deems appropriate.
  • Some other changes noted in SB 204.
    • Click here for more information, including the full text.

Questions? Call us! 614.745.2001

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