November 23, 2015
A driver's License suspension may no longer be mandatory in many drug cases in Ohio. Senate Bill 204 and a companion bill currently under consideration in the House would eliminate the imposition of mandatory driver's license suspensions in the majority of criminal drug offenses in Ohio. Currently, Ohio is one of sixteen states that requires a driver's license suspension be imposed by a sentencing court even in minor misdemeanor marijuana possession cases. The minimum suspension in such matters is six months. The new proposals would instead give judges discretionary powers to impose suspensions unless a motor vehicle was used while committing the drug offense or in OVI matters where such suspensions would continue to be mandatory. This proposal would bring Ohio in line with the surrounding states of Kentucky, Michigan, and West Virginia which do not mandate the imposition of drug-offense suspensions.