Ohio Supreme Court affirms the OVI Habitual Offender Specification found in the R.C. 2941.1413.
March 22, 2016
Klembus was sentenced to one year for a Fourth Degree Felony OVI and one year for the repeat-OVI specification, to be served consecutively. He appealed, and the Eighth District agreed, holding that the repeat OVI offender specification violated equal protection because OVI penalty and the specification require identical proof yet impose different penalties. Subsequently, the First, Second, Third, Eleventh, and Twelfth Districts rejected the Eighth District opinion.
The Ohio Supreme Court reversed the Eighth District, and in upholding the specification reasoned, "The possibility of longer prison sentences for those who continue to violate Ohio's OVI statute is rationally related to the state's legitimate interest in punishing offenders and protecting the public from the dangers of impaired driving."