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(a) (1) No person shall place, maintain, or display upon or in view of any highway any unauthorized sign, signal, marking, or device which purports to be, is an imitation of, or resembles a traffic-control device or railroad sign or signal, or which attempts to direct the movement of traffic, or hides from view or interferes with the effectiveness of any traffic- control device or any railroad sign or signal, and no person shall place or maintain, nor shall any public authority permit, upon any highway any traffic sign or signal bearing thereon any commercial advertising. This section does not prohibit either the erection upon private property adjacent to highways of signs giving useful directional information and of a type that cannot be mistaken for traffic-control devices, or the erection upon private property of traffic-control devices by the owner of real property in accordance with Ohio R.C. 4511.211 and 4511.432.
(2) Every prohibited sign, signal, marking, or device is a public nuisance, and the authority having jurisdiction over the highway may remove the same or cause it to be removed.
(b) Except as otherwise provided in this division, whoever violates this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor. If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to one predicate motor vehicle or traffic offense, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree. If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of two or more predicate motor vehicle or traffic offenses, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree.