§ 436.074  DRIVING UNDER FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY LAW SUSPENSION OR CANCELLATION.
   (a)   No person, whose driver’s or commercial driver’s license or temporary instruction permit or nonresident’s operating privilege has been suspended or canceled pursuant to Ohio R.C. Chapter 4509, shall operate any motor vehicle within this Municipality, or knowingly permit any motor vehicle owned by the person to be operated by another person in the Municipality, during the period of the suspension or cancellation, except as specifically authorized by Ohio R.C. Chapter 4509. No person shall operate a motor vehicle within this Municipality, or knowingly permit any motor vehicle owned by the person to be operated by another person in the Municipality, during the period in which the person is required by Ohio R.C. 4509.45 to file and maintain proof of financial responsibility for a violation of Ohio R.C. 4509.101, unless proof of financial responsibility is maintained with respect to that vehicle.
   (b)   (1)   Whoever violates this section is guilty of driving under financial responsibility law suspension or cancellation. Except as otherwise provided in this division, the offense is an unclassified misdemeanor.  The offender may be fined up to one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) and pursuant to Ohio R.C. 2929.27(B) additionally may be ordered to serve a term of community service up to five hundred (500) hours.
      (2)   If within three years of the offense, the offender previously was convicted of or pleaded guilty to two or more violations of this section or a substantially equivalent municipal ordinance, the offense is a misdemeanor of the first degree. The court shall impose a class seven suspension of the offender’s driver’s or commercial driver’s license or permit or nonresident operating privilege for the period of time specified in division (A)(7) of Ohio R.C. 4510.02.
      (3)   If the vehicle is registered in the offender's name and division (b)(3) of this section does not apply, the court, in addition to or independent of any other sentence that it imposes upon the offender, may order the immobilization for no more than 30 days of the vehicle involved in the offense and the impoundment for no more than 30 days of the license plates of that vehicle.
      (4)   If the vehicle is registered in the offender’s name and if, within five years of the offense, the offender has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to one violation of this section or a substantially similar state law or municipal ordinance, the court, in addition to or independent of any other sentence that it imposes on the offender, shall order the immobilization for 60 days of the vehicle involved in the offense and impoundment for 60 days of the license plates of that vehicle. If the vehicle is registered in the offender’s name and if, within five years of the offense, the offender has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to two or more violations of this section or a substantially similar state law or municipal ordinance, the court, in addition to or independent of any other sentence that it imposes upon the offender, shall order the criminal forfeiture to the state of the vehicle involved in the offense. If title to a motor vehicle that is subject to an order for criminal forfeiture under this division is assigned or transferred and Ohio R.C. 4503.234(B)(2) or (B)(3) applies, in addition to or independent of any other penalty established by law, the court may fine the offender the value of the vehicle as determined by publications of the national auto dealers association. The proceeds from any fine so imposed shall be distributed in accordance with Ohio R.C. 4503.234(C)(2).
   (c)   Any order for immobilization and impoundment under this section shall be issued and enforced in accordance with Ohio R.C. 4503.233 and 4507.02, as applicable. Any order of criminal forfeiture shall be issued and enforced in accordance with Ohio R.C. 4503.234. The court shall not release a vehicle from immobilization orders under this section unless the court is presented with current proof of financial responsibility with respect to that vehicle.
   (d)   (1)   It is an affirmative defense to any prosecution brought under this section that the alleged offender drove under suspension, without a valid permit or driver’s or commercial driver’s license, or in violation of a restriction because of a substantial emergency, and because no other person was reasonably available to drive in response to the emergency.
      (2)   It is an affirmative defense to any prosecution brought under this section that the order of suspension resulted from the failure of the alleged offender to respond to a financial responsibility random verification request under Ohio R.C. 4509.101(A)(3)(c) and that, at the time of the initial financial responsibility random verification request, the alleged offender was in compliance with Ohio R.C. 4509.101(A)(1) as shown by proof of financial responsibility that was in effect at the time of that request.
(Ord. O2010-70, passed 10-19-2010)
Statutory reference:
   Driving under financial responsibility law suspension or cancellation, see Ohio R.C. 4510.04, 4510.16
   Immobilization of vehicle; impoundment of license plates; criminal forfeiture of vehicle, see Ohio R.C. 4510.161