Sanctions and Laws

The following is a description of some of the applicable legal sanctions under federal, state, and local laws for the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs, including alcohol, as of June 1, 2005. This list is not intended to be an exhaustive list of all offenses involving drugs and alcohol, and this material should not be relied upon as legal advice or guidance regarding these offenses.

Federal Law

Federal law prohibits, among other things, the manufacturing, distributing, selling and possession of controlled substances as outlined in 21 United States Code, Sections 801 through 971. Depending on the amount, first offense maximum penalties for trafficking marijuana range from five years' imprisonment and a fine of $250,000 to imprisonment for life and a fine of $4 million. Again, depending on the amount, first offense maximum penalties for trafficking other controlled substances (e.g. methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine, cocaine base, PCP, LSD, fentanyl and fentanyl analogue) range from five years to life imprisonment and fines range from $2 to $4 million. First offense penalties and sanctions for the illegal possession of small amounts of controlled substance range from up to one year in prison or a fine of at least $1,000.

State Law

Ohio Revised Code (ORC) Section 2925.02 provides that no person shall knowingly corrupt another with drugs by inducing or forcing them to use a controlled substance.

PENALTY FOR VIOLATION: Mandatory imprisonment from 6 months to 10 years, depending upon amount and type of drug involved and history of previous drug abuse offenses.

ORC 2925.03 provides that no person shall knowingly "traffick" in controlled or illicit substances, including marijuana. Trafficking includes selling, offering to sell, delivering, distributing, preparing, cultivating, and manufacturing of controlled substances.

PENALTY FOR VIOLATION: Mandatory fines range from $100 to $20,000, depending on offense and drug involved. Mandatory jail sentences range from 6 months to 10 years.

ORC 2925.11 provides that no person shall knowingly obtain, possess, or use a controlled substance.

PENALTY FOR VIOLATION: Drug abuse involving amounts of marijuana less than 100 grams carries a penalty of $100. Other violations involving marijuana result in mandatory jail terms of not more than 8 years and mandatory fines of $15,000. Drug abuse offenses involving other drugs may result in jail terms of up to 10 years and fines of $20,000.

ORC 2925.12 provides that no person shall make obtain, possess, or use drug abuse instruments.

PENALTY FOR VIOLATION: A first offence can carry a jail term of up to 90 days and fines of $750.

ORC 2925.14 provides that no person shall knowingly use, possess with purpose to use, sell, manufacture or advertise drug paraphernalia.

PENALTY FOR VIOLATION: Depending upon the facts, imprisonment up to 6 months and fines up to $1,000.

ORC 2925.31 provides, except for lawful research, clinical, medical, dental, or veterinary purposes, no person with intent to induce intoxication or similar effect, shall obtain, possess, or use a harmful intoxicant.

PENALTY FOR VIOLATION: Up to $1,000 and 6 months in jail. ORC 2925.37 provides that no person shall knowingly possess, make, sell, or deliver counterfeit controlled substances.

PENALTY FOR VIOLATION: Depending upon the facts, the penalty can be up to 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine, but aggravating circumstances can cause the offense to become a felony of the fourth degree with prison terms between 6-18 months and a fine up to $5,000. State law, alcohol ORC 4301.63 provides that no person under the age of 21 years shall purchase beer or intoxicating liquor.

PENALTY FOR VIOLATION: A fine of not less than $25 nor more than $100 may be imposed. The court may order that the fine be paid by the performance of public work at a reasonable hourly rate established by the court and shall designate the time within which the public work shall be completed.

ORC 4301.631 provides that no underage person can purchase low alcohol beverages, that no person may furnish low alcohol beverages to an underage person, and that no person shall allow underage persons to consume low alcohol beverages on his/her property.

PENALTY FOR VIOLATION: Punishments for violating ORC 4301.631 range from fines of $25 to $250 and imprisonment up to 30 days.

ORC 4301.633 provides that no person shall knowingly furnish any false information as to the name, age, or other identification of any person under 21 years of age for the purpose of obtaining beer or intoxicating liquor for a person under 21 years of age, by purchase or as a gift.

PENALTY FOR VIOLATION: Misdemeanor of the first degree. The maximum penalty is imprisonment for not more than 6 months and a $1,000 fine.

ORC 4301.634 provides that no person under the age of 21 years shall knowingly show or give false information concerning his name, age, or other identification for the purpose of purchasing or otherwise obtaining beer or intoxicating liquor in any place in this state where beer or intoxicating liquor is sold under a permit issued by the department of liquor control.

PENALTY FOR VIOLATION: Misdemeanor of the first degree. The maximum penalty is imprisonment for not more than 6 months and a $1,000 fine.

ORC 4301.64 prohibits the consumption of any beer or intoxicating liquor in a motor vehicle.

PENALTY FOR VIOLATION: Misdemeanor of the fourth degree. The maximum penalty is imprisonment for not more than 30 days and a $250 fine.

ORC 4301.69(A) prohibits selling beer or intoxicating liquor to a person under the age of 21 years, or buying it for or furnishing it to such a person.

PENALTY FOR VIOLATION: Misdemeanor. The maximum penalty is imprisonment for not more than 6 months and a fine of not less than $500 and no more than $1,000.

ORC 4301.69(E) provides that no underage person shall knowingly possess or consume any beer or intoxicating liquor, in any public or private place, unless he is accompanied by a parent, spouse, or legal guardian, who is not an underage person, or unless the beer or intoxicating liquor is given for medical or religious purposes.

PENALTY FOR VIOLATION: Misdemeanor of the first degree. The maximum penalty is imprisonment for not more than 6 months and a $1,000 fine.

ORC 4511.19 prohibits any person from driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or any drug of abuse.

PENALTY FOR VIOLATION: Misdemeanor of the first degree. The maximum penalty is imprisonment for not more than 6 months and a $1,000 fine, in addition to license suspension. Penalties for repeat offenders can result in up to 5 years in prison.

Local Law

The City of Oxford, the City of Hamilton, the City of Middletown, and West Chester Township enforce all the state criminal statutes cited above. In addition, each of these cities list some additional sanctions for alcohol and other drug use, including without limitation, prohibitions against: driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs; possession and consumption of alcohol while underage; providing alcohol to underage persons; having an open container of alcohol in public places; possession of a controlled substance; purchasing and consuming low-alcohol beverages by underage persons, using false representations by underage persons to obtain alcohol; permitting the consumption of alcohol by underage persons at a person's property (including hotel rooms), and hosting a party where alcohol or drug abuse occurs.