Were you aware that approximately 10,000 people may be wrongfully convicted of a serious crime in the United States? A recent survey conducted with 188 judges, prosecuting attorneys, public defenders, sheriffs, and police found that this was the case.
If you live in, are planning to move to, or intend to visit the state of Ohio, then you may be interested to learn about its “driving under the influence” (DUI) laws. It is important to be aware of state DUI laws even when you never choose to drink and drive. It’s possible that you may be pulled over for another reason, and the officer believes that you are also operating your vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or another substance.
In Ohio, the term OVI is used more often than DUI. OVI is the acronym for “operating a vehicle under the influence.” There are over 1.1 million people with one or more “driving while impaired” conviction in Ohio. According to the Ohio Department of Public Safety, there are 44,789 people in this state with a minimum of five OVI convictions. Furthermore, two people share the state’s record with 20 OVI convictions.
It’s important to know that when police pull you over, they must have probable cause to do so. There are several potential warning signs that could lead to this situation. These may include one or more of the following types of activities:
- Swerving and other suspicious actions
- Running red lights
- Witness reports of a drunk driver
If you are pulled over, and the officer does suspect that you are intoxicated, they will attempt to conduct one or more chemical tests. If you refuse to take this test, it’s important to know that one of the state DUI laws in Ohio is implied consent. What this basically means is that in addition to having your license automatically suspended, you will also incur a fine.
If breathalyzer, blood, and urine tests aren’t administered properly, the results may not be admissible in court. Furthermore, your attorney may also be able to challenge the results of a blood alcohol content test under other circumstances. For individuals under 21, Ohio’s blood alcohol content limit is .02.
When the results of these blood alcohol content tests are borderline, for example, a DUI attorney may be able to engage in a plea bargain. Other conditions for plea bargains may include the absence of an accident and/r whether or not someone has a prior record for an OVI.
A charge of “wet reckless,” or “reckless driving involving alcohol,” is one type of plea bargain. Given the state DUI laws in Ohio, these might be acceptable to the prosecution. If convicted, and depending on specific circumstances,there are several possible outcomes:
- Jail time for three days to six months
- License suspension for six months to three years
- Fines from $250-to-$1,000
- First-offense license reinstatement fee of $450
- Loss of six points on your license
- Criminal record
- Suspended license pending an Administrative License Suspension hearing
In addition to challenging breathalyzer and other test results, state DUI laws empower an attorney to have videos analyzed, when available. Furthermore, they can contact and interview witnesses on behalf of someone that is facing OVI charges.
It’s important to have an experienced attorney when facing OVI charges. An experienced attorney will be able to explain and protect your rights. Furthermore, a DUI attorney is aware of the appropriate actions to take in circumstances involving OVI charges.
Depending on the specific charges, a criminal DUI attorney may also be able request a plea bargain or otherwise limit potential consequences, such as a reduction in jail time. Furthermore, when wrongfully charged, and in the event you have been subjected to an illegal search and seizure of your vehicle or person, you also want an experienced search and seizure lawyer.