A police officer was recently charged with DUI (called ‘OVI’ in Ohio) and Fleeing the Scene of an Accident. According to News 13 in Myrtle Beach, the officer is a sergeant who serves as the supervisor of the traffic division. In our OVI defense practice, we have represented clients suspected of OVI and Failure to Stop After Accident (commonly called ‘Hit-Skip’). In some cases, the driver is charged only with Hit-Skip. In other cases, the driver is charged with both Hit-Skip and OVI. Drivers in those situations also face the possibility of being charged with felony offenses.
When a suspect is in the custody of a law enforcement officer, the officer must provide Miranda warnings before questioning the suspect. If the officer does not give sufficient warnings, the suspect’s statements made in response to questioning cannot be used at trial. In a recent DUI Murder case in California, Miranda violations resulted in an appeals court ordering a new trial.
As Dominy Law Firm attorney Bryan Hawkins was preparing to litigate this issue in Franklin County, Ohio, an appeals court settled it. The issue is whether, in a DUI case (called ‘OVI’ in Ohio), a law enforcement officer can obtain the medical records of a suspect with a subpoena and without a search warrant. In the case of State v. Rogers, the Tenth District Court of Appeals held law enforcement’s procurement of an OVI suspect’s medical records without a search warrant violates the suspect’s Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures.
An article published earlier this month addresses the accuracy of field sobriety tests (FSTs). A team of researchers set-out to evaluate the effectiveness of FSTs for identifying drivers under the influence of THC. The researchers conducted clinical trials involving THC use, field sobriety testing, and driving simulations. The clinical trials showed the FSTs do not effectively discriminate between people who are impaired and people who are not impaired.
As recently reported by CTV News, a man is facing criminal charges for canoeing while drunk. According to the news report, officers were called to Christina Lake on the report of an intoxicated person. When the officers arrived, the man hid under a dock, and an officer went into the water bring him out. The officers arrested the man and charged him with impaired operation of the canoe. This incident occurred in British Columbia, but could someone in Ohio be charged with DUI/OVI in a canoe?
Following his recent arrest for DUI (called ‘OVI’ in Ohio), Bob Huggins resigned from his position as the men’s basketball coach at West Virginia University. His situation is illustrative of many high-profile individuals who have lost jobs due to a DUI/OVI. But it is not only high-profile individuals who face employment consequences for OVI cases. We are frequently asked the following questions about OVI cases and employment.
When a driver is prosecuted for operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs (called ‘OVI’ in Ohio), what evidence is sufficient to sustain a conviction? The prosecution must prove the defendant operated a vehicle under the influence of a drug of abuse. That requires the prosecution to prove the defendant was impaired while operating the vehicle, identify the specific drug which was ingested, and link the drug’s ingestion to the defendant’s impairment.
I recently came across this article in an Ohio newspaper: Judge Denies Motion to Suppress Evidence. What does that mean in a DUI case (called ‘OVI’ in Ohio)? When a judge orders that evidence is suppressed, the evidence is excluded from trial. That means, even though the evidence existed, the jury does not hear about it. The two general bases for suppressing evidence are: (1) violations of the defendant’s Constitutional rights; and (2) the government’s failure to comply with statutory (legislative) law.
According to a story by NBC4i, the Ohio State Highway Patrol reports that 30% of DUI arrests (called ‘OVI’ in Ohio’) come from repeat offenders. In Ohio, the mandatory OVI penalties increase with every conviction in ten-years (called the ‘lookback period’). Those penalties include vehicle sanctions, license suspensions, incarceration, and other consequences.
With the media reporting the recent changes to Ohio’s distracted driving laws, Ohio drivers probably have questions. In what circumstances am I prohibited from using a cell phone when I’m driving? In what circumstances am I permitted to use a cell phone when I’m driving? What is the law on ‘distracted driving’? Can I be stopped for violating these laws? What are the penalties if I’m caught? What if I am under 18? This article answers those questions.