As of today, recreational marijuana use is legal in Ohio. What is not legal is operating a vehicle under the influence of marijuana. Ohio has five laws related to cannabis and cars, and those laws remain unaffected by Ohio’s legalization of recreational marijuana.
Ohio’s DUI laws (called ‘OVI’ in Ohio) criminalize driving with a prohibited breath alcohol concentration. To determine whether a person has a prohibited breath alcohol concentration, law enforcement officers use breath-testing machines. If a person refuses a breath test, there are consequences. However, differences in height, age, gender, and smoking habits make some people physically unable to provide a sufficient breath sample. As a result, some people are accused of refusing a breath test when they didn’t.
The Chikushino Police Department has a program in which driving instructors test the driving skills of volunteers who are under the influence of alcohol. According to a CNN article, testing impaired drivers is part of a drunk driving awareness campaign. In Ohio, we do not use drunk driving exams to determine if drivers are impaired by alcohol or drugs. Instead, we use field sobriety tests and blood/breath/urine tests. Those tests are circumstantial evidence that a person was operating a vehicle under the influence.
After a domestic dispute, an Ohio woman intentionally hit a man with her car and was charged with Aggravated Vehicular Assault. According to a recent story by WHOTV7, the woman drove her SUV over a sidewalk and into a yard to hit the man. That does sound intentional. When it comes to vehicular crimes in Ohio, is intent necessary?
Following a DUI arrest (called ‘OVI’ in Ohio), it is common for an officer to search the suspect’s vehicle before having the vehicle towed. This ‘inventory search’ is an exception to the general requirement of a search warrant. For an inventory search to be valid, it must be done in accordance with the policy of the law enforcement agency. A recent case decided by the Ohio Supreme Court addressed what evidence is necessary to prove the search complied with the law enforcement agency’s policy. Continue Reading
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?