Ordinarily, this blog discusses issues related to Ohio D.U.I./O.V.I. law, but today I want to tell you about Jason. Jason had good grades, and he expected to get a good job when he graduated from The Ohio State University. His expectations changed when he was arrested at an O.S.U. football game for Underage Alcohol Consumption and False Identification. He found out that the diversion programs offered to some defendants for the underage alcohol charge are not offered to those caught with a fake i.d. Now, he has the offenses on his record as he looks for his first real job in a tight economy.
Diversion programs, if successfully completed, result in cases being dismissed. Local law enforcement agencies and the Columbus City Attorney’s office have a policy that no diversion programs are offered to a defendant when a fake i.d. is involved. This policy is consistent with the ‘no plea bargaining’ policy for O.S.U. ‘game day offenses‘.
O.S.U. president Gordon Gee and many other college presidents have proposed reconsidering the drinking age law. If the Ohio drinking age is ever changed to 18, underage consumption and fake i.d. offenses for Ohio college students will be a non-issue. For now, however, Ohio law says you have to be 21 to drink, and you can’t use or possess a fake i.d. Diversion programs and case dismissals recognize we are often a land of second chances, but there are no second chances in Columbus when you’re caught with a fake i.d.