A driver may face up to two years in a German prison for driving at 257 mph on the Autobahn. Authorities allege he was driving carelessly at an inappropriate speed. In Ohio, we would call it reckless operation of a vehicle. But what constitutes reckless operation? Allegations of driving recklessly are sometimes made in the context of a DUI case (called ‘OVI’ in Ohio), and the issue of recklessness also arises in serious vehicular crimes, like Vehicular Homicide and Vehicular Assault. As our firm regularly deals with the element of recklessness, this speed-testing story piqued my interest. Continue Reading
Although it is starting to look like it, this is not a blog about NFL players charged with DUI (called ‘OVI’ in Ohio). Recent articles discussed the cases of Henry Ruggs III and Geno Smith because those cases illustrated legal concepts related to DUI/OVI. The last article, about Geno Smith’s arrest, addressed what evidence indicates a driver may be under the influence before a traffic stop. In some DUI/OVI cases, traffic stops are not an issue, such as when the driver is in an accident or found passed-out behind the wheel. The legal concept at issue in those cases is when the driver is ‘seized’ and whether the seizure is legal. The case of Las Vegas Raiders cornerback Nate Hobbs illustrates that concept.
I heard a report that Geno Smith, quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks, was stopped for speeding and arrested on suspicion of DUI (called ‘OVI’ in Ohio). My first thought was, “speeding doesn’t sound like evidence of DUI”. It turns out Smith was allegedly going 96 mph in a 60 mph zone and driving erratically across several lanes of traffic (according to ESPN). That sounds more like evidence of DUI. Geno Smith’s case prompts the question: “what evidence, before a stop, indicates a driver may be under the influence?”
Determining whether a driver is under the influence of marijuana is challenging. The standardized field sobriety tests used to predict alcohol levels are ineffective for marijuana intoxication. Levels of THC and its metabolites in blood and urine are not closely correlated with marijuana intoxication. So, how can law enforcement determine when THC is impairing a person’s ability to drive? Researchers are working on brain imaging technology which may offer a more reliable method for identifying impairment from marijuana intoxication.
When a person uses marijuana, the high from the THC last for about two hours, but the THC metabolites are detectable in the person’s urine for up to five weeks. Suppose a person smokes marijuana and a week later is pulled over and investigated for DUI (called ‘OVI’ in Ohio). If that person submits a urine sample and the urine test shows a prohibited level of marijuana metabolite, that person will be prosecuted for OVI because it is ‘per se’ illegal to operate a vehicle with a prohibited concentration of marijuana metabolites, even if the person’s driving is not impaired. Challenges to this ‘per se’ OVI law have been unsuccessful in Ohio courts. A recent case from the Ohio Supreme Court suggests the Court may be inclined to evaluate the constitutionality of the OVI ‘per se’ law for drugs.
The recently passed Infrastructure Bill has been hailed as a once-in-a-generation investment in the roads, bridges, ports and railways that serve as the backbone of our country’s transportation network. It has also been decried as another example of runaway government spending. The description of the Bill depends on who is talking.
The Dominy Law Firm was recently listed as a “Best Law Firm” by U.S. News & World Report. The publication’s rankings are based on a rigorous evaluation process that includes the collection of client and lawyer evaluations, as well as peer review from leading attorneys. The Dominy Law Firm is one of only four law firms in Ohio named as a “Tier 1 Best Law Firm” for DUI/OVI Defense and also named as a “Best Law Firm” for General Criminal Defense.
What sentence is Henry Ruggs III facing? The (former) wide receiver for the Las Vegas Raiders was recently involved in a collision which killed one person and injured another. He was charged with multiple offenses, including the Nevada equivalents of Aggravated Vehicular Homicide and Aggravated Vehicular Assault. The Ruggs incident may leave inquisitive Ohio residents wondering what the potential sentences are for Vehicular Homicide and Vehicular Assault in Ohio. If you are one of those inquisitive Ohio residents, you need not wonder any longer.
After being canceled in 2020 due to some global pandemic, the annual DUI seminar in Las Vegas resumed in October of 2021. This year’s theme was ‘Top Shelf DUI Defenses’. The National College for DUI Defense (NCDD) and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) assembled a marvelous menu of superb speakers. The seminar really was top shelf.
In a DUI case (called ‘OVI’ in Ohio), what happens when evidence is destroyed because a prosecutor does not timely respond to a specific request for that evidence? It depends on the jurisdiction. In ten of Ohio’s 12 appellate districts, the case would likely be dismissed. In the other two Ohio appellate districts, there would likely be no sanction. Two appellate cases from two Ohio cities illustrate the outcome depends, in large part, on where the case is heard.