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.
There is a lot of Super Bowl planning going on. Rihanna is planning what songs to sing. Tom Brady is planning to make an appearance as a broadcaster (and later announce his second un-retirement?). Party hosts are planning what food to serve. I am planning to miss our annual party due to Covid (cruel timing). And Ohio law enforcement agencies are planning to arrest drunk drivers.
The issue of venue recently arose in an Ohio Vehicular Homicide case. As reported by the Leader-Telegram, the defendant was accused of hitting two highway workers in Clark County. As a result of the collision, one worker died, and the other was seriously injured. The defense attorney filed a motion for change of venue. What is venue, and when can it be changed?
Rejecting a No Contest plea may be an abuse of a judge’s discretion, according to a case decided last week by the Ohio Supreme Court. A plea of No Contest is different than a guilty plea, and the plea of No Contest is used for two purposes in DUI (called ‘OVI’ in Ohio) cases. Although a judge’s approval is required for a plea of No Contest, the case decided last week makes it clear a judge’s refusal to give approval may be overturned.
The special license plates for DUI offenders are commonly referred to as “party plates” and “family plates”. The official term in Ohio is “restricted license plates”. Whatever you call them, nobody wants them. In Ohio, the plates are yellow with red lettering, and they signal to everybody the driver of that vehicle was convicted of DUI (called ‘OVI’ in Ohio). This article explains when the plates are required, how they are obtained, and possible penalties for restricted plate violations.
According to a news report by NBC4 Columbus, the state of Ohio intends to use oral fluid testing to obtain evidence of drugged driving. In the video from NBC4, the Ohio Traffic Safety Council indicates there are increasing numbers of crashes caused by drug-impaired drivers. To combat this problem, the Traffic Safety Council recommends that law enforcement agencies implement oral fluid testing. This testing method has some advantages over currently used drug tests, but it also has drawbacks.
In DUI cases (called ‘OVI’ in Ohio), a defendant is sometimes charged with two OVI charges. One charge is OVI ‘impaired’, based on operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. The other charge is OVI ‘per se’, based on operating a vehicle with a prohibited concentration of alcohol and/or drugs in the driver’s breath, blood, or urine. In cases involving blood and urine tests, the charge of OVI ‘per se’ is often filed weeks or months after the charge of OVI ‘impaired’ is filed, as law enforcement waits to file the ‘per se’ charge until after receiving the results of the blood/urine test.
In those cases, when does the speedy trial clock start for the later-filed charge of OVI ‘per se’? Is it when the original charge was filed, when the test results were received, or when the second charge is filed? That question was recently answered by the Ohio Supreme Court.
I’m not crazy about cold weather, and autumn signals the inevitable temperature decreases in Ohio. On the other hand, autumn also means the O.S.U. football season, as well as the annual DUI defense seminar in Las Vegas. I have attended the seminar about 20 times, and this year I gave a presentation.
Back in 1791, when the 8th Constitutional Amendment was ratified, the Framers of the Constitution decided there should be limits on financial sanctions for criminal behavior. Accordingly, the 8th Amendment prohibits ‘excessive fines’. Courts have interpreted the Constitutional prohibition of excessive fines to apply to forfeiture of property in criminal cases. The Ohio Supreme Court recently held that forfeiture of a $31,000 vehicle for a repeat DUI conviction (called ‘OVI’ in Ohio) does not violate the Excessive Fines Clause of the 8th Amendment.
From the 2008 Lindsay Lohan stories to the 2022 news reports about Paul Pelosi’s DUI conviction, the past 14 years have shown a dramatic increase in the use of ignition interlock devices (IIDs) for individuals charged with DUI (called ‘OVI’ in Ohio). A recent report by Coherent Market Insights indicates IIDs in North America will be a $68.5 million industry by 2027. In Ohio, the increased use of IIDs is due, in part, to Annie’s Law. IIDs may be an effective method of preventing OVI, but they do have drawbacks.