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.
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.
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.