It’s Memorial Day weekend, the official start to summer 2017. Many of you are planning celebrations – if it involves drinking, make sure that you have a designated driver, the uber app or the number to a cab company plugged into your phone. Avoid drinking and driving and risking an OVI as law enforcement in Ohio will be out in full force all summer, but especially this weekend. As a criminal defense attorney in Ohio, I urge you to be safe and to keep my number plugged into your cell as well. Expect OVI checkpoints to deter intoxicated driving.

The best advice for this weekend:

  • Designate a sober driver.
  • Use a ridesharing app.
  • Plan to stay somewhere else for the night.

The best advice if you are pulled over: 

Most importantly do everything you can to not further incriminate yourself. You have rights – be sure to use them. Under no circumstances are you obligated to answer an officer’s questions on whether you’ve been drinking, and if so, how much have you had to drink. Simply decline to answer his or her questions. Be polite and only tell them you wish to call a criminal defense attorney.

It’s likely that the officer will want you to undergo a field sobriety test. Although you won’t be told, these tests are voluntary. These tests are designed to prove guilt, not innocence. While you may not feel that you can’t drive – “out of control,” – the field tests and breathalyzers may say otherwise. Alcohol impairs your ability to do many things, especially operating a motor vehicle. The most important thing to remember if you’ve been pulled over is that you are not in custody and, if arrested, an arrest is not a conviction and you will need an experienced criminal defense attorney. The sooner the better.

The Bottom Line: You’ve just had a couple beers and you had plenty to eat on at the barbecue. You feel fine to drive and you are definitely n not drunk. You can even still walk a straight line. Your speech is not even slurred and you’ve got your wits about you. And, you are pretty close to home, not far to drive at all. Don’t do it.  If you do and you are pulled over, remain silent and call me: 513-260-2099