If you are stopped on suspicion of driving under the influence in Ohio, do you know your rights? Your actions at the time of your traffic stop could mean the difference between a jail sentence and walking away from this incident with no consequences. You should be prepared in the event that you are pulled over for DUI. You should know what to do during a traffic stop — even if you know you are innocent.

  • When you are stopped in a car in Ohio, you must show the officer your driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance upon request. In addition, your passengers must provide name, date of birth, and address upon request.
  • Police may frisk anyone in the car they believe may be armed.
  • Your car can be searched without a warrant if the police have reason to believe that criminal activity is likely taking place, you have been involved in a crime, or you have evidence of a crime in your car. This includes containers in your car and the belongings of your passengers. To protect yourself later, you and your passengers should make clear that you do not consent to a search.
  • If the stop leads to your arrest, the police may search the area of your vehicle that is within your reach at the time and officers may search your vehicle if they believe it contains evidence related to your arrest
  • If you’re given a ticket, you should sign it; otherwise, you can be arrested. You can object later in court.
  • If you’re suspected of drunk driving (OVI), the police may require you to take a physical or chemical test. If you refuse, your driver’s license will be suspended immediately. If you take the test and are over the limit, your license will be suspended immediately. You may appeal the license suspension later in court. If you have a prior OVI and refuse a test, you may face increased penalties if convicted.

The Bottom Line: If you are pulled over, you  have the right to remain silent and if you don’t any and all statements made will be used against you. Three questions police ask that drivers tend to answer – and they should NOT – are “How much have you had to drink tonight?”, “Are you the driver?”, and “Where have you been?”.  Answering them truthfully can be evidence used against you. Refuse politely to answer these questions – and ANY questions by saying, “I’d like to speak with my lawyer.” You have that right to call a criminal defense attorney and remain silent.  Here is my number: 513.260.2099