DUIs, also known as OVIs, are serious charges in Ohio. Whether it’s your first OVI or you’ve already been arrested for drinking and driving in Ohio, you face serious penalties if convicted, including mandatory jail time. Because of the severity of DUI related crimes and their consequences, it’s vital for you to take any of these charges seriously and contact the best criminal defense attorney right away.
Just because you’ve been arrested for an OVI doesn’t mean that you will necessarily be convicted. With the right attorney, you can successfully fight the charges and get the best possible outcome for your case.
In Ohio, it’s illegal to drive with a BAC of more than .08 or with any measurable amount of drugs in your system. If you are pulled over and a chemical test indicates that you are under the influence, you will be arrested. However, a chemical test isn’t the only way to show a driver is under the influence. If you fail a field sobriety test or law enforcement otherwise can demonstrate you were impaired, you can still be arrested.
Despite this, a BAC over the legal limit or a missed step during a field sobriety test doesn’t always mean you were out of control. A skilled criminal defense attorney will develop a strategy to fight the evidence or possibly even get it thrown out in court. You should never drink and drive, but you don’t deserve to be arrested for driving safely, just because an officer suspects you are drunk or high.
Law enforcement must have a reason to pull the driver over in the first place. A driver who is following traffic laws and not displaying any unsafe behaviors should not be a target of police attention.
Law enforcement cannot just search the vehicle looking for proof that the driver has taken a substance that would impair driving. Drugs that are visible in the vehicle may provide reasonable suspicion. If the officer requests permission to search the vehicle and the driver gives it, then the search is legal. The same applies if the officer obtains a warrant.
Before convicting someone of driving under the influence, the judge should require the prosecution to provide evidence not only that the driver took a substance that can cause impairment, but also that it actually caused impairment. This can be challenging without a breath testing device that positively identifies levels of impairment for most medications. A chemical test may reveal the presence of some illegal drugs but would not be effective if a person has merely taken prescription medication according to instructions on the bottle.
Even if the officer has probable cause, reasonable suspicion and evidence, there may be procedural errors or other issues that may become part of a strong defense. It is always important to investigate all the circumstances carefully when putting together the best defense strategy.
The Bottom Line: While it is your right to refuse, it’s important to realize that you will not necessarily beat DUI charges by refusing the test. Officer observations of drunken behavior, the smell of alcohol on your breath, and even the fact of refusing to take a BAC test can all be used as evidence against you in court. Contact Scott immediately. 513.260.2099