What used to be known as DUI charges in Ohio is now called OVI or operating a disabled vehicle. What many people do not know about OVI / DUI fees is that the law is not limited to persons operating a traditional vehicle, such as a car or truck. An employee can charge you for drunk driving if you drive a golf cart, ATV, lawn mower or even ride a bike.
If you think you can avoid holding the OVI / DUI by sleeping in the car before heading home, you will make a mistake. An employee may pursue OVI / DUI charges against any individual who “controls” the vehicle. According to Ohio law, if you are in the driver’s seat and have the keys in your position, you control that vehicle and you may encounter an OVI / DUI arrest.
Be polite, but don’t blame yourself
Whether you were pulled over for speeding or weaving from your lane, a police officer is trained to identify evidence of intoxication from the moment he approaches your vehicle. Once you’ve found a safe place to roll, stay in your car with your hands on the steering wheel. Be polite and do not lie to the employee, but you may refuse to answer incriminating questions.
Any surveillance that an employee makes, blurry speech, alcohol or drugs visible in the vehicle, lack of coordination, etc., will be used as a probable cause to justify the employee making an arrest for operating a disabled vehicle. Do not add to this proof by answering “how much you drank” in response to “5 beers and 3 tequila shots.” You have the right not to answer and your lawyer OVI / DUI will thank you.
After an arrest, your job is to review all the evidence the employee has collected to determine if the employee is justified in conducting a sobriety test and / or to arrest you. Charges can be dropped if this evidence does not hold up, but not if you blame yourself for your answers.
Alcohol and chemical tests
When detained on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, an employee may ask you to submit to a respirator or request a urine or blood test to determine if you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. You have the right to refuse, but you will face an OVI / DUI arrest and will automatically lose your license for at least one year. This is outlined in Ohio’s tacit consent law. Nevertheless, it is advantageous if you refuse to breathe, which will make it difficult for the officer to adduce evidence against you.
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Your rights after arrest
Ohio law states that a driver is “under the influence” if he has a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher. OVI loading is not limited to alcohol. The use of drugs, legal or otherwise, that impair your ability to drive a vehicle may result in an OVI charge.
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Your OVI / DUI protection starts as soon as you are downloaded. When arrested, you have the right to ask an OVI / DUI lawyer who can advise you on your options. In situations like this, you want an OVI / DUI lawyer who not only has experience in dealing with Ohio law, but is also available 24/7.