(Note: Rather than refer to the offenses as DUIs, the state of Ohio currently refers to them as operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OVI) charges.)
Driving under the influence (DUI) in Ohio is a very serious offense that can result in a person facing fines, jail time, and numerous other obstacles that interfere with career and education goals. If you are charged with a DUI in Ohio, it is important to speak with an experience attorney who can help you create a strong legal defense.
DUI Law in Ohio
There are several ways that law enforcement in Ohio tends to pursue DUI charges. First, driving with a blood alcohol content that is equal to or above .08% or above .02% if a person is under 21 years old or has commercial driver’s license can result in a DUI charge. Second, driving a vehicle with any amount of alcohol in your system that causes you to drive in an impaired manner can result a DUI charge. Third, driving with drugs in your system that impair your ability to safely operate a vehicle can result in a DUI charge.
Ohio House Bills 388 and 436, which created Annie’s Law, became effective in 2017 and significantly changed DUI law in the state. First, when considering whether a DUI is a repeat offense, there is now a longer lookback period. Second, this law resulted in more ignition interlock devices being used as a result of DUI charges.
Defenses to DUI Charges
A seasoned DUI attorney is able to determine the strongest defense in your case. Some of the defenses that can be raised for individuals who are charged with DUI offenses include:
- Blood and Urine Tests: If the urine or blood tests that were conducted in a DUI case were not properly collected or handled, there is a likelihood that a driver will be able to raise a strong defense.
- Breathalyzer Results: If the breathalyzer that was used to obtain blood alcohol content data was not properly calibrated, a person can likely raise a strong defense that these results should be deemed invalid as evidence.
- Field sobriety tests: If the law enforcement officer who conducted the field sobriety test was not properly trained or made any type of mistake, the results could potentially be thrown out by the court as evidence.
- Fourth Amendment violations: Law enforcement is required to have reasonable suspicion that a driver committed an offense before pulling him or her over. If law enforcement lacks reasonable suspicion, there is the potential that they violated your Fourth Amendment rights.
- Video reports: If a video fails to show the field sobriety test or suggests something other than what law enforcement claims, a person might able to create a successful defense to a DUI charge.
Penalties for Ohio DUI Convictions
The penalties that a motorist can expect after a DUI conviction depend on whether the motorist is a first time offender or has a record of prior DUIs. Many times, first time DUI charges are classified as first degree misdemeanors that result in a penalty of 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. Some of the other penalties that a motorist might end up facing include community service, ignition interlocks, license suspension, and probation. Being convicted of a second or repeat DUI can result in jail time. All motorists who are convicted of a DUI can also expect their insurance rate to increase.
Speak with a Seasoned DUI Defense Lawyer
If you are charged with a DUI in Ohio, it is often critical to immediately speak with a DUI defense attorney. Contact Kruger & Hodges today to schedule an initial free consultation.