Ohio DUI Law
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Ohio DUI Video Transcription
If you live in Ohio your penalty could be doubled depending on how high your blood alcohol level was at the time of your arrest. You can spend even more time in jail, pay higher fees and even have your car seized. It’s important to contact an Ohio DUI attorney right away to protect yourself from these consequences.
Fight Your Ohio OVI / DUI Charges
BEWARE: Immediate action can be taken against your driver’s license after an Ohio DUI. Plus, if you are convicted, your OH DUI could land you in jail. Seeking out a skilled defense attorney who specializes in DUI law is the best thing you can do to save yourself and your license.
Ohio drunk driving cases are referred to as Ohio OVI (operating a vehicle while intoxicated), Ohio DUI (driving under the influence of alcohol), or Ohio OMVI (operating a motor vehicle while under the influence, impaired, or intoxicated). All of these acronyms relate to the same offense.
Not only will you face a criminal case for your drunk driving charges, but you will also have another case to fight for your license. Your Ohio DUI arrest triggers a court case, where penalties include jail time, fines, mandatory classes, and more; and the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles case, where your driving privileges are at stake.
Losing your driver’s license could ruin your life -- picture getting to work without a license, or think about your weekends without a way to get around. Ohio's License Suspension Procedures are tough; it is vital that you contact an Ohio DUI or OVI defense attorney in your area if you have been arrested for drunk driving.
URGENT: Time is limited after an OH DUI arrest. You only have a very short time to try and secure your license. If you don’t act quickly, you could end up with a suspended license forever if you are a repeat offender! Drunk driving defense is a specialized area. Let one of the qualified DUI LAWS attorneys help save your driver’s license and fight your OVI charges. Speak with a skilled DUI defense attorney right away by calling 1.800.DUI.LAWS.
According to Ohio DUI laws, there are two ways the prosecution can prove that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. First of all, it is a crime in Ohio for a person to operate a motor vehicle while having any amount of alcohol or drugs or combination of the drugs and alcohol that impairs their physical or mental abilities. You should know that this offense does not require a chemical test of any kind for you to be convicted!
Also, a prosecutor can convict you on OH DUI charges based only on the level of alcohol in your body. If your BAC measure .08%, that is enough evidence for the state to convict you. These are called per se offenses, and they have nothing to do with alcohol interfering with the driver's physical or mental abilities. They are based purely on body chemistry. Remember, even if your BAC came back above the legal limit, there are ways to combat this evidence.
IMPORTANT: In order to be convicted of an Ohio OVI, the defendant's guilt must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. This means that the prosecutor has the burden of proving each element of the crime to the exclusion of every reasonable doubt, and in the case of a reasonable doubt as to any element, the accused is entitled to a verdict of not guilty. What that means is it’s up to the state to prove you are guilty, and if one piece of evidence is questionable, the prosecution will lose the case!
Ohio OVI Prosecution Case:
"Operate" has a different definition than actually driving down the road. It includes being in control of a vehicle even if parked and not running at the time of the offense. If one is in the driver's location of a stationary vehicle and has the keys close at hand so as to be capable to put the vehicle in motion, it would be considered "operation" and thereby an offense in Ohio. Many cases in Ohio have dealt with various aspects of whether the vehicle was on private property, actually moving, driver actually in driver's seat, keys actually in the ignition and other aspects of operation. A new addition to the code will make actual physical control of the vehicle an offense where normal DUI penalties and punishments apply.
"Vehicle" is also broader than the limited application to a car. It includes a motorcycle or bicycle or any device that is moved by power other than human power. Courts have determined that a mounted bicycle, golf cart, tractor, riding lawnmower and other devices are included in the definition of "vehicle". Obviously motorized wheelchairs are excluded. It should be noted here that there are separate code sections for the operation or physical control of watercraft under the influence and it has its own set of definitions.
"Under the influence of alcohol" means that a person consumed some alcohol, whether mild or potent, in such a quantity, whether small or great, that it adversely affected and impaired the person's actions, reactions and mental processes. The alcohol must have deprived him of the clearness of intellect and control of himself. The question is what effect any alcohol consumed by the person had on him at the time and place involved. If the consumption so affected the nervous system, brain or muscles of the person so as to impair to an appreciable degree his ability to operate the vehicle, the person was under the influence.
"Appreciable" means noticeable or perceptible. According the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, driving while "buzzed" is still considered drunk driving.
If you are concerned about the evidence against you, it is imperative that you meet with a skilled DUI attorney to discuss your case. Much of this evidence can be disproven which could change the outcome of your case.
Punishment in Ohio DUI Cases:
The punishments and penalties for each offense depend upon the prior criminal record, traffic record, prior DUI convictions, level of alcohol, and specific facts of the individual case. That's why it is so important to work with a skilled DUI lawyer who can fight your case.
Note: Your penalty could be DOUBLED the higher your BAC was at the time of your Ohio DUI arrest. Also, if you have been convicted in the past, it will increase the penalties for the current offense. If you are a minor (under age 21) the penalties are different than for an adult. They also include jail as a sanction and such conviction will count as a prior conviction in any future DUI cases to enhance the penalty.
Punishment for an OH DUI conviction will include jail time, fines, suspension of driving privileges, possible impounding of license plates, immobilization of forfeiture of the vehicle, or even seizure of the vehicle. Because of the severity of these charges, it is critical to consult with an Ohio DUI defense attorney.
Expungement in Ohio:
An Ohio DUI conviction can be devastating. Expungement of criminal convictions refers to a legal process by which a person's criminal record is altered in a favorable manner. The type of expungement that is appropriate to a given criminal case will vary, depending upon many factors.
Ohio law prohibits a person from expunging a DUI conviction from his or her criminal record. In fact, a DUI or OVI conviction also prevents any other convictions from ever being expunged from a person's criminal record. It is vital to contact a qualified Ohio drunk driving defense attorney if you have been arrested for DUI or OVI.
1-800 GRAB DUI and *DUI Reporting Programs:
Information about habitual offenders and drinking drivers who pose a threat to highway safety is continually sought from the public. In 1991, a toll-free hot line (1-800-GRAB DUI) to receive calls from anywhere in the state was instituted. In August 1993, the cellular *DUI system was introduced as a way for motorists to report alcohol impaired drivers, as well as roadside emergencies. Through the combination of both numbers, citizens are encouraged to call to report drunk drivers, as well as drivers who continue to operate a motor vehicle in spite of convictions and license suspensions for impaired driving.
The phone lines are being publicized in media releases, through the display of license plates and bumper stickers on patrol cars, and via the distribution of flyers and telephone stickers to the public. The Ohio Department of Transportation and the Department of Public Safety combined their resources to place highway signs near interstate rest areas; stating "Report Drunk Drivers 1-800-GRAB DUI/ Cellular Dial *DUI Free Air Time". The Patrol plans to continue to use public service announcements, flyers, and phone stickers in mass mailings from cellular telephone companies to their clients, all of which are expected to promote further use of the hot line.