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Monthly Archives: March 2011

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Jalen Rose, a member of the famed Fab 5 at The University of Michigan and current ESPN analyst, faces a court date in April after being issued a citation earlier this month on suspicion of drunken driving.

Rose was driving his SUV in Michigan on March 11 around 2 am when his car went off the side of an icy road. A passer-by called police, according to the Detroit News, and Rose declined to take a breathalyzer test. He was taken to the hospital for a blood-alcohol test. The ESPN story on this says that the results of that test weren’t available.

We’ll keep an eye on this story, but even the implication of OVI is rough for someone with a name as famous as Rose’s. As we always say around here, don’t drink and drive. Just don’t do it. That’s not us saying Rose is guilty, we have no idea. We’re just saying you should designate a driver when you go out. That’s all.

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Last week the Ohio OVI Blog had the pleasure to meet Karen and Jen from Alternative Horizon Counseling Center. We talked about DIP programs (Driver intervention Programs), alcohol assessments, Ohio OVI Laws, OVI punishments and, perhaps most interestingly, SCRAMx.

SCRAM is an acronym for Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitor, and is an alcohol testing system that includes an anklet, worn 24/7. It samples an offender’s perspiration every 30 minutes to ensure compliance with court- or agency-ordered sobriety. In 2010, Denver-based Alcohol Monitoring Systems, which manufactures and markets the system throughout North America, launched a new version of the system called SCRAMx, which incorporates home detention monitoring in the same bracelet.

At OhioOviBlog, we like to think we are more than just attorneys, that we do more with the blog than just informing the public of sobriety checkpoints, OVI laws and legal representation. With our newly formed relationship with Alternative Horizon Counseling Center and SCRAMx, we will be able to continue our mission in educating the public in an interesting and sporting way. While talking with Karen and Jen, we became really interested in SCRAMx, in particular how these bracelets affect our clients and society, and how reliable it is. They are graciously allowing us to have a test subject wear a SCRAMx bracelet from March 31st through April 2nd. Interestingly, the Cleveland Indians’ home opener is in that time frame, which will really give us some fascinating results.

Here’s how it will work: The test subject, in a controlled environment, will record his exact number and type of drinks. The information and results will be posted. We will focus on the reliability and efficiency SCRAMx, comparing their numbers to a standardized BAC readout based on age, sex, height and weight.

SCRAMx is more commonly used with repeat DUI/OVI offenders, but can also be ordered on first-time offenders who have aggravated circumstances – like an extremely high blood alcohol content (BAC). Courts may order DUI/OVI offenders on SCRAMx to not only deter them from drinking – and driving – for a specified time period, but also to assess their alcohol dependency levels to recommend individualized courses of treatment.

With the addition of specialty courts, soon to be implemented in the City of Cleveland, alcohol monitoring devices such as the SCRAMx will enable Specialty Court judges to equally impose sanctions and grant incentives with speed and certainty. Likewise, it promotes the extended sobriety and behavior change required to facilitate effective treatment.

We were amazed to see how effective SCRAMx is as a deterrent from sending people to jail. In Ohio and most states, jail and prison overcrowding is a serious issue. Today, 1 in every 100 adults in the U.S. is incarcerated, and these numbers continue to grow. The expense of housing record numbers of people is crippling state budgets and costing taxpayers hundreds of millions ? even billions ? of dollars.

Within jail and prison populations, there is a significant link between alcohol and crime, with 36 percent of offenders reporting they were “drinking at the time of their offense.” An even larger percentage are sent back to jail on technical violations, such as missed probation appointments.

In response, judges, attorneys, and probation officers are seeking solutions that will help ease jail overcrowding. By using SCRAMx as an alternative to incarceration, courts can allow those less dangerous alcohol offenders safely back into the community knowing they are being continuously monitored for alcohol and are also confined to their homes during critical hours of the day.
Make sure you follow us to see how the SCRAMx holds up for testing during the Indians home opener.

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We just received word that there is a driver’s license checkpoint tonight in Cleveland.

In order to intercept unlicensed drivers, the Cleveland police will have a checkpoint tonight from 8 pm to 4 am at West 117th and Linnet Avenue.

Regardless of the checkpoint, if you don’t have a driver’s license you shouldn’t be driving. We want the roads of Northeastern Ohio to be safe for everyone, and we don’t want anyone to have any trouble with the law.

Have a good week and get ready for some baseball this weekend.

As always, if you need an attorney, contact us today.

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Good Thursday to you, Northeast Ohio. We hope the suddenly chilly weather hasn’t cooled your spirit for the upcoming summer.

For whatever it’s worth, we’re hotter than ever here at the Ohio OVI Blog. We hit the streets on St. Patty’s Day to share our story, and we ended up with some coverage in this week’s Cleveland Scene.

But, as fun as it is to get some publicity, we’re here with a mission: to share information about OVI laws and checkpoints in Ohio. So let’s get down to it. We made our usual list of calls this week, and there’s only one checkpoint scheduled thus far.

Cleveland will have one on March 25 (Friday). The checkpoint will be at St. Clair Avenue and E. 105th Street between 11 pm and 3 am.

Cleveland will also be having a license checkpoint early next week. We’ll share those details once they’re available.

Beyond that, we’ve listed below the other areas we called who either told us they aren’t having a checkpoint or who didn’t have details for us. Here’s your weekly reminder: Whether you’re traveling somewhere with a checkpoint or not, don’t drink and drive. Trust us, you can’t afford it.

Here’s the list of areas we called:

Akron/Summit County – No, Summit County there is one tentatively scheduled for April 29th. We will keep you informed when we know more.
Beachwood – No
Bedford – No
Berea – No
Brooklyn – No
Brooklyn Heights – No

Broadview Heights – No
Brecksville – No

Cleveland Heights – No
Chesterland – No
Elyria – No
Euclid – No

Garfield Heights – No
Kent – No

Lakewood / Ohio Highway Patrol – There was no release this week regarding Cuyahoga County OVI checkpoints run by The Ohio Highway Patrol.
Independence – No
Maple Heights – No
Medina – No

Mentor – No
Middleburg – No

North Ridgeville – No
North Royalton – No
Olmsted Falls – No
Olmsted Township – No
Parma – No
Parma Heights – No
Portage County Sheriff’s Department – No

Rocky River – No
Shaker Heights – No
Seven Hills – No
Seville – No

Streetsboro – No
Strongsville – No
South Euclid – No
University Heights – No
Wadsworth – No

Warren – No
Westlake – No

A couple of reminders for you this week: One, remember that this blog is not legal advice in anyway. We’re distributing public information, but you should contact an attorney if you need legal advice. Check out our About the blog page for more on that. Two, we have been getting a few emails with questions about our goal here at the Ohio OVI Blog. This is a reminder that we never encourage drinking and driving. Quite the opposite. We try to underscore the fact that police have tactics to catch drunk drivers and dealing with an OVI charge is not easy. Please, if you’re going to drink, don’t drive. Period.

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When we were out in Cleveland during St. Patty’s day, people constantly asked us whether they should refuse to submit to the breathalyzer when asked by a police officer. We did our best to answer this tricky question throughout the day, but we thought it would be best to address it with a little more detail. There are three tests approved in Ohio for use by the police. They are:

Ohio DUI Blood Test (the most accurate – used if a suspect is taken to the hospital because they were injured in a crash)

Ohio DUI Breath Test (by far the most common – most police departments have their own breath test machine at the station)

Ohio DUI Urine Test (the least accurate – but the one most commonly used if drugs are suspected)

If a person refuses to submit to the test or submits to the test and tests over the legal limit, their license is immediately suspended. The suspension is called an Administrative License Suspension (ALS). It is not imposed by a Judge, but by the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles. The police officer acts as the BMV’s agent when imposing the suspension.

The ALS is imposed because the law considers driving a privilege and not a right. When one accepts an Ohio Driver’s License, they are agreeing to provide a blood, breath, or urine sample to a police officer if there is probable cause to believe the person is operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Refusing to provide the sample, or providing a sample that tests over the legal limit, results in a suspension.

The length of the Administrative License Suspension imposed depends on two primary factors: First, is this a refusal to submit to a chemical test, or is it a test over the legal limit? Second, how many prior refusals or offenses has the person had in the past 6 years?

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OHIO ADMINISTRATIVE LICENSE SUSPENSION CHART
OFFENSE(S) IN PAST 6 YEARS TEST FAILURE 0.08% + TEST REFUSAL
FIRST OFFENSE 90 Day Suspension One Year Suspension
SECOND OFFENSE One Year Suspension Two Year Suspension
THIRD OFFENSE Two Year Suspension Three Year Suspension
FOURTH OR GREATER Three Year Suspension Five Year Suspension
The administrative license suspension (ALS) for failing or refusing a test ends upon conviction following a plea of guilty or no contest, and the time served under the ALS will be credited against the suspension the court imposes for the conviction.

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Let’s run through a hypothetical situation to make sure everyone understands how an ALS suspension works.

You get pulled over, the cops have probable cause, and you submit to a field sobriety test and fail. You are then brought to the arresting station’s BAC room. You are read form 2255 (ALS Form). At this point, you refuse to blow. The arresting officer will seize your license, and if this is your first refusal your license will be suspended automatically for one year from the date of refusal. You will not be able to receive driving privileges for 30 days.  However, if you blew and it was less than a .175, your license will be suspended for 90 Days and you will be able to receive driving privileges within 15 days.

A refusal will be on your record for 20 years, meaning even if the charges of an OVI are reduced and you get pulled over 4 years later for an OVI, that prior refusal will elevate the penalties of that OVI. For example, your first OVI in 6 years usually carries 3 days jail or DIP (Driver Intervention Program). However, if this is your first OVI in six years and you have a prior refusal over the last 20 years you face a mandatory minimum of 6 days jail or 3 days jail and 3 days DIP.

For a complete list of OVI penalties in Ohio and how a prior refusal affects you, visit this site http://bit.ly/fAio7J.

Deciding if one should refuse to blow is a question that as an attorney is almost impossible to answer succinctly or with finality. Remember that you never have to perform field sobriety tests or blow into a portable breathalyzer. The ultimate decision is one that you must make based on the totality of the circumstances.

Future posts on the Ohio OVI Blog will include Visual detection of OVI Motorcyclists, limited driving privileges and phase 2 of an automobile stop “personal contact.” Want more answers about OVI in Ohio or need help with a case? Contact us.

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 In our effort to keep the public informed about the dangers of drinking and driving, we thought you would like to know that there will be a checkpoin in Olmsted Falls today for St. Patrick’s Day.

While we don’t have all the details, it will be on Columbia Road and take place between 3 and 7 pm.

If you’re going out today, please remember to drink responsibly. For a complete list of the checkpoints in Northeast Ohio, visit our full blog post from yesterday.

Have a safe holiday. If you know anyone who does run into trouble with OVI/DUI, please contact us to protect your rights.

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If you’re about to head out for St. Patrick’s Day, the time to designate a driver is now. There will be a checkpoint in North Royalton starting this afternoon around 5 pm. It will be on route 82.

 If you’re going out today, please remember to drink responsibly. For a complete list of the checkpoints in Northeast Ohio, visit our full blog post from yesterday.

Have a safe holiday. If you know anyone who does run into trouble with OVI/DUI, please contact us to protect your rights.

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day Ohio OVI Blog readers. As we mentioned yesterday, there is a checkpoint in Cleveland today.

It starts around 5 pm and will take place on Huron between West 3rd and West 6th Streets.

If you’re going out today, please remember to drink responsibly. For a complete list of the checkpoints in Northeast Ohio, visit our full blog post from yesterday.

Have a safe holiday. If you know anyone who does run into trouble with OVI/DUI, please contact us to protect your rights.

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Well, the greenest holiday of the year is officially upon us and the fun has already begun. All over Northeast Ohio green beer is being poured and silly t-shirts are being worn.

Before you go out and join the fun, however, we wanted to take some time to share with you information about several checkpoints and potential checkpoints throughout the area on St. Patrick’s Day.

First and foremost, almost every single police station we talked to told us there would be saturation points Thursday, meaning that their force will be out in extra numbers.

Beyond that, three communities are having checkpoints that we know about.

Cleveland will have on downtown between 5 and 9 pm. This checkpoint will be located on Huron between West 3rd and West 6th Streets.

North Royalton will have one on Route 82 around 5 to 9 pm.

And, finally, Olmsted Falls will have one on Columbia Road starting around 3 and ending at roughly 7 pm.

In addition to that, we have not heard back from Akron/Summit County on whether they will have one. We will try to find out more and keep you updated.

Below you will find a list of other areas we called that, thus far, have said they are not having a checkpoint for the holiday. Remember, it doesn’t matter if there’s a checkpoint or not, the police will be on the lookout for intoxicated drivers and you should plan accordingly. Here at the Ohio OVI Blog we don’t care if you designate a driver, take a cab, catch a bus or get a hotel room; we just want you to make a safe decision. Happy St. Patrick’s Day from the Ohio OVI Blog and Taubman Law!

Communities who are not having a checkpoint (as of Wednesday afternoon):

Beachwood

Bedford

Berea

Brecksville

Brooklyn

Brooklyn Heights

Broadview Heights

Cleveland Heights

Chesterland

Elyria

Garfield Heights

Lakewood / Ohio Highway Patrol – There was no release this week regarding Cuyahoga County OVI checkpoints run by The Ohio Highway Patrol.

Independence

Maple Heights

Medina

Mentor

Middleburg

North Royalton

Olmsted Township

Parma

Parma Heights

Rocky River

Shaker Heights

Seven Hills

Seville

South Euclid

Strongsville

University Heights

Wadsworth

Warren

Westlake

With St. Patrick’s Day coming up we are planning an extensive checkpoint list for you this week. In the meantime, however, we want to remind you that drinking and driving isn’t safe and the cops are on the lookout for drunk drivers.

We do that by telling you about a case we had from last St. Patrick’s Day. We had a client who was pulled over in Solon for expired tags. Once pulled over, the police noticed signs of intoxication – I.E. smell of alcohol, glassy eyes and slurred speech. Our client admitted to drinking a beer and subsequently failed the sobriety test.

Taken to the police station, he blew a .175, which put in him in position to receive a Super DUI. As we’ve often mentioned, Super DUIs are quite damaging to your long-term record. Fortunately for our client, after a few court appearances we were able to negotiate the plea to a regular DUI. The client received no time in jail, no yellow plates and was able to get driving privileges within two weeks. Although at Taubman Law we pride ourselves on being able to beat nearly every OVI case we face, sometimes the best result still leaves a mark on the record.

This case is a good reminder for people about their rights. Remember, you never have to perform field sobriety tests. Also, sometimes it is better not to blow in the breathalyzer.

As always, if you have an OVI case you need help with, contact us today to make sure your rights are protected.