For the next few weeks, I’m going to be outlining some do’s and do not’s when it comes OVI and DUI’s in Ohio. This is clearly an opinion article and in no way should this be construed as legal advice or representation and clearly the first do not is ….. do not drink and drive. Last week I wrote about how to keep your car road ready and why it’s important. In this article I’m going to be briefly discussing what happens when you are pulled over.
No matter if you are sober, driving after a glass of wine, when a cop is behind you with the sirens on everybody’s nervous and their heart beats a little faster. Lucky for you, I’m here to tell you what to expect from this encounter and what your rights are.
Upon being pulled over, I recommend three things.
1) If it’s dark outside, put on your interior lights.
2) Open the window half way to speak with the officer
3) Remain buckled up, I can’t tell you how many time people get cited for not having a seat belt because of this.
Assuming the cops had probable cause to pull you over, they will be using this encounter with you to determine if you exhibit signs of being intoxicated or stoned. They will be looking at how you retrieved your license, did you fumble around for it, did you hand them you student ID instead. Next, they will be looking at your eyes, are they red, glossy, open, etc.
When they ask you questions, they are looking to see if you are slurring your words, do you know where you are heading, why you were pulled over, where do you live. Cops try to sneak in the semi accepted method of reciting the Alphabet from a given letter to another or backwards. I would refuse to do this. IMPORTANT In Ohio you never have to do field sobriety tests, these tests are subjective in nature (my opinion) and will only bolster the officers probable cause to arrest you. The officer will then ask you did you have anything to drink, a positive answer here will most likely result in them asking you to step out of the vehicle to do field sobriety tests. Remember and I can’t stress this enough, you do not have to these. A simple no to the question of performing these is sufficient or you can say”I have a bad knee” “My back hurts”” I would like to speak to my attorney” etc.
If you are asked to do a portable breathalyzer, you can refuse these without any repercussion as well. Finally, a cop will almost always smell booze. I’m clearly missing a few other clues officers use to determine if you are driving intoxicated. Remember that cops are always observing your sobriety way before they ask to step out of the vehicle.
This St. Patrick’s Day I will be out around Cleveland handing out swag and breathalyzing people with Pressure Life Magazine. We do this to make sure people are safe to drive and that they understand their rights if they are ever pulled over.
Clearly don’t drink and drive, if you fail to follow this warning and find yourself in a sticky situation, don’t hesitate to contact one of our highly trained OVI/Criminal attorneys. Contact us at 216-621-0794 or reach out to Brian Taubman directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or to Bruce Taubman, our founding attorney, at email@example.com. We practice throughout the Great State of Ohio.