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Attorney

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Good afternoon Northeast Ohio. It’s time once again for us to talk about road safety this summer. Later today we’ll be posting some information about a checkpoint in Akron last weekend. For now, let’s say this: the police caught a lot of intoxicated drivers.

So we’ll remind you once again, please keep our streets safe by designating a driver when you drink. We all want to make it home safely. We practice the law in the state of Ohio and realize that these checkpoints are serious business. Besides the safety risks of driving drunk, there is a very real risk of losing your license. It’s just not worth the risk.

OK, we’re off our soapbox. Let’s get down to business. We know of two checkpoints so far this weekend. Both will be tomorrow night. One is in Akron and the other is in Parma.

Akron – There will be a checkpoint on South Arlington Road between 10 pm and 2 am tomorrow night.

Parma – The exact location won’t be known until tomorrow, but the checkpoint will be between 10 pm and 2 am somewhere on either Ridge or State Road. We’ll update this when we get the full information.

Additionally, we have been told that there will be a checkpoint in North Royalton on June 24. We’ll have details about that next week.

Stay safe, NEO. Should you need some legal help in an OVI/DUI case, we are here to help you. We want to make sure the law on OVI keeps people safe, but we also want to be sure it is enforced fairly.

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There are three phases involved when an officer arrests you for an OVI. Back in January we tackled phase one, vehicle in motion. This post is solely dedicated to Phase Two, personal contact.

The first task of Phase Two, observation and interview of the driver, begins as soon as the suspect vehicle and patrol vehicle have come to complete stops. Usually an officer will have developed suspicion that the driver is impaired by observing something unusual when the vehicle was in motion. i.e. speeding or weaving. However, this is not always true; the suspect could have been pulled over for expired tags or an equipment violation. Regardless of the evidence that may have come to light during detection phase one, vehicle in motion, the officer’s face-to-face contact with the driver usually provides the first definite indicators that the driver is impaired.

During the face-to-face observations, an officer will use his/her sense of sight, hearing and smell to gather evidence of alcohol or other drug influence.

Sight, here officers are looking for bloodshot eyes, soiled clothing, fumbling fingers, alcohol containers, drug paraphernalia and unusual actions.

Hearing, during the interview in the car officers are looking to hear slurred speech, admissions of drinking, inconsistent responses, abusive language and unusual statements.

Finally, there is Smell, here the officer is trying to smell alcoholic beverages, marijuana, cover up odors and other unusual odors. The arresting officer has to be properly trained to recognize these sensory observations and has to have the ability to smell the evidence clearly and convincingly.

The basic purpose of the face-to-face observation and interview of the driver is to identify and gather evidence of alcohol and/or other drug influence. There are a number of additional tests officers may and do use to determine if the driver is intoxicated while he or she is still behind the wheel. These techniques apply the concept of divided attention; they require the driver to concentrate on two or more things at the same time. They include both question techniques and psychophysical (mind/body tasks) techniques. These techniques are not as reliable as the standardized field sobriety tests but are still useful in obtaining evidence of impairment.

Questioning Techniques: Officers use three techniques when asking questions. First, they ask for two things simultaneously. An example of this is requesting that the driver produce both the driver’s license and the vehicle registration. Here, the officer is looking for a driver who forgets to produce both documents, produces documents other than the ones requested, etc. The second questioning technique is when an officer asks interrupting or distracting questions. This type of questioning occurs when the driver is asked to produce documents; the officer will then ask the driver without looking at your watch, what time is it right now? The officer is observing whether you ignore the time question, forget to resume the search for the documents or if the driver supplies a grossly incorrect answer. The final technique is asking unusual questions. This occurs when the officer has the driver’s license. An example of this type of question would be asking the driver what their middle name is.

In addition to the questioning techniques, an officer may ask the driver to recite the alphabet starting at a particular letter and ending at another. Also, the officer may ask the driver to count down from 48 to 33 out loud. Finally an officer may instruct to do a finger count. This is touching your thumb to each finger up and then counting, 1,2,3,4.

After Phase one and two are completed the officer will start phase three: pre-arrest screening. This phase includes field tests and breathalyzer. We will explain this important phase in a future post.

If you or a person you know are in need of competent DUI/OVI defense in Ohio contact Brian Taubman at 216-621-0794 or by email at BrianTaubman@taubmanlaw.net.

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Life is good in Northeast Ohio.

High temperatures will be in the 60s this weekend, the Indians are rolling and the Browns just got a bunch of extra draft picks.

But the warmer weather also means that there will be more drinking and driving. And that means checkpoints. While we wish everyone would designate a driver before they went out on the town, that’s not always the case.

As such, the police have a few checkpoints scheduled for this weekend.

First, Akron previously told us they had one scheduled for Friday, but we don’t have all the details. We will try to contact them again Friday morning.

We also received information that the city of Cleveland will have one on Friday night. The time and location has not yet been released.

Elyria is set to have at Lake Avenue and West on Saturday from 10p-2a.

We called our usual list this week and didn’t find any other checkpoints. If we hear anything else, we will keep you informed.

As always, if you need the help of an OVI/DUI attorney, please contact us.

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It looks like we have one last weekend without checkpoints before the full swing of the checkpoint season begins. We called all of our usual places this week (see the list below) and heard no across the board for checkpoints this Friday and Saturday.

Reminder, there are already future ones scheduled across the area. As we previously reported, Akron/Summit County will have one April 29th, Elyria is scheduled to have one April 30 and Euclid has one on May 27. All of those dates were given to us as tentative.

Stay safe and enjoy the slightly warmer, less rainy weather this weekend. Let us know if we can offer you any legal help.

Beachwood – NO
Bedford – NO
Berea – NO
Brecksville – NO
Brooklyn – NO
Brooklyn Heights – NO
Broadview Heights – NO
Canton – NO
Cleveland Heights – NO
Cleveland – NO
Chesterland – NO
Cuyahoga Falls – NO
Garfield Heights – NO
Euclid – 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
Medina – NO
Mentor – NO
Middleburg – NO
North Royalton – NO
North Ridgeville – 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
Stark County Sheriff’s Department – NO
Strongsville – NO
South Euclid – NO
University Heights – NO
Wadsworth – NO
Warren – NO
Westlake – NO
Willoughby – NO
Youngstown – NO

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Happy Thursday to you, Northeast Ohio. Thanks for taking time out of your day to check out our checkpoint list for the weekend of April 15-17.

Let’s get right down to business. It looks like a quiet time for checkpoints, as we didn’t hear about any scheduled for this Friday or Saturday. There are a few areas we haven’t heard back from yet, but below are the places we called that said no for this week.

As we mentioned last week, Euclid, Elyria and Akron/Summit County will be having them later this month and in May, so be sure to come back to the Ohio OVI Blog for details.

Have a great weekend. Remember, you can contact us if you need help with an OVI case in Ohio.

Beachwood – NO
Bedford – NO
Berea – NO
Brecksville – NO
Brooklyn – NO
Brooklyn Heights – NO
Broadview Heights – NO

Canton – NO
Cleveland Heights – NO
Cleveland – NO
Chesterland – NO
Garfield Heights – NO

Euclid – 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
Medina – NO
Mentor – NO
Middleburg – NO
North Royalton – NO
North Ridgeville – 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

Stark County Sheriffs Department – NO
Strongsville – NO
Stow – No
South Euclid – No
University Heights – NO
Wadsworth – NO
Warren – NO
Westlake – NO

Willoughby – NO
Youngstown – NO

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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.

—-

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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The final countdown to a great St. Patrick’s Day is on, and it looks like we’ll get some snow to remind us that this is a winter holiday. We made a few calls and sent a few emails today to find out about checkpoints throughout Northeast Ohio, but we couldn’t find any for this weekend. Many of the stations we talked to, however, mentioned they have plans for St. Patrick’s Day and the days following.

As we mentioned in our blog yesterday, we know the upcoming holiday will fill the streets with fun seekers, which means there will be checkpoints all over the area. Please let us know where you’re going to be heading so we know which areas to call. As always, we’re not encouraging drinking and driving. We want public information to be spread so people know that the police are on the look out for OVI offenders. In turn, we hope people will remember to designate a driver or call a cab.

That’s all for this week. Remember, if you ever do find yourself charged with OVI, you still have rights. Contact us and we’ll make sure they’re properly defended.

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Hello Northeast Ohio. As you probably know, Fat Tuesday and Ash Wednesday have passed, which means that St. Patrick’s Day is almost here.

Since the green beer will be flowing soon, we’re coming out of our small break to start regular posts about checkpoints throughout the area. It’s no secret that warmer weather and a weekday holiday will have many people out drinking and driving, so you need to know the facts. We’ve already talked with several police stations and it seems like next weekend will have several checkpoints. We’re thinking ahead, so we’d like to know where you’re going to be around St. Patrick’s Day so we can compile a full checkpoint list.

Help us compile our list by commenting on this blog, finding us on Facebook or tweeting at us (@OhioOVINetwork).

As always, if you need help with OVI or DUI, contact us.

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After a little bit of warm weather last weekend the full anger of winter is back upon us today. As such, our weekly calls to local police stations produced no checkpoints to speak of this week.

That said, they’re coming. Several of the stations we talked to discussed the fact that they were mulling over doing checkpoints or saturation points for the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day.

Of course, even with no checkpoints on the books, we hope you drive safe this weekend. Remember to designate a driver if you’re going to go out and drink.

We’ll see you next week. Remember that if you need an attorney for DUI/OVI you can call us.

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Snow. Ice. Snow. Ice. Cold. Are you as tired of it as we are?

Let’s not discuss it any further. The fact of the matter is, the weather has us down, but we’re still trying to go about our business here at Taubman Law. In so doing, we made our regular calls to local police stations to find out if there are any DUI/OVI checkpoints this weekend.

From our calls, it looks as though the snow and ice is also preventing the law from scheduling anything. We couldn’t find an area in Northeast Ohio that was having a checkpoint but, as always, that doesn’t mean you can ignore your responsibility to drive safely. The snow and ice make roads treacherous enough. If you’re going to be out and about having a drink, designate a driver. Trust us, it’s safest that way.

That’s all for this week. Stay warm and dry. If you need us for anything from OVI/DUI defense to workers’ comp claim help, give us a buzz.