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Breathalyzer

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In Ohio there are two instances where you can be given a breat test by a police officer. The first, the portable breath test, is generally administered during the initial traffic stop. Here’s what you need to know: This test is never mandatory and is not admissible in the court of law. Taking this test and failing will only lead to more evidence against you if you’re charged with OVI/DUI. There is no reason to consent to the portable DUI test.

If you fail this test, the officers will arrest you and take you back to the station to do another breath test on an approved device. Currently, there are two approved breath-testing devices in Ohio – The BAC Datamaster and the Intoxilyzer 5000. At this time you will be told you can blow or refuse. A refusal to blow at this point will be an automatic suspension of your license for a year and could have other repercussions if you have a CDL. If you choose to blow and are above the Ohio legal limit of .08, you will be charged with an OVI/DUI and booked. More importantly, if you are booked and have blown above .169 you will be charged with a Super DUI. It’s important to assess your own condition at this point.

Refusing to blow or blowing above the legal limit does not mean that you don’t have a chance to be found not guilty or have your charges reduced.

In the last year we’ve had two situations at Taubman Law where drivers have refused to take the breathalyzer at the station and another case where the driver blew above .169 in the station. We were able to work with each case and ensure the best result possible.

In first one, in Berea, the driver was pulled over for following too closely and submitted to a field sobriety test, which he failed. After a motion to suppress, we were able to get the charges knocked down to a reckless operation, our client was able to get his license back within nine months and was granted occupational driving privileges as soon as the statute allowed.

In another case,  we represented a person stopped in Vermillion for weaving and driving erratically. He failed his field sobriety tests and refused to take a breathalyzer. We were able to have his charges reduced to physical control, which carries no points and the client was allowed work privileges.

Finally, in a case where one of our clients blew above .169 and was charged with a Super DUI in Bedford, we were able to work a good plea accommodation. Charges were reduced to regular DUI and the client didn’t have to go through the embarrassment of having yellow ‘party’ plates or having an ignition lock. The client also served no days in jail and received driving privileges.

That’s all for this time. Feel free to ask a question in the comments field or contact me at briantaubman[at]taubmanlaw.net for more information. If you’re interested in my firm, Taubman Law, visit us at TaubmanLaw.net.

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Editor’s note: This article is from Attorney Ed Hastie’s article in Columbus’ 614 Magazine, entitled “To Blow or Not to Blow”

The most common question I receive from clients and prospective clients is whether or not they should take a breathalyzer test. Many times this question comes while a client is in the back of a police car or pulled over to the side of the road. Other times a suspected OVI offender must make the decision on their own because no attorney can be reached. Contrary to popular belief there is no set answer. In order to make the decision you need to understand the consequences and effects of refusing a “breath” test.

Let me start with Rule #1. If you aren’t sure whether you should drive, take a f*cking cab! If everybody followed Rule #1, I wouldn’t need to write the rest of this column. Ok, I’ve gotten that off my chest.

OVI Overview
In Ohio there are two types of OVI charges, a per se charge and an impaired charge. A per se charge is when a person has a prohibited amount of alcohol in their blood, breath or urine. This charge occurs when a person “blows over.” An impaired charge is when a person’s driving was impaired by the use of alcohol. This type of charge is much more subjective and doesn’t rely on the results of a breath test. Generally you will be charged with both if you fail a breath test. If you understand the difference between the two charges you can make an informed decision about whether or not to submit to testing.

“Oh crap, I’m getting pulled over!”

It’s a common scenario; a client is out drinking and makes the terrible decision not to follow Rule #1. Your driving caught the attention of police and you are getting pulled over. What should you do?

First, pull safely over. Keep in mind officer safety when deciding where to stop. Be courteous at all times throughout your interaction with the police. Yelling and berating a cop is a sure way to exacerbate the situation. When questioned, never admit to drinking. This will be used against you in court. Besides, nobody believes you only had “1 or 2” drinks. Remember, the police officer is gathering information to decide whether to arrest you and to make his case air tight. You are under no obligation to give them any information.

“Step out of the car”

Generally, the police officer will then ask you to step out of the car. This is a key part of your case. Ask the officer “am I under arrest?” If yes, then get out and shut up. If no, tell the officer you would like to remain in your car since you aren’t under arrest. CAUTION: This is likely to upset the officer. Make sure you say this in a calm voice with both hands where the police officer can see them. They will likely ask again. At this point, I would repeat your answer. If they begin to threaten you or continue arguing, I would get out of the car and inform the officer that you don’t intend to answer any questions.

“Stand on one leg…”

In an attempt to gather more evidence, an officer will ask you to submit to standardized field sobriety testing (SFSTs). Generally I do not advise a client to submit to field testing. First, you probably aren’t going to pass. These tests are subjective and interpreted by the officer. They are looking for more than just whether you can keep yourself vertical for 30 seconds. Many clients think they have passed when in fact they haven’t. You’ve been drinking and these tests aren’t as easy to pass as your buddies tell you. There is no penalty for not taking the field tests. Unlike refusing a breath test, you won’t lose your license if you refuse field testing. Additionally, refusing gives the police less evidence to substantiate an OVI charge. If they arrest you anyway, you have a much better chance of beating the charge or getting an acceptable plea offer.

“Blow into this”

Finally, you are taken to the station and told to blow into the breathalyzer machine. Should you do it?

You first need to make an honest assessment of how much you have had to drink. If you have seriously had only one or two drinks then you may want to roll the dice. To get a better idea of what puts you over the limit, check out the Drink Wheel at www.intox.com/wheel/drinkwheel.asp. Remember, this can only give you a basic idea. For example, the time I pounded eight airline miniatures on the four hour flight to Vegas would have put me into the failure category. Luckily, I took the advantage of a modified version of Rule #1: I took a limo. That particular trip (after some hot dice), I even took a limo back. Okay, back to reality.

First you must understand the consequences. If you refuse or fail the test you will be placed under an Administrative License Suspension. A refusal gets you a thirty day “hard” suspension (no privileges allowed) and a 1 year “soft” suspension (privileges at the judge’s discretion). Even if you plea to a lesser charge, your license will still be suspended for a year. If you have a prior conviction a refusal will double your ¬¬exposure to jail time. A failure gets you 15 day hard suspension and a 6 month hard suspension. Either way your license is going to get suspended.

Remember, a test removes all doubt. A high test (.17 BAC or above) doubles your minimum jail sentence, and assures “party plates” upon conviction. A breath test is just another strong piece of evidence they will use against you. In a per se charge general evidence of your sobriety and driving won’t matter. Sure, there are ways to prove a test was faulty. However, my experience indicates beating a test is extremely difficult.

Finally, by the time you are asked to take a breath test you most likely have already been charged with the “impaired” OVI. In that case a low test will not save you. The impaired charge is harder to prove. After all, once you’re at the station your goal should be to minimize the damage. Not taking a test will eliminate the per se charge and give the police less evidence with which to convict you. In most circumstances, refusing is the right decision.

“You are free to leave”

After you leave, call an attorney. There will be plenty of time to ponder why you didn’t take a f*cking cab.

For more on the DUI/OVI practice at Hastie Legal, visit our site.

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With Memorial Day weekend fast approaching and perhaps some sunshine, there will be plenty of people looking for a libation or two. That being said police forces across Northeast Ohio and the state will be out in force looking for impaired drivers this holiday weekend. I recommend reading our previous post about breathalyzers before you go out this weekend.

Below is a list of the cities that verified to us that they will be having a DUI checkpoint this weekend. Also, every station mentioned that they will have saturation patrols for the weekend. As always, don’t drink and drive, we recommend a taxi or designated driver. If you do find yourself in legal trouble this weekend contact BrianTaubman@taubmanlaw.net or call us at 216-621-0794. Have a great holiday weekend!!!

May 26, 2011 – Thursday

Garfield Heights

Most likely will be on Broadway and I-480 around 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. It could also be located on Tourney Road.

Cleveland

Cleveland’s DUI checkpoints will be located at 10406 Kinsman Avenue at 9 p.m. through 11 p.m. and Third District officers will stop motorists on East 55th Street at Thackeray Avenue between 7:30 p.m. and midnight. Cleveland will also be having a license checkpoint on May 27, 2011, we will update the location when we know more.

May 27, 2011 – Friday

Parma Heights

Parma Heights’ DUI checkpoint will be located on Pearl Road starting at 11 p.m and lasting until 3 a.m.

Seven Hills

Seven Hills’ checkpoint will most likely be located on Rockside Road and will run from 9 p.m. until 2 a.m.

Euclid

Euclid’s DUI checkpoint will be located on Lakeland Blvd between either 220-222 or Babbot Road. The checkpoint is scheduled to run from 10 p.m. through 2 a.m.

Cleveland

Cleveland Second District officers will conduct a driver’s license checkpoint between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 1:00 a.m. at Detroit Avenue between W.48th Street and W. 50th Street.

May 28, 2011 – Saturday

Solon

Solon will be doing a checkpoint. However, they informed us that they will not release any information until a few hours before.

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We received a press release from the Cleveland Division of Police that there will be a checkpoint today (Wednesday, May 25) in the Fourth District as part of an overall effort from the city to reduce the number of alcohol-related accidents.

The DUI checkpoint is located at Harvard Avenue at E. 67th Street. The checkpoint will start at 9:00 pm and end at 1:00 am..

If you’re heading out today- say to watch some magic at Progressive Field – and you’re going to drink, designate a driver.

Also, the City of Cleveland announced that officers will be operating a sobriety checkpoint in the Third District on Thursday, May 26, 2011. The goal of the Division is to reduce the number of alcohol/impaired related accidents and to make the roadways safe for all drivers. Also, to educate safe driving habits and increase safety belt use.

Cops will be out across the state this Memorial Day weekend, designate a driver. If you find yourself in legal trouble, don’t hesitate to contact me BrianTaubman@taubmanlaw.net

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It’s been a season full of ups for the Cleveland Indians so far, but there was an OVI-related down this week.

Sheffield Lake police pulled over and arrested Shin-Soo Choo on Monday and charged him with OVI. Choo told officers he was trying to get to Avon Lake, where he lives. The 28-year old outfielder reportedly blew a .201 on the breathalyzer at 3:40 am. The legal limit is .08.

UPDATE: Channel 5 released the dashboard video of Choo failing the sobriety test.

This is sad news for Choo, the Indians and the Northeast Ohio community. We’re not sure why people choose to drink and drive, but we hope a high-profile arrest like Choo’s will open people’s eyes to how police are on the lookout for this type of crime.

Here’s the full story from Channel 5.

We still think Choo is one of the best five tool players in the big leagues, but we hope he can gain back some social capital by serving a suspension and then speaking out against drinking and driving.

Our subject and his SCRAMx monitor

Here at the Ohio OVI Blog we strive to get out all of the information possible about OVI laws in Ohio so that people can realize the danger in drinking and driving and practice control. As such, we’ve been working with Alternative Horizon Counseling to find out more about alcohol monitoring programs. Because they like us, they allowed us to have a test subject wear a SCRAMx ankle bracelet during the Cleveland Indians home opener last week (See our previous post about what a SCRAMx is). It didn’t take us a long to hook up with a test subject who was willing to have us monitor his drinking for the special occasion. The hard part was getting him to take appropriate notes of the day.

Below is his journal from that day. We’d like to thank him for taking the time to share this experiment with us. As always, we never encourage drinking or overindulgence at the Ohio OVI Blog. We feel safe in saying that this individual was going to have a few drinks for the Indians home opener anyway, we just jumped on for the ride. Our test subject was a volunteer and was not paid (although he shook us down for a free lunch this week).

March 31 – The bracelet is installed

The bracelet was installed at 4:50 pm. After being installed I had to wait 30 minutes before I could have a drink. I was told this is done to set up a baseline reading. After 30 minutes, I had two bourbons and diets and some dinner. After dinner I hopped a ride to Around The Corner in Lakewood. I stayed at this bar with friends for a few hours; I had a jack and diet, a shot of Patron, an orange bomb and a gummy bear shot and an Amstel Light (I party). The hour was getting late, and it was at this time I realized I had an experiment to run for Ohio OVI Blog tomorrow and decided that was my limit and hopped a taxi ride home. My BAC when I left Around The Corner was .22, almost three times the legal limit (which is .08).

A few side notes about the SCRAMx bracelet: It vibrates once every 15-30 minutes and is a little bulky around the ankle. This vibration and bulkiness affected my sleep, which made me a little grumpy.

April 1 – The Indians home opener

I don’t know what to say except that the thoughts herein might get a little foggy. I headed downtown around 9:30 am and started with breakfast, a couple of beers and an orange bomb (my preferred breakfast shot). I jumped around to four different bars to meet some friends before heading toward my seat at 12:40. I had another beer and four more shots before heading to the stadium. Once in my seats, I slowed my pace a little and had three beers during the game and also ate a hamburger. I have to say that I considered having a few more after the Tribe went down by double-digit runs.

At this point I have to admit that I was not in the stadium for the Indians’ late run at the White Sox. When I left they still had a goose egg on the board, although I’m not sure what time it was exactly. Herein we’ll have to rely on the SCRAMx, as I lost track of things after I left the stadium. I visited two more bars downtown and then cut myself off a little before 10. Don’t worry, I ate all three meals during day, adding a Panini to my late night diet.

After a long day of drinking and baseball, I hopped a taxi back to my place in Lakewood around 10:30. I had the bracelet removed at 11:30 and fell asleep sitting up in my recliner. It was not my finest moment.

In trying to total up the drinks, I had at least eight beers, three cocktails and can account for no fewer than 14 shots. I suspect I had more than that, but can’t be 100 percent sure.

April 2 – The aftermath

On top of a hangover, I feel a little weird today. I sort of miss the vibration of the bracelet on my ankle. We bonded over time and I feel like I’m missing a part of my leg.

In the end, the results say that my drinking was a bit excessive. My high point, according to the SCRAMx was a blood alcohol level of .349 (almost four and a half times the legal limit) at 8:29 pm. I am 5-foot-11 and 230 pounds, so I’m not exactly a small guy, which means that I probably had more than 14 shots. Based on the BAC calculator.

Thanks for letting me share my thoughts, Ohio OVI Blog. We should do this again sometime soon. (See this attached PDF to view the hour by hour breakdown of the alcohol in my system: OVI Blog – test)

The Ohio OVI Blog would like to thank our test subject and our good friends at Alternative Horizon Counseling for allowing us to experiment with the SCRAMx. The purpose of this bracelet is detect the presence of one drink, if you are assigned this bracelet you are not permitted to have any alcohol as the terms of your probation. Below is a little information about the SCRAMx works.

Technology

The SCRAM System uses an electrochemical fuel cell to detect alcohol. The fuel cell is the same one used in Drager’s Alco-test Breath Devices. At a predetermined interval, a pump in the bracelet pulls a controlled sample to the alcohol sensor for analysis. The amount of reaction of the fuel cell is interpreted and a Trans-dermal Alcohol Concentration (TAC) is calculated. This calculation is an estimation of the Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC).

Tamper Technology is contained within the bracelet and is used to detect several different types of tampers; obstructions, removals, cut straps and damage. The technology used to detect removals and obstruction material is the Infrared (IR) sensor. Combination of the IR sensor, temperature sensor and the fuel cell voltage can be used to confirm obstructions and removals.

The IR sensor is used to make certain the bracelet is on the client and to detect materials being placed between the bracelet and the leg, potentially blocking the faceplate. The IR sensor, which is contained in the SCRAM bracelet, provides an IR beam between the bracelet and the leg of the client; the reflection of this beam is then measured in volts.

The temperature sensor monitors the bracelet temperature to detect possible tampers and removals. The temperature sensor is located in the bracelet, this impacted by the body’s warming effect and the environmental temperature.

Data Interpretation

The Trans-dermal Alcohol Concentration (TAC) readings are the black line and are represented on the scale to the left of the graph. The Infrared (IR) readings are identified on the light blue line and the temperature readings are displayed on the red line and represented by the scale on the right of the graph.

Confirmed Consumption

Alcohol detections confirmed as consumption identify the Blood Alcohol Curve and include both the presence of absorption to the peak with an absorption rate less than 0.05 percent per hour, and the presence of elimination with an elimination rate less than 0.025 percent per hour if the peak was less than 0.150 percent or less than 0.035 percent per hour if the peak is 0.150 percent or above.

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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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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.

—-

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.