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Ohio

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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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With spring and summer around the corner (hopefully), people will be bringing out there motorcycles to cruise the streets, go for runs and go to biker nights at local bars. Law enforcement recognizes that with the change of weather more people will be out on their bikes. In response to the potential of impaired drivers on motorcycles, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has developed research identifying driving impairment cues for motorcycles.

NHTSA has developed two sets of cues that help officers gauge the probability of intoxication for motorcycle drivers. There are two set of cues: Excellent cues (50 percent or greater probability) and good cues (30 to 50 percent probability). We have put together the two sets of cues below so you can understand what it is officers look for.

Excellent Cues

• Drifting during turn or curve
• Trouble with dismount
• Trouble with balance at a stop
• Turning problems (e.g., unsteady, sudden corrections, late braking)
• Inattentive to surroundings
• Inappropriate or unusual behavior (e.g., carrying or dropping object, urinating at roadside, disorderly conduct, etc.)
• Weaving

Good Cues

• Erratic movements while going straight
• Operating without lights at night
• Recklessness
• Following too closely
• Running stop light or sign
• Evasion
• Wrong way

Safe driving demands the ability to divide attention among various tasks, such as steering and operating a turn signal or remaining stopped at a green light. Officers look for motorcyclists who have impaired divided attention, meaning the driver lacks the ability to concentrate on two or more things at the same time. Officers will use these cues as well as cues that are observed after the command to stop is given (attempt to flee, no response, slow response, an abrupt swerve, sudden stop).

As always, the Ohio OVI Blog is here to share information on the OVI/DUI laws in the state of Ohio. We hope you use this information to practice safe driving. Should you find yourself in need of an OVI lawyer, feel free to contact us.

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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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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.

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In Ohio there are two instances where you can be given a breath 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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Happy Saturday and happy 2011, Northeast Ohio. We hope you had a wonderful and safe New Year’s Eve.

We noticed a lot of people around town were taking our advice and using designated drivers last night. It’s a good thing, too, because there were saturation points all over town set up to catch drivers who had been drinking.

If you were one of those drivers pulled over for DUI/OVI, you now need to make sure your rights are being protected. We have years of experience defending people on DUI/OVI charges in Ohio and we always put our clients’ needs first.

If you need help, contact us. If you want to read more about our OVI/DUI experience, visit our Cuyahoga County DUI site.

As always, we’re happy to help defend your rights.

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Happy weekend to you Northeast Ohio. We’ve done our weekly research on checkpoints in the area for December 3-5 and didn’t find any to mention.

Of course no listed checkpoints doesn’t mean you should forego your responsibility to designate a driver if you go out for drinks. With snow falling all over town, driving safe is important.

As always, if you need the team at Taubman Law to help you with your case – whether that case is personal injury, workers’ comp or DUI/OVI, let us know. We’re happy to help.

We’ll see you next week. Go Browns!

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The Ohio Department of Public Safety reported yesterday that there were fewer fatalities and crashes this past holiday weekend.

Our hope here at the Ohio OVI blog is that the reduced number of accidents caused by alcohol is a direct result of a stronger push by smart drivers to find a designated driver or to cut back on drinking when driving. Our hats off to everyone who made a responsible decision this weekend and made Ohio’s roads that much safer.

From all of us here at Taubman Law, we hope you have a safe holiday season going forward.

Here is the release with full details from the state on how much safer this Thanksgiving was:

COLUMBUS – Provisional numbers released today by the Ohio Department of Public Safety show fewer motorists were killed on Ohio’s roadways this Thanksgiving Holiday. In addition, the Ohio State Highway Patrol handled 8.5 percent less crashes than last year’s holiday.

During the reporting period, which began Wednesday, November 24, at 6 p.m. and ran through Monday, November 29, at 6:00 a.m., 10 people were killed with three of those deaths attributed to alcohol. As compared to the 18 people who lost their lives last year, with 10 being alcohol-related. In addition, in this year’s fatal crashes, 60 percent of those killed were not wearing a safety belt.

Throughout the extended weekend, troopers, alongside local law enforcement, used high visibility enforcement combined with OVI checkpoints to reduce fatal and injury crashed state-wide.

The Ohio Department of Public Safety is encouraged by the reduction of fatalities this holiday weekend and hopes that this decline will continue throughout the holiday season.

Troopers would like to remind motorists to buckle-up during the upcoming holidays and emphasize that wearing a safety belt is the only way to avoid serious injury or death during a crash.

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Monday is here and it’s back to work. The grind of a work week is bad enough, but if you had a rough weekend – that is, if you ran into trouble with the law for OVI or DUI – the pressure is probably getting to you.

The fact of the matter is the cost and punishment potential for an OVI or DUI conviction in Ohio is steep. Regardless of your driving record, you need experienced legal representation to make sure your rights are protected.

At Taubman Law we handle DUI/OVI cases every day. Our Cuyahoga County DUI site is a great resource for the rules and regulations in Ohio, and we are always happy to take a phone call or an email to help you get your case squared away. Dealing with an OVI or DUI is tough. Let us help.