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.