Ohio law enforcement recently concluded their latest crackdown on impaired driving and drunk driving, and motorists across the state were put on notice with billboards and other ads announcing the "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign. Checkpoints and targeted enforcement of certain highways were intended to increase drunk driving arrests leading up to and through the Labor Day holiday.
The U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) coordinated the campaign nationwide to warn drivers that DUI/OVI charges await those who drive drunk. NHTSA provides a series of data to explain the risks of drunk driving arrests:
- 1.4 million Americans were arrested on suspicion of drunk driving in 2009
- Nearly 11,000 people die in drunk-driving related crashes each year
- Nearly 200 die each year over Labor Day weekend due to driver intoxication
At the heart of the ad campaign is the notion that police see you before you see them. A series of creative public service announcements planted "invisible" cops and patrol cars in typical public settings to reinforce awareness that enforcement is around every corner.
Labor Day is a high travel weekend, and AAA estimates that more than 30 million Americans travel 50 miles or more from home to celebrate the end of summer. When those plans end in an arrest for drinking and driving, a driver faces an OVI prosecution and a series of consequences, from steep fines to suspension of a driver's license.
As important as public awareness of intoxicated driving may be, a person can drive sober and still get pulled over. A series of important issues will affect whether that driver suffers the full force of the law or successfully defends against an OVI conviction. A DUI defense lawyer can help a client understand the significance of:
- Field sobriety tests that increased an officer's suspicions
- Improperly calibrated or unreliable breathalyzer results
- Previous OVI convictions
- Intoxicated driving charges involving prescriptions drugs or marijuana
- The effects of an OVI conviction on a truck driver with a commercial driver's license
Whether a driver was swept up in a police dragnet or arrested at any other time, seeking clear legal advice from an OVI defense attorney can reveal the wisdom of fighting charges to minimize the consequences or beat a conviction outright.