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What should I do if I have been stopped by the police after I have been drinking?

The penalties for people convicted of drunk driving have never been more severe. A conviction for operating a vehicle under the influence in Ohio can land a person in jail, lead to expensive fines, cause the person's license to be suspended and require them to enroll in treatment classes. The penalties can be more severe depending on a number of factors, including prior convictions, higher blood alcohol content levels and more.

Watch our video on the best way to conduct yourself during a police stop if you have been drinking.

Anyone stopped by police on suspicion of driving under the influence is right to be worried. If you have been drinking and the police stop you, you should do all of the following: 

  • Present your driver's license, proof of insurance and vehicle registration. Have them ready for the officer as quickly as possible.
  • Be polite. Many people report being nervous, scared, upset or even angry after being pulled over. Regardless of how you are feeling inside, your demeanor should be calm and polite.
  • Be aware that you are being recorded. During a stop, you are on camera. Your voice is being recorded. Your body language is being recorded. Everything you say and do can be introduced as evidence if there is an OVI trial in your future.
  • Refuse ALL tests. You have the right to refuse the breathalyzer, as well as the right to refuse blood or urine testing. You also have the right to refuse the field sobriety test. If you have been drinking, you are better off refusing these tests than taking them.

There are legal consequences for refusing the breath, blood or urine test. You should contact an attorney as soon as possible to begin preparing your defense and mitigating the consequences of the stop. Call Rittgers & Rittgers in Ohio to get started on your OVI defense. 

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