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OVI Defense Archives

Ohio Law: When Drinking And Driving Becomes A Felony

Under Ohio law, an OVI charge is ordinarily a misdemeanor and not a felony. Unlike felonies, misdemeanors are not punishable by any prison time and the most serious misdemeanor is punishable by only up to six months of local jail time with a few exceptions. Under certain circumstances, however, operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol can elevate to felony charges.

Ohio's Sixth District Court Of Appeals Clarifies What Constitutes A Marked Lanes Violation

The Sixth District Court of Appeals in State v. Huffman, 2017 Ohio 7007, recently released a decision clarifying what constitutes a marked lanes violation. This case is valuable for criminal defense attorneys not only because it delineates what constitutes a traffic offense but also because many of our clients charged with OVI are often initially stopped for such a violation. The Court held that a violation of Revised Code ยง 4511.33, the marked lanes statute, occurs when a driver travels completely across the center line or fog line.

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.

An OVI Motion To Suppress

Last week, in an OVI suppression hearing, a local judge ordered all evidence of our client's alcohol impairment, including her incriminating statements and failed field sobriety tests to be suppressed, effectively protecting her from prosecution as a multiple OVI offender, and 3rd OVI offender in 6 years. Prior to the successful suppression hearing, our client faced a mandatory minimum sixty days in jail and up to one year incarceration. She also faced a mandatory license suspension between two and ten years, forfeiture of her vehicle, and additional sanctions. After the suppression hearing the charges were dismissed.

The Ohio Supreme Court Relaxes Refrigeration Requirements Of Blood And Urine Specimens

Last week, the Ohio Supreme Court in State v. Baker, reversed the trial and appellate courts' ruling that an unrefrigerated blood sample could not be used against Baker at trial. Baker had been charged with an OVI arising out of an accident that killed a pedestrian. At issue in the Court's decision was whether the state substantially complied with Ohio Administrative Code 3701-53-05(F), requiring blood and urine specimens to be refrigerated when not in transit or under examination.

New Changes Proposed For Ohio OVI Law

Currently, under Ohio law, a first-time OVI offender faces, amongst other penalties, a mandatory minimum six month driver's license suspension. During that suspension period, that person is eligible to obtain limited driving privileges for work, school, medical, court, treatment, and probation purposes only.

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