October 21, 2022 | DUI
You commit a DUI, known as OVI in Ohio, when you drive a vehicle on public roads under the influence of enough of an intoxicant to seriously impair your driving ability.
Typically, this means driving while intoxicated on alcohol with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. Ohio can also charge you with an OVI for driving under the influence of recreational drugs or even prescription medications.
Possible Ohio OVI penalties include:
- Incarceration (jail or prison);
- Suspension of your driver’s license;
- Mandatory alcohol or drug treatment;
- Mandatory installation of an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) on your car;
- “Restricted” license plates;
- Forfeiture of your vehicle; and
- A fee to reinstate your driver’s license.
Not every convicted DUI driver receives all of these penalties.
OVI defense lawyers utilize a variety of strategies to win dismissals and acquittals, including but not limited to the following defenses.
The “Rising BAC” Defense
Alcohol takes time to affect you. If you “chug” a glass of vodka at 8:00 pm, for example, you will be drunker at 8:20 than you were at 8:00. Suppose at 8:00 pm. your BAC is 0.06, and you drink vodka while driving to the convenience store. At 8:02, the police approach you in the convenience store parking lot, and they give you a Breathalyzer test at 8:20.
The Breathalyzer reads 0.081, and the police arrest you for DUI even though your BAC did not rise above 0.08 while you were actually driving. This scenario illustrates the essence of the rising BAC defense. This defense works best when your BAC is only slightly above the legal limit.
Illegal Traffic Stop
With the exception of DUI checkpoints, the police need either probable cause or reasonable suspicion to pull you over (depending on the circumstances). In short, the police cannot pull you over arbitrarily—they need a good reason.
If you can prove that the police had no right to pull you over, you can exclude from your trial all evidence that the police gathered as a consequence of improperly pulling you over. This might leave the prosecution with no evidence with which to convict you, resulting in the dismissal of your case.
Illegal DUI (OVI) Checkpoint
At a DUI checkpoint, the police stop all drivers and check for intoxication. Although DUI checkpoints are legal in Ohio, they are subject to restrictions. If the police violated these restrictions, your DUI charge could be thrown out of court.
Other Common OVI Defenses
Other common OVI defenses include:
- A malfunctioning Breathalyzer machine;
- You were sleeping in your (stopped) car when the police approached you (in most, but not all cases, this can be asserted as a defense);
- Your two Breathalyzer tests were very different from each other. If this happens, your lawyer can cast doubt on the accuracy of the tests.
Remember that the standard of proof is “beyond a reasonable doubt.” This means that all you have to do is raise reasonable doubt to win.
“Plea bargaining” means agreeing with the prosecutor to plead guilty to some or all charges against you in exchange for concessions from prosecutors. For example, you might agree to plead guilty to “wet reckless,” an offense that is similar to but less serious than OVI. In exchange, the prosecutor might agree to recommend that the judge accept your plea. The judge does not have to accept such a plea, but they usually do.
Remember: You are Innocent Until Proven Guilty
An experienced criminal defense lawyer knows how to force the prosecution to prove its case, and they know how to exploit weaknesses in the prosecution’s case. When you face a DUI, your life and your future are at stake. Doors of opportunity can close for you after conviction of even a first-offense OVI. Don’t try to represent yourself.
Contact the Cincinnati DUI Attorneys at Suhre & Associates, LLC For Help Today
Suhre & Associates, LLC – Cincinnati
600 Vine Street, Suite 1004
Cincinnati, OH 45202