Appeal of an Ohio DUI Administrative License Suspension (ALS)

Article By Jeremiah Denslow | August 29, 2016

When an Ohio driver is arrested for drinking and driving after a roadside DUI field investigation, the police officer handling the investigation will generally take the suspect to the police station for breath testing.  Once at the station, the police officer will first inform the suspect of the consequences for refusing to take the test.  If the DUI suspect refuses to take the test, the police officer will immediately suspend the driver’s license for a one-year time period. If the DUI suspect takes the test and submits a breath sample of .08 blood alcohol content (BAC) or higher, the police officer will immediately suspend the driver’s license for a ninety days. That means that the State of Ohio can immediately suspend a person’s driver’s license at the time of the DUI incident, even before a suspect makes his first appearance in court.

It is important for a DUI defendant to retain a good DUI lawyer as soon as possible to help with the license suspension. There are many tools that a good DUI lawyer can utilize to mitigate the problems caused by an administrative DUI license suspension. This post is focused on just one—the DUI ALS Appeal, which must be utilized very quickly at the beginning of the case. An appeal of the administrative license suspension is very limited in nature and can only be filed for one of the following reasons:  (a) Whether the officer had reasonable grounds to believe the Ohio DUI suspect was operating a vehicle, or in control of the vehicle, while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and was placed under arrest; (b) Whether the police officer asked the suspected Ohio DUI driver to submit to the breath test; (c) Whether the police officer informed the Ohio DUI suspect of the consequences of refusing to take the breath test; and (d) Whether the Ohio DUI suspect refused the breath test or tested above the .08 BAC legal limit. Unfortunately, in Ohio, the DUI ALS appeal is a civil mechanism in most courts and so the burden is on the Ohio DUI driver to prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that one of the aforementioned issues was not done properly.

Once filed, the court will quickly schedule a hearing on the ALS appeal and the district attorney has the option of calling the police officer to testify or submitting his report as evidence. In either case, the suspected DUI driver will also have an opportunity to testify about the DUI incident and can submit other evidence to support the appeal including video footage, audio recordings and documentation. If the suspected DUI driver loses the appeal, the license suspension will continue in its entirety. However, if the DUI driver wins the appeal, the court will immediately terminate the suspension and reinstate the driver’s license.

No Ohio DUI arrest is perfect. Most DUI investigations include a number of witnesses, including police officers and the personnel who collect, store and test chemical samples.  As case law demonstrates time and time again, witnesses are human and they make mistakes. Further, most Ohio DUI investigations include a breath testing device or other testing equipment that is not always maintained according to current Ohio DUI regulations.

There are over 1 million laws in the United States. I am a top Ohio DUI/OVI defense lawyer who devotes his practice to ONE. Because of my experience and concentrated focus, I know the Ohio DUI/OVI laws better than most attorneys in the state. I am passionate about Ohio DUI/OVI defense and I get results, however, I only accept a limited number of clients. If you’re serious about your case and want a top Ohio DUI/OVI lawyer on your team, call me.