My DUI Blog

Pilot Charged for Flying Under the Influence Alcohol (FUI)

Article By Jeremiah Denslow | January 5, 2017
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A 37-year old Canadian pilot was recently arrested by local authorities after attempting to fly a passenger plan while under the influence of alcohol. The flight, run by Canadian airline Sunwing, was scheduled to fly from Calgary International Airport to Cancun, Mexico with a departure time of 7am. However, just before take-off, the flight crew noticed the pilot displaying erratic behavior before he passed out in the cockpit. As the pilot slept, other crew members called the authorities. After testing the pilot’s blood alcohol content, the Canadian police reported that the pilot had more than three times the legal limit of alcohol in his system, and that was a number of hours after his arrest.  The police proceeded to put the pilot in jail and charge him with one count of operating an aircraft while impaired and one count of operating an aircraft with blood alcohol level over 0.08%.

National Government spokesman said that it is a crime for a pilot to work within eight hours of drinking alcohol or while under the influence.  He added that Transport Canada is still investigating the incident. Police spokesman Paul Stacey said “It had all the potential for a disaster but I’ll tell you this much – the likelihood of a pilot on a major airline like this actually being able to take off when they’re impaired like that is pretty slim, because there’s a lot of checks and balances.” The case against the pilot is still pending and he has yet to be convicted of any criminal offense.

In the United States, there are safety regulations established by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that prohibit a pilot from operating an aircraft, or attempting to operate an aircraft: (a) within eight hours of consuming alcohol; (b) while under the influence of alcohol; (c) with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.04% or greater; and (d) while using any drug that adversely affects safety.   Ohio makes the infraction a criminal offense through use of the drinking and flying statute prohibited by R.C. 4561.15. The penalties include up to six months in jail and a $500 fine.

Interestingly, Ohio’s drinking and flying statute is just a few paragraphs long, which is extremely short when compared to Ohio’s drinking and driving statute. In addition, it is extremely vague. The law prohibits flying while “under the influence” but doesn’t include any language about specific per se limits that are included in the drinking and driving statute. As a result, it would be much easier for an experienced lawyer to defend someone charged with Flying while Under the Influence (FUI) as opposed to Driving while Under the Influence (DUI).


DUI for Driving Under the Influence of Caffeine?

Article By Jeremiah Denslow | January 4, 2017
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A man was recently charged by the state’s district attorney for driving under the influence or DUI. After the arrest, the driver submitted to a blood alcohol test and the lab found no alcohol in his system. In addition, the test found none of the other substances that are normally associated with drinking and driving such as marihuana, cocaine or heroin. Instead, the drug test revealed that the DUI suspect was driving while under the influence of……caffeine.

Joseph Schwab was stopped by police while driving in a California suburb half-way between San Francisco and Sacramento. According to a statement from the District Attorney’s Office, the officer at the scene was suspicious because of Schwab’s erratic driving, his “demeanor” and his performance on a number of field sobriety tests. However, when the blood test came back from the lab it revealed that Schwab wasn’t on any of the typical drugs associated with a DUI charge, but rather, was “high” on caffeine.

Experts say that although caffeine is defined as a drug, it isn’t typically associated with impaired driving. In fact, caffeine probably helps with driving since it improves alertness and athletic performance. Despite the foregoing, the District Attorney did not immediately dismiss the case, but rather argued that there must have been other drugs in Schwab’s system that did not register with the lab’s testing procedure. The District Attorney decided that based upon the officer’s description of Schwab’s behavior, he must have been high on something.

“No body believed me when I told them that I only had caffeine in my system until I showed them the lab results. At this point, I want the District Attorney to dismiss the charges,” said Schwab. Most top DUI lawyers recognize that Schwab’s case would be an easy winner for the defense. As such, in accordance with Schwab’s wishes, the DA relented and finally agreed to dismiss the case.  Score one for common sense.


Ohio CDL DUI: Defense Strategy for Commercial Drivers

Article By Jeremiah Denslow | December 22, 2016
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Jeremiah Denslow understands that a drinking and driving charge can have serious consequences for anyone, however, Ohio’s commercial drivers face some of the most significant penalties of all. For example, an Ohio CDL DUI and the ALS suspension that accompanies most DUI charges brings an automatic one-year suspension of a driver’s commercial driver license. Worse yet, Ohio law does not permit commercial drivers to utilize driving privileges for work. That means when a commercial driver is charged with a CDL DUI and a DUI ALS suspension, they are automatically sentenced to a full year out of work and with no income. Keep in mind, the CDL DUI ALS suspension often stays in place even when the underlying CDL DUI charges are eventually dismissed.

So what should an Ohio commercial driver do when cited for CDL DUI and given a CDL DUI administrative license suspension? They should immediately retain a top Ohio CDL DUI lawyer to appeal the suspension. There are many reasons for a CDL DUI ALS appeal, including: (a) whether the police officer had reasonable grounds to believe the Ohio commercial driver and CDL DUI suspect was under the influence of alcohol; (b) whether the police officer had reasonable grounds to believe the Ohio commercial driver and CDL DUI suspect was driving a vehicle on property used by the public for travel or parking; (c) whether the police officer requested the Ohio commercial driver and CDL DUI suspect to submit to the chemical test; (d) whether the police officer informed the Ohio CDL DUI suspect of the consequences of refusing to be tested or of submitting to the test; (e) whether the commercial driver and Ohio CDL DUI suspect provided a test above the legal limit; or conversely (f) whether the Ohio commercial driver and CDL DUI suspect refused the test; and (g) whether the Ohio CDL DUI suspect was within the state of Ohio when the incident occurred.

While it may initially seem like the basis for appeal is limited, a good CDL DUI defense attorney can employ a little creativity to appeal on other grounds as well. The lawyer simply needs to modify the language of their argument so that it fits the law that regulates CDL DUI ALS appeals. For example, many police departments, for whatever reason, use old BMV 2255 forms when following ALS protocol. For those that don’t know, the BMV 2255 form is a two page document that a police officer is required to complete before/during/after administering a CDL DUI chemical test or breath test to a CDL DUI suspect. The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles publishes an updated 2255 form every few years to reflect changes in law.  The old forms will typically contain incorrect information as they relate to things like the length of a suspension and the consequences of a refusal/high test for Ohio CDL holders.

Thus, if the police officer administering a breathalyzer to an Ohio CDL holder and CDL DUI suspect uses a 2010 version of the BMV 2255 form, the warnings given to the CDL driver will be erroneous as a matter of law. Numerous courts have determined that when a commercial driver is erroneously advised regarding the consequences of refusing to submit to a chemical test for alcohol, the CDL holder’s consent is involuntary, and the chemical test or breathalyzer is inadmissible. Other courts have decided that this particular police error vitiates ANY action taken by the Ohio commercial driver and CDL DUI suspect in response to such information. For an ALS appeal, the incorrect warnings mean the police officer didn’t properly inform the Ohio commercial driver and DUI suspect of the consequences of refusing to be tested. Therefore, the DUI administrative license suspension will be terminated and the CDL returned to the Ohio commercial driver and CDL DUI suspect.

This simple strategy shows how Ohio’s commercial drivers can keep their CDL when facing a DUI and an ALS.  It’s really that simple.


Jeremiah Denslow Recognized as Premier Ohio Trial Attorney 2017

Article By OhioDUIDude |
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The National Academy of Jurisprudence recently recognized Jeremiah as “one of the Premier 100 trial attorneys for Ohio for 2017.” The National Academy of Jurisprudence reports that it is an invitation only professional organization comprised of premier trial attorneys located throughout the nation. The organization reports that it extends invitations exclusively to  trial attorneys who have met stringent qualifications and who have shown exemplary representation of their clients as a premier trial attorney.

 

 


Cincinnati Lawyer gets DUI Case Dismissed/Reduced to Physical Control

Article By Jeremiah Denslow | December 21, 2016
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I recently represented a client in a very popular southwest Ohio municipal court. My client was facing a charge of drinking and driving and failure to control. The facts showed that she had fallen asleep at the wheel and was still passed out when law enforcement found her in her automobile. The officers quickly took my client into custody, towed her car and processed her for a DUI charge.

When I initially spoke to the client in the next few days, she was worried about the impact that a DUI conviction would have on her future. She has a nursing license with the Ohio Board of Nursing and a conviction could mean dire consequences. In addition, she currently works in the medical profession and an Ohio DUI conviction could have harmful repercussions on future employment prospects.

Fortunately, after a handful of appearances in court, we were able to work out a deal with the prosecuting attorney to dismiss/reduce the DUI charge in exchange for a plea to Physical Control, a non-moving violation that doesn’t carry a mandatory license suspension.  In the end, the client learned a very valuable lesson and was extremely happy with the result. For me, it was personally rewarding to be able to help another client through a difficult situation.

Every Ohio case is different so it’s imperative to understand that past results are not a guarantee of future success. However, many DUI investigations include at least a few mistakes made by law enforcement that can lead to a dismissal or reduction of an Ohio DUI charge. A good Ohio DUI lawyer can identify the mistakes. A better Ohio DUI lawyer can use those mistakes to develop a solid pre-trial and trial strategy. So what can the best do? The best Ohio DUI lawyers can turn that strategy into a DUI dismissal or reduction of the DUI case. If you want an Ohio DUI lawyer who focuses his practice on Ohio DUI defense, consider calling me for a free consultation. 844-DUI-DUDE.


DUI Charges Dismissed Against Former Ohio State Quarterback Troy Smith

Article By OhioDUIDude | November 3, 2016
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I still remember watching Troy Smith when he was at Ohio State running the offense for legendary Buckeyes coach Jim Tressel.  The All-American Heisman winning quarterback is one of my all-time favorite Ohio State players. He went 3-0 against Michigan in his career and the 42-39 victory over Michigan in 2006 was probably the best college football game I’ve ever seen.

Unfortunately, on April 3, 2016, the Buckeye star was arrested for DUI in Columbus Ohio. The incident occurred at approximately 2:30am and the case was processed in Westerville Mayor’s Court. On the night of the quarterback’s arrest, law enforcement stopped him for poor driving and a minor equipment violation. After the initial interaction, officers became suspicious that Smith was under the influence and asked him to perform field sobriety testing. While Troy agreed to perform the field sobriety testing, including the HGN test, walk and turn test and one leg stand, officer’s report that he didn’t perform very well.  Further, the former NFL player was unable to recite the alphabet in accordance with the officer’s instructions and he actually identified himself as “officer” when the police asked him his name.

After law enforcement placed the Ohio State star under arrest, he agreed to take a breathalyzer and tested at .143 blood alcohol content, well above Ohio’s legal limit to drive.  He was cited for: (a) one count of Columbus DUI for the high breath test; (b) a second count of Columbus DUI for an (A)(1)(a) violation of impaired driving; and (c) an equipment violation for not having a front license plate on his vehicle.

Once the news hit the wire, coverage of the incident quickly went nation-wide with media outlets like ESPN, USA Today and Fox News reporting the story. Video footage of the stop and arrest was widely circulated as well, with evidence of the quarterback’s impairment being fairly obvious. Troy was an All-American hero at Ohio State, however, it’s hard to imagine that he wasn’t embarrassed for the behavior that’s captured in the cruiser cam video.

Interestingly, a lot of people may not realize that Troy’s drinking and driving charge was eventually reduced to a reckless operation. That’s right, Troy Smith was never convicted of a DUI in that case. While some media outlets reported the dismissal, it didn’t get near the attention or coverage that his arrest received.

Fortunately for Troy, he obtained the assistance of a top Columbus Ohio DUI lawyer to help him with the case. Had he gone into court and pled guilty to DUI at his first court appearance, the Westerville Mayor’s Court could have sentenced Troy to six month in jail and suspended his Ohio driver’s license for three years. However, he was smart and retained a good DUI lawyer who was able to get two of the charged dismissed (DUI and equipment violation) and the remaining DUI charge reduced to a reckless operation.

But Smith’s Columbus DUI lawyer did more than just get his DUI charges dismissed and reduced, he secured a very reasonable sentence for his client as well. Troy was sentence to just three days in a driver intervention program, one year unsupervised probation and a six month driver’s license suspension. Further, the Columbus DUI court gave Smith driving privileges for work, classes, and medical appointments.

I’m happy that Troy’s DUI lawyer was able to get a good resolution for him. I firmly believe that otherwise law abiding people generally deserve a break in these types of cases, absent extreme circumstances. Hopefully, Smith learns a lesson from the incident and his fans remember the highlights from his remarkable Ohio State career as opposed to this mistake in judgment he made in 2016.


DUI Warrants Leave Ohio Drivers Ineligible to Renew License

Article By OhioDUIDude | November 1, 2016
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As most Ohio drivers know, every four years we’re required to renew our driver license with the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles. Well imagine a scenario where you go to your local BMV in an effort to try to renew your license and the clerk tells you there is a warrant block on your license. The clerk further tells you that he is unable to renew your license until you get the warrant block “lifted” or “removed” from your record. I get calls like that occasionally from Ohio drivers who want to know how this could happen and why it happened to them.

I tell them that a warrant block isn’t an accident or some type of random selection program run by the BMV. Rather, the Ohio Revised Code, section 4507.091 permits Ohio municipal courts to request a warrant block for any Ohio driver who has a warrant pending in that particular court.  What typically happens is as follows….First, a driver is cited by law enforcement for drinking and driving or another Ohio moving violation. Second, for whatever reason, the Ohio driver fails to pay or appear for the citation and the court issues a warrant for the driver’s arrest. The municipal court then notifies the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles of the warrant and also notifies the BMV of the driver’s name, address and additional information. At that point in time, the Ohio BMV enters the offender’s name into a particular database and is forbidden by law from giving that person a driver license when it comes time to renew.

If the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles follows the law as written, the agency is also required to send the driver written notification on the front end, that is, at the time they are initially notified that a warrant was issued against the Ohio driver.  However, most callers that contact me with questions about this issue insist they never received such notification.

Fortunately, this is a simple issue that most good DUI lawyers can resolve fairly quickly and easily. When a client retains me in these situations, I immediately contact the court to let the court staff know that I’m representing the driver in the underlying DUI case. I then remind the court staff that there is a warrant pending for my client’s failure to appear in court and ask them to lift the warrant. Virtually every time I do this, the court withdraws the warrant and notifies the Ohio BMV that the warrant was withdrawn, essentially taking the client’s name out of the BMV’s database. It’s a very quick process and my client can immediately proceed to renew his license with the Ohio BMV. It’s that simple. We then proceed to tackle the major challenges in the underlying DUI case.

There are over 1 million laws in the United States. I am a top Ohio DUI/OVI defense lawyer who devotes his entire 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 anytime.


Statute of Limitations Can be Used to Get Ohio DUI Dismissed

Article By Jeremiah Denslow | October 11, 2016
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Ohio Revised Code section 2901.13 sets forth the statute of limitations for all Ohio criminal and traffic offenses. The law states that prosecution for an Ohio DUI shall be barred unless it is commenced within the following periods after an offense is committed: (a) for a felony DUI, six years; (b) for a misdemeanor DUI, two years. That means a good DUI lawyer should be able to get the case dismissed if the police wait too long to file charges against an Ohio DUI suspect.

The statute of limitations rarely comes into play in an Ohio DUI case because most citations are issued at the time of the offense, or in the moments immediately after. However, in some situations, the police don’t immediately charge a suspected Ohio DUI driver on the night of the incident. Sometimes, the police delay the case. When the police delay a DUI case, it is generally because law enforcement is waiting on results from a blood test or urine test that a suspected DUI driver took as part of the DUI investigation.

In these cases, law enforcement generally arrest a suspect at the location of the DUI traffic stop, drive the suspect to another location for blood testing or urine testing, and then release the suspect. They don’t immediately file the drinking and driving citation with the local court as they would in breath testing cases or (A)(1)(a) cases because they aren’t yet sure if they have a solid case. Rather, they are forced to wait for the DUI test results.

When the test results come back from the lab, law enforcement would normally file the DUI citation in the local court soon after. However, in rare situations, the lab may lose track of the blood/urine sample or the police may lose track of the test results for months or even years after the offense. In those rare cases, a DUI defendant may be able to utilize the statute of limitations as a defense to their DUI charge.

Unfortunately for this line of defense, a close review of Ohio’s statute of limitations reveals that the prosecution merely has to be commenced, not completed, within the time limitations set forth above. The statute goes on to state that a prosecution is commenced on the date an indictment is filed, a warrantless arrest is made, or on the date a citation is issued. Since virtually all DUI prosecutions start with an arrest immediately after a traffic stop or a citation given after a failed breath test, this would seemingly render the statute of limitations useless in most Ohio DUI cases.

Fortunately, some Ohio appellate courts have determined that an arrest and release does not amount to the commencement of prosecution. (This is helpful for a good DUI lawyer trying to utilize the statute of limitations defense.) As a result, even though DUI suspects are typically arrested at the time of the DUI incident, given appellate case law for guidance, the trial court may be willing to overlook that fact in reviewing a motion to dismiss based upon the statute of limitations.

If a motion to dismiss based upon the statute of limitations doesn’t work, a good DUI lawyer will also explore a dismissal based upon the government’s failure to comply with the constitutional right to a speedy trial. As stated above, the analysis starts with the question of whether a prosecution commenced or started at the time of the DUI incident and arrest. If the court determines that it DID NOT start at that time, then the prosecutor is required to file misdemeanor DUI charges within two years of the incident. In Ohio felony DUI cases, charges must be filed within six years from the date of the offense. If the case is filed later than that, a good DUI defense lawyer can get the case dismissed.

On the other hand, if the trial court believes that prosecution commenced at the time of the DUI incident and arrest, the prosecution is forced to comply with an Ohio defendant’s speedy trial rights. In Ohio DUI cases, the speedy trial time is set forth by Ohio Revised Code section 2945.71. For misdemeanor DUI, the speedy trial time is ninety days. For felony DUI, the speedy trial time is two hundred seventy days. As you can see, the speedy trial time is much quicker than the statute of limitations—a mere ninety days. As such, while the statute of limitations can be a good way to get a DUI case dismissed, most top DUI lawyers will find greater success with a strategy based upon a violation of a DUI defendant’s right to speedy trial than a violation of the statute of limitations.

If you’re reading this because you’re a defendant in an Ohio DUI case, please consult with an Ohio lawyer well-versed in Ohio DUI cases. While the Ohio DUI laws may seem straight forward, there is more to them than meets the eye. For example, the two different types of Ohio DUI defenses discussed above aren’t found anywhere in the Ohio DUI statute. Rather, like many other helpful DUI defense tools, they are hidden elsewhere in the tens of thousands of pages of Ohio law. For a thorough analysis of your DUI case, it’s important to find an Ohio DUI lawyer who has a full understanding of all Ohio DUI laws and regulations.

There are over 1 million laws in the United States. I am a top Ohio DUI/OVI defense lawyer who devotes his entire 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 anytime.