My DUI Blog

Ohio DUI Administrative License Suspensions (ALS)

Article By Jeremiah Denslow | August 26, 2016
JeremiahDenslow2

I get a lot of calls from potential new clients that have been cited with a DUI charge in the last 48-72 hours. The callers are generally seeking a top Ohio DUI defense lawyer to represent them in court. However, they’re also looking for immediate assistance in getting their license back. One might wonder how their license was suspended so quickly when the DUI incident just occurred in the last few days and they haven’t even been to court. Here’s how…..

When a police officer arrests a suspected DUI driver in Ohio, the officer will almost always ask the driver to submit to a breath test to determine the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC). This is where the suspected DUI driver must make a crucial decision: To test or not to test. Without getting into the factors one should consider in making such a decision, one of two things happens: (1) the suspected DUI driver agrees to take the test; or (2) the suspected DUI driver declines to take the test.

Ohio DUI Driver Agrees to Take the Breath Test and Tests Below the Legal Limit

In Ohio, if the suspected DUI driver takes the test and provides a breath sample that is below .08 blood alcohol content, the suspect is generally (but not always) released from police custody and the incident is over. Police will not generally pursue charges against an Ohio DUI suspect who tests below the legal threshold of a per se DUI. In addition, the police do not issue an administrative DUI license suspension in these cases because the law does not allow it.

Ohio DUI Driver Agrees to Take the Breath Test and Tests Above the Legal Limit

If the suspected DUI driver takes the test and provides a breath sample that is above .08 blood alcohol content, the police officer will immediately impose an administrative DUI license suspension on the DUI suspect’s driver’s license. The license suspension will last for ninety days from the date of the incident, however, the driver is legally eligible for driving privileges after the first fifteen days. Keep in mind, just because an Ohio driver is legally eligible for driving privileges doesn’t necessarily mean a court is going to grant them. That being said, a good Ohio DUI lawyer can usually secure driving privileges for their clients.

Ohio DUI Driver Declines to Take the Breath Test

In Ohio, if the suspected DUI driver declines to take the test, the police officer will impose an administrative license suspension that takes effect immediately. For a first time Ohio DUI, or DUI first offense, the license suspension lasts a full year from the date of the incident and the driver is eligible for driving privileges after the first thirty days of the suspension. If you’ve reviewed this post closely, you’ll recognize that a failed breath test gets the driver a mere ninety day suspension while a refusal, even if the driver is completely sober, carries a license suspension that lasts a full year. It doesn’t seem fair, however, it’s clear that the Ohio legislature wanted to give suspected DUI drivers an incentive to take the test, rather than refuse to take it. It never fails to surprise me when potential clients tell me that they were intoxicated and knew they would fail the test, yet they still made the decision to take the test. When I ask why, I find that most of the time it’s because the potential new client wanted a shorter license suspension.

Fortunately, there are ways to mitigate an administrative license suspension in Ohio DUI cases.  Good DUI lawyers have a number of tools at their disposal, including the following: (a) an ALS appeal; (b) an ALS stay; (c) vacating an ALS; and (d) ALS driving privileges. Depending on the circumstances, a good DUI lawyer may decide to simultaneously pursue more than one such method.

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 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.


Jeremiah Denslow Named Dayton’s Top DUI Defense Lawyer

Article By Jeremiah Denslow | August 19, 2016
JeremiahDenslow2

 

Jeremiah Denslow was recently named Dayton Ohio’s top DUI defense lawyer by a website called Best-DWI-Attorneys.net. The author of the website wrote the following:

If you have been accused of an OVI or DUI in Dayton, Ohio, look no further than Attorney Jeremiah Denslow. Known as the “DUI DUDE,” he is a trial lawyer with years of experience in OVI and DUI law and is known as an aggressive legal advocate. His main goal is to protect the best interests of his clients and fight to get their charges completely dropped. If you have been charged with an OVI or DUI in Ohio, you are staring down serious penalties. No case is too complex for his skilled defense. Do not hesitate to seek help from “The DUI DUDE” in Dayton.

You can see the full page here:
https://best-dwi-attorneys.net/ovi/ohio/dayton/


What Happens When An Out-of-State Driver Gets an Ohio DUI?

Article By Jeremiah Denslow |
JeremiahDenslow2

I recently had a conversation with a New York driver who was charged and convicted of DUI while in Columbus Ohio watching an Ohio State game. We’ll call her Hilary. The facts of her case were not particularly egregious and she was sentenced accordingly. Her sentence included suspended jail time, three days in a treatment program, a $500 fine and a one-year out of state driver’s license suspension.  After Hilary finished court and returned to New York, she was unaware of how to obtain driving privileges. Instead of contacting an experienced DUI lawyer in New York to figure out what to do, she simply ignored the license suspension and continued driving.

After about two or three weeks of being home in New York, a state trooper pulled Hilary over for a minor traffic violation. As the officer approached her vehicle, Hilary began to freak out about the out of state DUI license suspension that was issued in her Ohio DUI case. She was scared of being ticketed for driving under a DUI suspension and possibly arrested. When the officer arrived at her car, he predictably asked her for license and proof of insurance. Hilary dutifully complied, giving the officer both. The officer returned to his cruiser for what seemed like an eternity, after which he came back to her vehicle, issued her a warning for speeding and let her continue on her way.  The officer even said he was giving her a break because of her impeccable driving record. Thrilled but perplexed, Hilary contacted the New York Department of Motor Vehicles to find out if she somehow had a valid New York driver’s license despite the out of state DUI suspension from Ohio. She was elated to learn that she still had a valid license.

Hilary rushed home and called me wanting to know how she had been so lucky?  Here is what I told her: First, it is important to recognize that, on their own, states do not have the authority to suspend a driver’s license issued by another state. That means an Ohio court cannot suspend a driver’s license issued by the state of New York. That being said, most states in the country, including New York, are members of the Interstate Driver’s License Compact. The Compact is legislation between states that says New York will enforce Ohio’s DUI law by suspending a New York license when the license holder, in this case Hilary, is issued an out of state license suspension by an Ohio court.

But…..it’s important to remember that the wheels of justice turn slowly and sometimes not at all. Clearly, the Compact requires the states to communicate with one another but it is vague as to how quickly the information should be reported. Specifically, the Compact states that “the licensing authority of a party state shall report each conviction of a person from another party state occurring within its jurisdiction to the licensing authority of the home state of the licensee. Such report shall clearly identify the person convicted; describe the violation specifying the section of the statute, code, or ordinance violated; identify the court in which action was taken; indicate whether a plea of guilty or not guilty was entered, or the security; and shall include any special findings made in connection therewith.”

Again there is no specificity in regards to how quickly the out of state Ohio DUI suspension is to be reported to New York. I’ve seen cases where the state of Ohio reports a DUI conviction to a defendant’s home state in as little as three or four weeks. I’ve also seen cases where the out of state Ohio DUI suspension takes six months to be reported or never gets reported at all. You just never know. In this case, Hilary was lucky, however, the suspension is likely to find her eventually.

So how is Hilary supposed to know when her suspension goes into effect?  Here is what I told her: Once New York receives notification of the out of state Ohio DUI license suspension, the New York Bureau of Motor Vehicles will send formal notification to her explaining the she is subject to a DUI license suspension. The notification will inform her that the out of state DUI license suspension will commence in approximately thirty to sixty days. However, the notice also gives Hilary the opportunity to appeal or contest the suspension. At that point, Hilary can contact a top DUI lawyer where she lives to go to court to appeal the suspension. Many times, an experienced DUI attorney can get the out of state DUI suspension terminated or significantly shortened. At the very least, the DUI lawyer can obtain driving privileges so that the driver can go to/from work, school and medical appointments.


Parents Can Help Their College Freshman Avoid Alcohol Abuse

Article By Jeremiah Denslow | August 1, 2016
JeremiahDenslow2

 

Do you have a son or daughter who is leaving for college in Ohio this fall? If so, there’s only a few weeks left before the start of the fall semester and your emotions are probably starting to amplify. First and foremost, most parents feel extremely proud of their child and happy to see them embark on this exciting journey. However, it’s also very common for parents to grieve the fact that their son or daughter is about to leave home after the first eighteen years of their life.  In addition, parents generally feel some level of anxiety about their child’s future welfare—whether they’ll make a healthy transition to this new environment, fit in socially and do well academically. If you’re the parent of a soon-to-be Ohio college freshman and feeling a flood of these emotions, try to take solace in the fact that you’re not alone.

There are many things you can do to prepare for the upcoming departure and help your son or daughter make the transition, one of which is to educate yourself about drug and alcohol abuse on college campus. Many parents aren’t aware how prevalent substance abuse can be on Ohio college campuses. Drinking at college has become a ritual that students often see as an integral part of their higher education experience. Many Ohio students go to college with established drinking habits, and the college environment can amplify drinking problems. The Washington Post reports that more than eighty percent of college students drink alcohol, and almost fifty percent report binge drinking.

In fact, there are many disturbing statistics that reflect the problems caused by college drinking: (1) Approximately 2000 college students die from alcohol-related injuries every year, including motor vehicle accidents; (2) Approximately 600,000 college students are unintentionally injured each year while under the influence of alcohol; (3) Approximately 700,000 college students are assaulted by impaired students every year: (4) Approximately 97,000 college students are victims of alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape on college campuses each year; (5) Approximately twenty five percent of college students report academic consequences of drinking alcohol, including missing classes, performing poorly on exams, and receiving lower grades than non-drinking students; (6) Approximately 3.5 million college students drink and drive on college campuses each year; (7) Approximately 110,000 college students are arrested for an alcohol-related violation each year, including public intoxication or DUI; (8) Approximately one-third of all college students meet the clinical criteria for alcohol abuse.

So what can parents of an Ohio college freshman do to help their son or daughter avoid the perils of alcohol abuse? A Federal Task Force of the National Advisory Council on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism published a study entitled A Call to Action: Changing the Culture of Drinking at U.S. Colleges. In it, the group reports the following advice: (1) Pay close attention to your son’s or daughter’s college activities during their first six weeks on campus. With a great deal of free time and no parental supervision, many Ohio college students start binge drinking during the first few weeks of college. Not surprisingly, excessive alcohol consumption can interfere with successful adaptation to life on an Ohio college campus. Parents should know that approximately one-third of first-year students drop out of Ohio colleges after their first year; (2) Find out if your Ohio college offers a freshman orientation program that educates incoming students about campus policies related to alcohol use. If there is, attend with your son or daughter, or at least be familiar with the program and encourage your son or daughter to make a visit; (3) Make sure that your son or daughter understands the penalties for underage drinking in Ohio, DUI/OVI, public intoxication, using a fake ID, drinking and driving, assault, disorderly conduct and other alcohol-related offenses; (4) Call your Ohio college freshman frequently during their first few months of college to inquire and ask about their social activities; (5) If possible, stay in touch with school administration and make sure you understand the Ohio university’s “parental notification” policy. If your son or daughter gets charged with student DUI/OVI or another alcohol-related offense, you probably want to know about it right away.

Hopefully, you can utilize these recommendations to ease the emotional uncertainty that comes with having a son or daughter go away to college. More importantly, educating your child about the dangers of excessive alcohol or drug use may be the difference between success or failure in this next stage of their lives. Best of luck to all parents who are going through this exciting journey with their children.


False Ohio DUI Arrest For Woman With 0.00 BAC

Article By Jeremiah Denslow | July 15, 2016
JeremiahDenslow2

A South Carolina woman traveling through Chillicothe Ohio spent three days in jail after being falsely arrested for DUI by the Ohio State Highway Patrol. South Carolina citizen, Catrena Green, was traveling to Walmart at approximately 10:30 pm to get some food on a Sunday evening.  Traveling in the opposite direction was an Ohio State Highway Trooper who saw that Green was violating an Ohio traffic law by failing to dim her high beams as she approached oncoming traffic. He soon pulled her over and asked her why she was driving with her high beams, but also stating that she hadn’t done anything else wrong. Green responded that it was dark, there were no streetlights and she was just trying to be careful.

During the traffic stop, the Ohio Trooper stated he didn’t smell alcohol or drugs and he didn’t see anything suspicious in Greens’ vehicle. However, because her pupils appeared restricted, the Ohio Trooper decided to elevate the routine traffic stop to a DUI investigation. Green denied drinking or using drugs and repeatedly said the only thing she consumed that evening was water, however, the Ohio Trooper began a series of field sobriety tests on the suspected DUI driver. He began with the horizontal-gaze nystagmus test (HGN test), which involves moving a stimulus from side to side while the suspected DUI driver follows it with her eyes. The purpose of the test is to check a person’s ability to follow directions and also detects whether nystagmus is present. Nystagmus is “an involuntary jerking of the eye” that is a common indicator of impairment. As the Ohio Trooper conducted the test, Green was unable to follow the pen with her eyes. After trying a second time with the same results, the Ohio Trooper confronted the suspected DUI driver saying “You’ve taken something else. I mean, you’re, you’re just completely dazed off there for a second.” Green explained that she was tired, and the Trooper said that she should still be able to perform the tests, even if she was tired.

The Ohio Trooper tried once more to administer the HGN test on the suspected drunk driver, but without success. As a result, he conceded that her eyes did not show nystagmus. The Ohio Trooper decided to move onto another DUI field sobriety test, the alphabet and numbers tests, which is a non-standard field sobriety test. The Trooper first instructed Green to recite the alphabet, beginning with the letter “L” and ending with the letter “S.” She did so without difficulty or showing any signs of impairment. The Ohio Trooper than instructed the DUI suspect to count backward from 57 to 42. She was able to do this as well, without showing any signs of impairment. The Trooper said that Green talked slowly and slurred her words, however, the Court that reviewed the video of the stop reported that the DUI suspect’s speech was neither slow nor slurred.

Despite a continued lack of evidence that the Ohio DUI suspect consumed alcohol or drugs, the State Highway Trooper decided to continue with more field sobriety testing. The next test was the one-leg-stand, which requires a person to stand on one leg while counting for approximately thirty seconds. This field sobriety test is known as a “divided attention skills test” because it shows whether the suspected DUI driver can maintain balance while following instructions. While the driver was able to count appropriately during the test, she was unable to maintain her balance. The final field sobriety test that the Ohio Trooper administered on the DUI suspect was the last of the three standardized field sobriety tests, the walk-and turn test. The Trooper described the sobriety test as follows: I instruct the Ohio DUI suspect to stand with her arms down to her side, place her left foot in front of her right, heel to toe, and to hold that position while I finish the instructions. I then advise the Ohio DUI suspect to walk an imaginary line, heel to toe, counting each step out loud. I told her to take nine steps down, turn around through the use of a number of small steps and then walk back in the same manner. Unfortunately, the video recording of the test does not show the Ohio DUI suspect’s full performance as it only showed the upper portion of her body. The court that reviewed the video stated that the DUI suspect swayed slightly and used her arms for balance during the test but it did not show anything else that would indicate impairment.

After the walk-and-turn test, the Ohio Trooper tried one last time to examine Green’s eyes using the HGN test. Again he was unsuccessful and there is no indication that nystagmus was present. As a final attempt to get some evidence that Green was guilty of an Ohio DUI/OVI, the Trooper confronted her by accusing her of using drugs. Again, she adamantly denied drug or alcohol use.  The Ohio Trooper then arrested Green for drinking and driving or OVI. The Trooper called a number of his fellow officers to the scene to search the DUI suspect’s vehicle but found no evidence of alcohol or drugs. A K9 dog even circled the suspect’s SUV but did not alert to the presence of alcohol or drugs. After being arrested and taken to the Chillicothe Jail on an Ohio DUI charge, she submitted to a drug test that was sent to the lab for testing. When the test results came back, the DUI suspect was vindicated as there were no drugs or alcohol in her system. The case against her was dismissed. Unfortunately, Green ended up spending over two days in jail before being released.

So what does all this mean for drivers suspected of committing DUI/OVI in Ohio? It means that officers sometimes charge people with DUI when they’re innocent. It means that a charge of DUI does not necessarily equate to being guilty of DUI. There is no question that the Trooper acted within the law when he stopped Green for a traffic violation, even though the violation was a minor one. The question is whether he had enough evidence to elevate the routine traffic stop to a DUI investigation. Ohio law allows police officers to detain a suspect long enough to issue a traffic citation but no more in most circumstances. To detain a person longer in order to conduct an Ohio DUI investigation requires reasonable suspicion that the suspect has engaged in further criminal conduct like DUI. While the standard of reasonable suspicion is not as high as probable cause, it requires more than a “hunch.”  It requires specific and articulable facts, which, taken together with rational inferences from those facts, reasonably warrant the continued detention of a motorist after a traffic stop.

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 this case clearly illustrates, these 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.


Ohio DUI Defense: DUI Entrapment

Article By Jeremiah Denslow | July 14, 2016
JeremiahDenslow2

There is a serious battle against drinking and driving in Ohio and it’s not difficult to see why: (1) The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reports that almost 30 million U.S. citizens admitted to drinking and driving in the 2013; (2) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that there are over 300,000 drinking and driving incidents every day in America; and (3) The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 27 people die in America every day as a result of drunk driving.

Clearly there is a legitimate public interest in trying to prevent drunk driving in Ohio and the rest of the nation. However, it’s important to recognize that many times, innocent citizens are wrongfully accused of drinking and driving. In addition, there are often extenuating circumstances that may explain a driver’s behavior and help the rest of us understand why the person would drive drunk. Occasionally, law enforcement officers are responsible for a drunk driver getting behind the wheel. This rarity is called DUI entrapment.

In a Wisconsin DUI entrapment case, Travis Peterson, a fan of the Dave Matthews Band, had too much to drink when he went to see his favorite band play at a nearby venue in Milwaukee. Instead of trying to drive home after the show, Peterson decided to avoid a DUI and sleep it off in his car.  At some point, Peterson was awoken by a State Highway Trooper who reported that he had to bang on Peterson’s car window for up to seven minutes, shine a flashlight in his face and turn on the his siren and lights before Peterson woke. Peterson said that the Trooper then ordered him to drive home so they could clear and close the parking lot near the venue. Given the circumstances, the officer should have known that he was ordering Peterson to drive under the influence of alcohol, and in doing so, breaking the law.

Shortly after Peterson drove out of the Milwaukee parking lot, he was arrested by a second Trooper for drinking and driving. Peterson lost the DUI case at the trial court level and appealed the decision to a Wisconsin Court of Appeals. The appellate court commended Peterson for doing the right thing by trying to sleep it off, and said the trial court was wrong not to let him argue that police had entrapped him for DUI. As a result, the case was reversed and remanded to the trial court for a new DUI trial where Peterson would be allowed to use the DUI entrapment defense. The court opined that a jury could find the trooper’s order to be excessive, even abhorrent. The court further stated that a jury might well conclude that the better action would have been to offer Peterson a ride, call someone for him, or something similar. https://www.wicourts.gov/ca/opinion/DisplayDocument.html?content=html&seqNo=37590

A common scenario I encounter as a DUI defense lawyer is when Ohio police officers wait outside of bars around closing time. I’ve personally represented many clients who were stopped when they exited a bar parking lot around 2am. Sometimes they were pulled over for drinking and driving, and other times, for a minor traffic violation that eventually led to an Ohio DUI. Is the entrapment defense available in such a situation?  Is the police conduct considered entrapment? No, not in this situation. In Ohio, DUI entrapment occurs when law enforcement causes someone to do something illegal that they wouldn’t otherwise do.  DUI entrapment is established where the criminal design originates with the officials of the government, and they implant in the mind of an innocent person the disposition to commit the alleged offense and induce its commission in order to prosecute. DUI Entrapment is an affirmative defense under the Ohio Revised Code.

In conclusion, for someone to be able to use entrapment as a defense in an Ohio DUI case, the driver must be induced in some way or ordered to drink and drive when the officer knows the driver is intoxicated. Keep in mind that DUI entrapment is just one possible DUI defense utilized by top Ohio DUI defense lawyers. Experienced DUI lawyers understand that 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.  These witnesses are human and they make mistakes. If you’ve been charged with an Ohio DUI, please contact an experienced DUI attorney for further information.