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.