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Common Questions And Answers About Drunk Driving Charges In Ohio

If you’ve been arrested for operating a vehicle impaired (OVI) or driving under the influence (DUI), you probably have a lot of questions and concerns. You can start by looking at the answers we’ve provided on this page. Then, please contact our office for answers to additional questions you may have and case-specific advice about your charges.

Is it possible to challenge the evidence in an OVI case?

Evidence often seems black and white in an OVI case. If a breath test puts your blood alcohol content at or over the legal limit of .08, you may think that’s irrefutable. But evidence can be challenged in a drunk driving case. Here are some common defenses worth exploring:

  • Was the officer justified in making the stop in the first place? If not, it may be possible to suppress any evidence obtained during the stop.
  • Did the officer administer field sobriety tests correctly?
  • Was the breathalyzer device calibrated correctly, and did the officer use it according to protocol?

The specific defense strategy used will depend on the facts of each case.

What are field sobriety tests? Are they mandatory?

These are tests that measure physical coordination and ability to follow directions. Their goal is to give the officer enough evidence of impairment to require breath or blood testing. Field sobriety tests often include the one-leg stand, the walk-and-turn test and the horizontal gaze nystagmus (a test where you follow a moving object with your eyes).

You are not required to submit to field sobriety tests, and there are no penalties for refusal. However, you could still be arrested, and refusal of later blood alcohol or breath alcohol tests would come with consequences.

Will I lose my license automatically after getting arrested?

License suspension occurs only under certain conditions. If you are asked to take a chemical test (blood alcohol or breath alcohol) and you refuse, your license will be taken under what’s known as an administrative license suspension (ALS). Also, your license could remain suspended even if you don’t get convicted of OVI because you refused the test.

After you are arrested, if you submit to chemical testing and fail (test at or above the legal limit), your license will be suspended. However, if later found not guilty, the ALS will be canceled, and your driving privileges will be reinstated.

How would an OVI charge affect my commercial driver’s license (CDL)?

If you drive for a living and are charged with OVI, both your freedom and your job are at risk. The threshold for losing your CDL is low when it comes to any level of alcohol impairment behind the wheel. Failing or refusing a breath-alcohol test could mean loss of license and your job. Therefore, if you have been arrested, you need to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.

How are drunk driving cases charged?

There are many factors that influence the charges you will face in an OVI case. These include:

  • Whether this is your first offense or you have previous convictions
  • How high your blood alcohol content was measured to be
  • Whether you were involved in an accident that resulted in injury or death to someone else
  • Whether you had minors in the car with you at the time of being pulled over
  • Whether you are under the age of 21
  • If drugs were also found in your system

The best way to understand your specific charges is to discuss your case with an experienced defense attorney.

Contact Us Today To Learn More

With an office in Columbus, Ohio, the Laura Helmbrecht, Attorney at Law, firm serves clients in Columbus and throughout the surrounding areas. To schedule your initial consultation with a skilled and knowledgeable criminal defense attorney, call us at 614-370-7897 or fill out our online contact form.