Refusing a Breath Test (Breathalyzer) in a Ohio DUI or OVI Stop

Ohio Supreme Court Updates DUI Rules for Refusing Breathalyzer in OVI Stops

On September 30, 2009, the Ohio Supreme Court issued an opinion on the constitutionality of a portion of the statute prohibiting drunk driving, which will undoubtedly have an effect on individuals charged with DUI (OVI) in Columbus, Ohio and throughout the State.

The statute in question provides that individuals charged with a DUI (OVI) who refuse to take a breath or breathalyzer test, or who refuse to submit to a chemical test of their blood or urine, face a harsher mandatory jail sentence for refusing to submit to a test. Specifically, the law provides that, if an individual is charged with his/her second DUI (OVI) in six years and they refused to submit to a breath or breathalyzer test, or a test of their blood or urine, they can receive an additional 10 days in jail for refusing to submit to the breathalyzer test (or chemical test) after the DUI (OVI) arrest.

Opponents of the statute argued that the provision granting additional jail time as a penalty for individuals charged with DUI (OVI) who refused to submit to a breathalyzer test (or chemical test) is a constitutional violation. The Court, in a close decision (four to three) held that there is no constitutional right for drunk drivers or people charged with drinking and driving to refuse a breathalyzer test or other chemical test.

This decision will serve to have a huge effect on people charged with a  second, third or multiple DUI/OVI offenses in Columbus, Ohio and throughout other counties in Ohio. As a Columbus, Ohio DUI lawyer specializing in criminal law and drinking and driving offenses, I often recommend that clients think twice before taking a breathalyzer test or other chemical test in order to avoid providing the State of Ohio with additional evidence that can be used against them. People need to be aware that refusing to take a breathalyzer test or other chemical test can result in longer mandatory jail time for a DUI (OVI).

Contact a Columbus Defense Attorney

If you have been charged with a DUI (OVI) in Columbus or arrested for drinking and driving in Columbus you need a DUI (OVI) lawyer who understands how to defend and attack these types of cases. I also represent people charged with a DUI (OVI) in Delaware, Union, Licking, Fairfield, Pickaway and Madison Counties, as well as cities such Worthington, Upper Arlington, Dublin and Marysville. Contact a Columbus and Central Ohio DUI Attorney or call me at 614-232-8890.