Pulling Over and Field Sobriety Tests
Ohio police officers and state troopers are trained to identify potential drunk drivers from a number of signs. If a law enforcement officer suspects you are under the influence of drugs and alcohol, they will initiate a traffic stop, or pull you over.
Once pulled over, a law enforcement officer will ask for your driver’s license, vehicle registration, and proof of car insurance. If they suspect you are also under the influence, they may also administer Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs).
Admissible Field Sobriety Tests are those approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and are used to help determine whether or not a vehicle operator is impaired. While they are not scientific, they are allowed in court to support probable cause for a DUI or OVI arrest.
Breath and Chemical Tests for DUI or OVI Cases
If you fail the FST’s, or the law enforcement officer has probable cause to suspect that you are driving under the influence, you may be asked to submit to a breath or chemical test. Ohio law tates that any individual stopped under the suspicion of DUI or OVI gives their implied consent to a chemical test of their blood, breath or urine.
The Breathalyzer is the most common means of chemical testing administered by law enforcement officers. Breath testing is performed using a Breathalyzer machine. Blood and urine tests can also be completed, and are done under the supervision of a trained specialist.
If an individual’s breath-alcohol level is measured to be over .08 (the legal limit), then an arrest can happen for driving under the influence, or DUI. This means that the individual is legally considered to be under the influence of alcohol strictly and inherently. If the breath-alcohol level is under .08, the person can still be arrested and charged with OVI, if there is other sufficient evidence of impairment.
Refusing a Breathalyzer Test or Field Sobriety Tests
Though Ohio state law provides that a suspect gives implied consent, a person can refuse to go through the tests. However, the Supreme Court of Ohio has held that there is no constitutional right to refuse a breath test. If you refuse to submit to a breathalyzer or a chemical test, you will immediately be placed under an administrative license suspension (ALS). The length of your suspension depends on the number of prior refusals and/or prior OVI convictions that a person has on their record. Additionally, an individual who refuses a breathalyzer test faces the possibility of a longer period without being able to receive limited driving privileges, as well as a longer jail sentence.
If you refused the chemical test, your administrative license suspension will remain in place regardless of whether you are acquitted of your charges or not. If you failed the chemical test and are convicted of DUI or OVI charges, the conviction will terminate the imposed ALS, and you will receive a court-ordered suspension that may revoke your driving privileges even longer. Michael Probst will listen to your situation, review the facts, and help you understand what potential penalties you may face.
Your Rights Once Arrested for DUI or OVI
If you are arrested and charged with DUI or OVI, you have three inherent rights that you need to know about. These are often referred to as your “Miranda Rights.”
First, you have the right to remain silent: you do not have to answer any questions presented to you on the scene, or without the presence of an attorney. Second, you have the right to representation by an attorney. An attorney can be present and assist you through your legal proceedings, including questioning by prosecution and law enforcement officers. Finally, should you decide to answer questions from a law enforcement officer, you can stop answering questions at any time and consult an attorney.
Get Represented by a Columbus DUI Attorney
If you are charged with DUI or OVI in Ohio, get effective representation that you deserve. Attorney Michael Probst has 14 years of experience as both a prosecuting attorney and a defense attorney, and has delivered results in many DUI and Felony OVI cases. Michael is proud to serve clients in Central Ohio, Franklin County, and across Ohio. Call Michael Probst for your free consultation today at 614-232-8900, or click here to contact him today!