Alcohol causes about a third of the fatal car crashes in Ohio. To combat drunk driving, lawmakers have given police officers and judges a number of new tools in recent years. These tools include sobriety checkpoints that circumvent the Fourth Amendment and a per se law which makes OVI and DUI charges easier to prove in Springfield. In other words, the state has considerable resources with which to arrest and prosecute these individuals.
Since the deck is stacked against you, when you go to court, you need a diligent DUI/OVI lawyer in Springfield by your side. That is the kind of representation we provide at The VanNoy Firm. We quickly evaluate your case and identify all possible defenses. We also work diligently to protect your legal rights in court. Thanks to our strong reputation, we normally successfully resolve DUI/OVI charges out of court.
An effective DUI defense does not begin once officials file paperwork in criminal court. It begins much earlier, at the Administrative License Revocation hearing.
Ohio is an implied consent state. When motorists sign their drivers’ licenses, they agree to provide a chemical sample of breath or blood upon proper demand. Defendants who refuse to comply face drivers’ license suspension. This suspension applies even if the defendant is found not guilty
At the ALR hearing, the state must show that officers had probable cause to request a sample. Frankly, this standard of proof is rather low, so it is difficult to “win” these hearings.
However, “win” can mean many things. Frequently, a Springfield DUI/OVI attorney can convince the administrative law judge to either reduce the drivers’ license suspension period or even probate it. Furthermore, the ALR hearing gives an attorney an opportunity to cross-examine the officer under oath. Normally, defendants must pay thousands of dollars for this kind of discovery, if it is available at all.
This discovery not only gives an attorney insight into the prosecutor’s case. At trial, if the officer’s story differs, the previous testimony is admissible for impeachment purposes.
Since prosecutors must establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, lack of evidence is usually the best defense in a DUI matter.
Part of this evidence usually includes the Field Sobriety Tests, such as the DUI eye test and the walk-and-turn test. These tests have significant flaws. As for the DUI eye test, alcohol intoxication is not the only cause of nystagmus or lazy eye. In fact, alcohol intoxication is not even the leading cause. Furthermore, the testing conditions often affect the outcome of the walk-and-turn, as well as other FSTs.
Chemical tests are not completely reliable. The Breathalyzer, which is simply an updated version of the 1920s Drunk-O-Meter, is a sensitive device that often makes miscalculations. Blood test results often have chain of custody issues that affect the sample’s reliability. Defenses like these are especially effective in borderline BAC cases, such as a .08 or .09.
There are several defenses available to serious drunk driving charges. For a confidential consultation with an experienced DUI/OVI attorney in Springfield, contact The VanNoy Firm. We routinely handle matters in Clarke County and nearby jurisdictions.
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