In the 1980s, an extended crackdown against “drunk drivers” began. Elements of this crackdown included tougher laws and harsher law enforcement tools. Lawmakers lowered the legal BAC level and re-worded the OVI law to make these cases easier to prove in court. Ignition interlock devices and DUI checkpoints are the most obvious examples of enhanced law enforcement tools.
If you are charged with OVI or DUI, the deck is stacked against you. Only a dedicated OVI lawyer near you from The VanNoy Firm can level the playing field. Our professional team knows how to successfully challenge the state’s evidence. Since prosecutors have the burden of proof, less available evidence means an OVI lawyer near you has a better chance of successfully resolving these serious charges.
Normally, officers must have reasonable suspicion of criminal activity to launch DUI investigations. These investigations normally include the “have you been drinking?” question. The field sobriety tests, which are discussed below, are even more important. Reasonable suspicion of intoxication usually includes things like:
The reasonable suspicion rule does not fully apply at DUI checkpoints. Officers must have reasonable suspicion to investigate individual motorists. They do not need reasonable suspicion to detain them. A person’s place in line is sufficient.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has approved three field sobriety tests for law enforcement use in Ohio. Each test has reliability issues.
The field sobriety tests usually serve as probable cause for the arrest. Additionally, if the defendant refused to submit a chemical sample, prosecutors must use these field tests to establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
About 80% of OVI defendants voluntarily submit chemical samples. The sample is nearly always a breath sample. The modern Breathalyzer is essentially an updated version of the 1920s Drunk-O-Meter. As such, the Breathalyzer, despite all its bells and whistles, has some serious flaws. Some of them include:
To drive home these flaws with jurors, an OVI lawyer near you often partners with a degreed chemist or other expert witness.
OVI has very serious direct and collateral consequences. For a confidential consultation with an experienced OVI lawyer near you, contact The VanNoy Firm. Home, virtual, and after-hours visits are available.
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