Each year, the time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s has the highest number of arrests for driving under the influence (DUI) in Ohio and across the United States. DUI – also known in Ohio as operating a vehicle while impaired (OVI) – is a serious offense that can have many effects on your life. You do not want your holiday season to be disrupted by an arrest and the stress of criminal DUI charges.
Enforcement Efforts Increase
Law enforcement agencies in Springfield and throughout Ohio know that drunk driving increases over the winter holidays. People are attending parties and gatherings, many of which will involve alcohol as part of the celebration. Even though there are rideshare apps and other safe options for transportation, people still try to drive home after drinking too much. You can bet the police are ready to stop and arrest drunk drivers, and they increase their enforcement efforts during this season.
Some common enforcement efforts you might see during this time include:
Saturation patrols – Patrol cars may gather in entertainment districts and other areas where they know drunk driving is common. Agencies claim they want their increased presence to deter impaired driving, but you can be sure they are ready to arrest as many people as possible. Officers in this situation are often overly suspicious of drivers and may pull you over without the required reasonable suspicion that you have violated the law.
Sobriety checkpoints – Sobriety checkpoints are legal in Ohio, and police officers can force drivers to pass through the roadblock. However, checkpoints must meet certain requirements to comply with the 4th Amendment and prevent unreasonable seizure. Officers are supposed to stop every car or stop cars at random, though some officers might wrongfully target certain drivers out of bias at a checkpoint.
If police officers believe you have been drinking, they will likely order you to submit a breath sample or participate in field sobriety tests. If they believe the tests provide probable cause to suspect DUI/OVI, they will likely arrest you on the spot.
Defending Against DUI Charges
It is critical that you call an experienced Ohio DUI defense lawyer as soon as you are arrested. DUI convictions come with serious penalties, including the following for a first offense:
- Three days in jail up to six months
- Fines up to $1,000
- Suspension of your driver’s license from six months to three years
These penalties increase substantially if you had a high BAC, if you caused an accident with property damage or injuries, or if you have prior DUI convictions on your record. It is critical to aggressively defend against DUI/OVI charges to avoid a conviction and the many consequences that come with it.
Discuss Your Arrest with a Springfield DUI Defense Attorney Right Away
The VanNoy Firm defends against OVI charges in the Springfield area and throughout Ohio. We know how to fight for the dismissal of these charges to prevent a conviction on your record whenever possible. Contact us after an arrest to learn how our legal team can assist in your case.