THIS IS NOT THE "DESIGNER" LICENSE PLATE YOU WANT DISPLAYED ON YOUR AUTOMOBILE OR THE AUTOMOBILE DRIVEN BY MEMBERS OF YOUR FAMILY
**Sample of a State of Ohio Restrictive License Plate Authorized for DUI/OVI Offenders
The law in the State of Ohio relating to the operation of a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs has undergone many changes over the years. What use to be called driving while intoxicated, or DWI, was changed to driving under the influence, or DUI, and then to operating a motor vehicle under the influence, or OMVI, and is now referred to as operation of a vehicle impaired, or OVI. The changes in the law have not been limited to the label used to describe the offense as much as expanding the very definition of the offense. and the penalties for its violation. For example, the law now includes as a violation operation while drug impaired and includes operation of some non-motorized vehicles as an offense. From a penalty standpoint, the older DWI laws, which allowed judges leeway or discretion in sentencing, now require minimum mandatory sentencing for all violations. Put another way, if convicted of an OVI violation the judge must sentence the offender to jail, impose a monetary fine and suspend the offender's right to drive. Depending on the number of prior violations and the blood alcohol content or BAC, (the measure of alcohol in the blood), the offender could face more severe and enhanced jail time, fines and driver's license suspensions. For example, for a first offense within 10 years and a BAC below .17% the judge must sentence the OVI offender as follows:
*Minimum of 3 days in jail or a 3 day driver's intervention program up to 6 months in jail;
*Minimum $375.00 fine up to $1,075.00;
*Minimum 1 year drivers license suspension, up to 3 years; (suspension may be reduced in half with an ignition interlock device installed);
*May impose impounding of license plates or restricted plates.**
For a first offense within 10 years and a BAC above .17% the penalties are the same as above except that the minimum mandatory jail sentence is increased as follows:
*Minimum 6 days in jail or 3 days in jail and 3 days in a driver's intervention program up to 6 months in jail.
Of course the above sentencing scheme represents merely a first OVI offense within 10 years and the minimum mandatory sentencing under the OVI law is enhanced as the number of prior offenses increase and the BAC is taken into account. The many possible sentencing outcomes are too numerous to list. In addition to the above, penalties may also include, and in some cases must include the following:
*impoundment or forfeiture of your vehicle;
*imposition of alcohol and/or drug treatment;
*requirement to display a special restricted Ohio license plate identifying you as a DUI/OVI offender**;
*driver's license reinstatement fee;
*6 points on driver's license; and
*possible increased motor vehicle insurance premiums.
What should be clear is that the ramifications associated with a DUI/OVI conviction are far reaching and should be taken very seriously.
The defense of a DUI/OVI charge can involve a number of issues which must be investigated by the accused to mount a proper and effective defense. Some of the most common facts and issues which must be investigated, and possibly challenged, are as follows:
*What was the reason given by law enforcement for the stopping of your vehicle and does the reason support a lawful basis for the stop? With limited exception, law enforcement must be able to articulate a reasonable basis for the stop;
*Once your vehicle was stopped can law enforcement articulate facts which support a lawful reason to investigate you beyond the basis for the stop?
*Can law enforcement articulate a lawful basis to request of you to perform field sobriety tests and, if so, were the field sobriety tests performed in accordance with standardized procedure?
*Can law enforcement articulate a lawful basis to support the need to request further testing, such as a request for you to submit to breath and/or chemical tests to determine your blood alcohol content?
*Can law enforcement articulate facts which support probable cause for your arrest for DUI/OVI?
*If chemical tests were administered, were they performed in accordance with proper procedure? And
*Was the stop and arrest conducted within the proper jurisdiction of the law enforcement officer who effectuated the stop and arrest?
The above examples represent just a few of the issues which must be explored in an effort to properly and effectively defend a DUI/OVI charge. Most of the above issues must be timely raised by the accused in a motion to suppress evidence or other motion filed in advance of trial. While a motion to suppress evidence does not always result in an order from the judge suppressing or excluding evidence from trial, it can result in the discovery of facts that benefit the accused and assist in the negotiation of an outcome that avoids a trial and a DUI/OVI conviction.
To describe the DUI/OVI law in the State of Ohio as complicated or complex would be an understatement. It is a convoluted piece of legislation that creates many traps for the accused. A virtual minefield which must be effectively mapped out and negotiated to avoid conviction and the harsh consequences that result. Although the DUI/OVI charge is not technically charged as a criminal offense it does carry penalties often associated with criminal convictions and, therefore, some of the same protections afforded to those accused of crimes are afforded to those accused of DUI/OVI. If you are accused of a DUI/OVI in Ohio it is always advisable to discuss your case with a seasoned DUI/OVI attorney as soon as possible. At W. Randall Rock, Attorney at Law we have represented hundreds of individuals accused of DUI/OVI and have the training, knowledge and experience necessary to navigate you through the DUI/OVI maze and calm your legal concerns. If you are accused of a DUI/OVI CONTACT US NOW! The initial consultation is FREE, OUR FEES ARE REASONABLE AND AGREEABLE PAYMENT PLANS CAN BE ARRANGED.
Call us at (937)224-7625(ROCK), or at (855)206-7628, or complete the form below to receive a FREE INITIAL and CONFIDENTIAL CONSULTATION.
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