02. DUI / OVI & Traffic Defense
OVI / DUI
OVI/DUI law is one of the most complex and technical areas of criminal law. Not only are there a large number of moving parts in any given OVI/DUI situation, but the police must perform their duties exactly as specified under the law for an OVI/DUI stop and arrest to be valid.
In any OVI/DUI situation, an experienced attorney on your side can make all the difference. Joe Tekulve will evaluate the entirety of your case with you, piece by piece, to determine where it stands and what needs to be done to reach a favorable result.
If you have been charged with a DUI / DWI / OVI, call Joe today at (513) 752-0001. Your freedom and ability to drive are at stake - don't let one mistake haunt you for the rest of your life.
Know Your Rights
If you are stopped in Ohio for suspected OVI/DUI, it is important that you know your rights. Everything you do from that moment forward will shape the ultimate outcome of your case. It is important to remember that you have a right to an attorney, a right to remain silent, and a right to refuse all Standard Field Sobriety Tests and breath, blood or urine tests that could incriminate you.
From the moment you are stopped for suspected OVI/DUI, the police are watching your every move for evidence of intoxication.
DON'T GIVE THEM ANYTHING THAT COULD INCRIMINATE YOU.
Police often look for clues of impairment such as (1) Odor of alcohol or marijuana, (2) Slurred speech, (3) Bloodshot eyes, (4) Admitting to drinking alcohol or consuming drugs, (5) Alcohol containers, drugs or drug paraphernalia, (6) Difficulty exiting the vehicle, (7) Swaying, or other balance problems (8) Providing incorrect information or changing answers, (9) Unusual statements, or (10) Anything else that could indicate intoxication.
Refusal to Submit to a Breath, Urine or Blood Test
In Ohio, refusing to submit to a blood alcohol test (BAC) will result in the automatic suspension of your driver's license. Refusing a BAC also doubles the time you must wait before receiving limited driving privileges, bringing a first-time offender's suspension without privileges from 15 days to 30 days. For subsequent offenders, refusing a BAC can result in longer suspensions without privileges and even mandatory jail time.
A refusal charge only relates to the official blood alcohol test after you are arrested and brought to the police station. There is no penalty or suspension for refusing a roadside Portable Breath Test (PBT).
While the penalties and effects of a refusal will have certain upfront costs, such as a longer time period without being eligible for driving privileges, the long-term benefits of not providing the police and the prosecution with evidence needed to convict you could be invaluable to your case.
Refusal to Submit to Standard Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs)
While people often talk about refusing a breath test, many do not realize that you can also refuse the Standard Field Sobriety Tests offered by the police. In fact, no additional penalties or suspensions can be imposed for refusing these tests, and by failing to provide the police with evidence of intoxication, you are potentially helping your case down the road.
These tests include the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test, the Walk and Turn Test, and the One-Leg Stand Test.
Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) - Police shine a light in your eyes and ask you to follow a moving object (usually a pen or their finger) without moving your head. They check to see if your eyes have "nystagmus," which is where your eyes lag and jerk when attempting to follow an object back and forth. Nystagmus is an indicator of alcohol consumption, along with certain other types of drugs.
Clues of Impairment for HGN:
(1) As eye moves from side to side, does it jerk noticeably?
(2) When eye moves as far to the side as possible and is kept in that position for 4 seconds, does it jerk noticeably?
(3) As the eye moves toward the side, does it start to jerk prior to a 45 degree angle?
** Three clues per eye for a total of 6 clues. Four or more clues overall needed for arrest.
Walk and Turn Test - Police provide you with instructions to walk a straight line, heel-to-toe, turn around, and walk back.
Clues of Impairment for Walk and Turn:
(1) Cannot keep balance while listening to instructions;
(2) Starts too soon;
(3) Stops while walking;
(4) Does not touch heel-to-toe;
(5) Steps off the line;
(6) Uses arms to balance;
(7) Improper turn;
(8) Incorrect number of steps.
One-Leg Stand Test - Police provide you with instructions to stand on one leg and keep foot approximately 6 inches off the ground while counting to 30.
Clues of Impairment for One Leg Stand:
(1) Sways while balancing;
(2) Uses arms to balance;
(4) Puts foot down.
** Two or more clues needed for arrest.
Not only are these tests difficult to perform, but they are referred to by police as "divided attention tests" and are specifically designed for you to fail.
Should you perform any of these tests, the police must administer them exactly as specified according to the standards of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. If the police fail to substantially comply with the administration of these tests, they may be subject to suppression and unusable against you.
Additionally, Standard Field Sobriety tests are NOT intended for those over 65 years of age, those more than 50 pounds overweight, or those who have middle ear, leg, or back problems.
IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW HAS BEEN CHARGED WITH OVI/DUI, CALL JOE TODAY (513) 752-0001.
Speeding & Traffic Tickets
Many different factors can affect the validity of traffic tickets, so it is always worth your time to have an attorney review your case. At Joe Tekulve Law, we may be able to get your offense reduced, or even eliminate the charge entirely, depending on the specific facts and circumstances. If you simply plead guilty or are convicted of a traffic offense, it will remain on your driving record and can potentially affect your insurance premiums, ability to drive, and your overall freedom.
Additionally, receiving points on your driver's license is no laughing matter for the above-mentioned reasons. If enough points are accumulated within a specified period of time, your license may be subject to suspension.
Joe Tekulve can help you with ALL traffic matters, including:
Driving under suspension
Running stop signs and red lights
Motor vehicle accidents
Check your current Ohio BMV Driving Record for free by clicking the Car below and selecting "Unofficial 2-Year Driving Record"
(Certified 3-Year Driving Record Available for $5.00 through BMV)