Drunk Driving Charge Defense In Ohio
There are two different criminal charges people usually face with respect to drinking and driving: (1) driving with an alcohol level over the legal limit (.08 for breath and blood; .11 for urine); and (2) driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If you are driving and test over the legal limit, you will most likely be charged with both offenses.
However, if you do not take a blood alcohol test, test under the limits or test positive for drugs, you will be charged with the under the influence offense.
I am Andrew H. Stevenson, and I am a criminal defense attorney who can help you fight any of these charges. I have more than 20 years of experience defending clients against drunk driving and other criminal charges from offices in Lancaster and Athens, Ohio.
Detailed Drunk Driving Defense For DWI, Operating A Vehicle Under The Influence And Driving While Impaired Charges
In most cases, an effective OVI/DUI defense begins with a Motion to Suppress in order to challenge the:
- Constitutionality of the stop
- Administration of the field sobriety tests (the walk and turn, the one-leg stand, horizontal gaze nystagmus or eye test)
- Administration of your blood alcohol test
- Reliability of your specific blood alcohol test
These issues are litigated in an evidentiary hearing, at which point your case may be dismissed. If your case proceeds, the trial becomes the focus: trial preparation, collection of favorable defense witnesses, evaluation of the officer's report and video of your stop, and cross-examination of the officer.
The severity of the penalties associated with conviction varies by the number of times an individual has been convicted of drunk driving/OVI in the past six years or in his or her lifetime. Penalties for a first-time offense range from 72 hours of confinement in jail or a driver intervention program to six months in jail, a $375 to $1,000 fine, and a six-month to three-year license suspension. However, the penalties substantially increase for those with prior convictions.
If your license has been suspended, you can retain the right to drive to and from work and for other necessary reasons while your case is pending. There is, however, a mandatory suspension period of all driving rights that ranges from 15 to 90 days depending upon whether or not you took the alcohol breath test and the number of prior convictions you may have. Speaking with an experienced OVI/DUI lawyer may help in eliminating the charges you are facing.