Monthly Archives - December 2012

Common Field Sobriety Tests in Ohio

A breathalyzer test is the most common and convenient way of testing what a person’s Blood Alcohol Content is when suspected of drunk driving across the country and Ohio is no exception. It is a preferred means of testing due to its use at the scene of a DUI and the quick results it records. However, the accuracy of these tests have been brought into question in recent years and your Columbus DUI attorney may question its accuracy when defending your case.

While blood and urine tests may also be given to determine intoxication (these tests work well for detecting drugs, something breathalyzers cannot detect), you have no choice which test is administered, as that is at the discretion of the officer. However, there is a possibility due to sheer physiology that a breathalyzer test (and other tests) may not give correct results. The legal limit Blood Alcohol Concentration in Ohio is .08% and anything above that can result in an arrest.

However, it is thought that women’s bodies metabolize alcohol differently than men’s bodies do and because of this, the results cannot be considered blanket for everyone and an experienced Columbus DUI lawyer may bring this up in court. In addition, there is also some question as to the difference of measuring the concentration in alcohol in the blood as opposed to the brain, as it is alcohol in the brain that can impair your mental capacity to drive safely.

How BAC tests are performed is something else you DUI attorney in Columbus will investigate. Was everything done according to procedure? Was the breathalyzer calibrated correctly and as often as it should be and were strict records kept on this matter? And, were the devices used approved by the state? The two types of breathalyzers approved for use in Ohio are called the BAC Datamaster and the Intoxilyzer 5000. All of these things have a bearing on the outcome of your case and can decide whether you will be acquitted or not. This is another reason many lawyers recommend pleading not guilty in DUI cases and fighting against a conviction since there are various ways to defend a DUI case.

Remember, whether it is your first offense or whether you have been charged with DUIs in the past, a conviction can have a devastating effect on your life as well as the life of your family. For the best defense possible, call a DUI lawyer in Columbus today for the help that you need.

First Time DUI Offense

Although being charged with a DUI for the first time in Ohio is a criminal misdemeanor offense, it is still a serious charge that needs serious attention. A conviction can become a part of your permanent criminal record and you can face jail time and steep fines. The legal limit for Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) in Ohio is .08% and being above that amount can have serious consequences that can change the course of your life. A Columbus DUI attorney can help see to it that the consequences are as minimal as possible.

A first-time offense conviction for a DUI in Ohio can come with a license suspension of one full year if you refused chemical testing at the time of your arrest. If you were tested and your BAC was above the legal limit, you can lose your driving privileges for three months. That would just be the result of an Administrative License Suspension by the BMV. The court can then choose to suspend your license for a period of six months to three years, and also may choose to place an Ignition Interlock Device in your vehicle. This would be like a breathalyzer permanently installed in your car that can measure your BAC before you choose to operate a motor vehicle. Losing your vehicle and driving privileges can lead to eventual high insurance premiums and a possible loss of work due to not having a car. The right DUI lawyer in Columbus may be able to save your license.

The fines you face for a DUI conviction in Ohio can also be steep and a good Columbus DUI lawyer will try to see to it that you receive the minimum fine of $375. The maximum fine would be $1,075. The jail time you may face may seem relatively minimal, but can still be a frightening experience if jail is what a judge sentences you to.

You can spend three days in jail and if your BAC was unusually high, you can face an additional three days behind bars. There is also a possibility of up to five years on probation, as well as a three-day driver intervention program.

An unusually high BAC may also get your restricted license plates once you are permitted to drive again. The penalties for second and subsequent DUI offenses are even more severe and can become felony charges rather than misdemeanor. You can ill-afford a conviction whether this is your first or subsequent offense and an experienced DUI attorney in Columbus is needed to give you the best possible defense.