Ohio Forced Blood Draws are Constitutional.

In Ohio, as opposed to most States, you do not have the choice of which one of these three tests (blood, breath or urine) you will take. The officer gets to pick the test(s) he offers you. The only choice you get to make is to agree to submit to the test or refuse the test.

In the past, if a motorist declined to provide a sample of blood, breath or urine, the accused driver’s license would automatically be suspended for declining, however there'd be no alcohol test to use as evidence against the motorist. Now the rules have changed just last year, when the Ohio legislature passed a law stating, if an individual with prior DUI / OVI convictions will not submit to a blood, breath or urine test, “the police officer who made the request may make use of whatever reasonable means are necessary to make sure that the individual submits to the required test of the individuals blood.

The law permitting forced blood tests has been recently considered by an Ohio court of appeals in a case where the individual was arrested for DUI / OVI along with prior convictions. The arresting police officer requested that the accused submit to a breathalyzer test, but the defendant declined, therefore the police officer took the defendant to the hospital for blood to be drawn. the defendant stated over and over again they didn't want their blood drawn as well as physically resisted any attempt to perform the procedure. The police officer restrained the defendants arm while the healthcare professional implanted the needle and drew the defendants blood. The trial court ruled that this blood test will be admissible at trial, thus the defendant plead guilty to OVI / DUI. and appealed to the District Court of Appeals.

Upon appeal, the defendant contended that the law permitting forced blood draws is unconstitutional because a forced blood draw happens to be an unreasonable search and seizure. The Court of Appeals found that the intrusion on an individual’s Fourth Amendment interests is outweighed by the promotion of the government’s genuine interest in public safety. Thus, the court came to the conclusion, any forced blood draw with these kinds of circumstances is constitutional.

An Individual with prior DUI / OVI convictions that refuses a breath, urine or blood alcohol test will be in a losing situation: there are going to be longer Administrative License Suspension for declining the test, and also the results of the blood test will be admissible at trial.

Drunk Driving Statistics

Drunk Driving Statistics

In America on average, nearly 12,000 people die every year in DUI-related accidents. 900,000 are arrested each year for DUI/DWI and a full 1/3 of those are repeat offenders. According to DrunkAndDriving.Org In Ohio alone 27 people out of 10,000 will be arrested for drunk Driving.90% of All Drunk Driving Happens After Drinking With Family, Friends, and Coworkers. There is almost always somebody around who could be part of the solution. Don't let drunk driving happen right in front of you.

DUI Accident Statistics

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that in the year 2000, about 1400 automobile accidents involving fatalities had been caused by a driver with at least one other DUI or DWI conviction. This accounts for about 8.5% of all alcohol-involved automobile accidents where a fatality has occurred.

Any person who decides to drink alcohol and then get behind the wheel in the state of Ohio is just asking to be stopped by police and arrested for driving while intoxicated. To be considered as legally drunk, you must register a .08 or more on the breathalyzer. And, accident or not, the police can pull you over on a suspicion of DUI if you exhibit any signs of being under the influence while driving.

Big Changes Coming to Ohio’s DUI / OVI Law

April 6, 2017 marks a big change in OVI law in Ohio and how your case will be handled by the court. There are several changes that I will outlined below.  This change in the law was brought about by House Bill 388 and 436.  It was commonly referred to as the Ignition Interlock Bill or Annie’s Law.  An ignition interlock device is a breath testing unit that is installed on a vehicle and is meant to prevent anyone who has been drinking from operating that vehicle.  This is a device that is installed on the ignition of a car and it requires the driver to blow into it to start the vehicle.  The driver will also be prompted to continue to submit to breath tests while the vehicle is running.  If a minimum amount of alcohol is detected, the car will either not start or will shut down.

Prior to the April 6, 2017, if you take a breath test on your first OVI charge in a six-year time frame and test over the limit, you would be eligible to apply for limited privileges after 15 days or 30 days if you refused to take a breath test.  You would be facing a minimum suspension of six months with limited privileges.  For multiple convictions, the penalties increase significantly. 

After April 6, 2017:

  • The court can still grant limited privileges without an interlock device, but courts now can grant privileges for any purpose the court determines to be appropriate.
  • Prior to April 6, 2017, the mandatory suspensions that apply are:
    • First OVI Offense: 6 months to 3 years
    • Second OVI Offense: 1 to 5 years
    • Third OVI Offense: 2 to 10 years

After April 6, 2017, the mandatory suspensions that apply are:

  • First OVI Offense: 1 to 3 years
  • Second OVI Offense: 1 to 7 years
  • Third OVI Offense: 2 to 12 years
  • As an alternative to limited privileges, the court may grant “unlimited driving privileges” with an ignition interlock device. If the court does this, your ability to drive is not restricted at all.
  • If you are granted unlimited privileges with an ignition interlock device, you must also get a special driver’s license from the BMV that indicates you are required to have an interlock device.
  • While the minimum suspension for a first OVI doubled under the new law, the court may cut the suspension back to 6 months if the person is granted unlimited privileges with an ignition interlock device.
  • If you choose to install an interlock device and have unlimited privileges, any mandatory jail time related to the OVI must be suspended.
  • If you are granted unlimited privileges with an interlock device and you violate the terms of your privileges or attempt to drive after you have been drinking, the court shall impose the suspended jail time and double the license suspension or time without any driving privileges.
  • If you violate the terms of your privileges or the device reports the driver to have too much alcohol in their system in the last 60 days of their suspension, and the judge does not double the suspension, the judge is required to extend the suspension 60 days from the date of the violation.
  • Prior to April 6, 2017, if a person is convicted of two OVI offenses in a six-year time frame, they are subject to increased mandatory minimum penalties. After April 6, 2017, this time frame is extended to 10 years.
  • Prior to April 6, 2017, if a person is convicted of two OVI’s in a six-year time frame, they must have special yellow license plates on their vehicle designating them as a DUI driver in order to be able to exercise any driving privileges. After April 6, 2017, a person with a second OVI can be granted privileges without special plates.
  • However, if on a second OVI, that person is convicted of an OVI with a BAC in excess of .17 or a refusal of the test, they will still be required to have yellow DUI plates on their car in order to drive.
  • Prior to April 6, 2017, if a person is convicted of two OVI’s in a six-year time frame while operating their own car, that car is subject to a 90-day immobilization and it will be impounded, clubbed, or booted for three months despite that person’s eligibility for driving privileges after 45 days. After April 6, 2017, a person with a second OVI can have their car released from immobilization after 45 days when granted driving privileges at the court’s discretion.

The new law corrects a few problems in the law, but it also creates a few new issues.  Ignition interlock devices are not perfect and when a driver has one installed they are given a list of substances that can register a violation despite not having consumed alcohol.  These substances range from mouthwash to various food items.  This is concerning due to the new law’s requirement that if such a violation occurs the suspended jail time shall be imposed.  While “unlimited privileges” sounds nice to many people, it creates an issue for many areas of employment where the mere sight of such a device will cause someone to lose their job.  For this reason, it is essential to hire a DUI attorney who is up to date with all of the nuances of this frequently changes area of law.


Don’t Hire a Ohio Dump Truck DUI Attorney

Anyone who is arrested for DUI (driving under the influence) will have to face criminal charges and you would need a lawyer to defend your case. There are many highly qualified lawyers who can assist you, but it is always crucial to double check before hiring a lawyer. Some have expertise in civil while some are criminal lawyers.  You need to check certain details and do a fair amount of research to make sure you have hired the right lawyer to help you. This indeed is a wise decision. Always dig a little deeper. Meet with a few lawyers before you decide.

Let’s see how we spot Ohio dump truck DUI / OVI lawyer.

The first thing you need to do is you must analyze the information such as how many years she/he is practicing law , Is h/she a specialized DUI lawyer and his percentage of DUI cases, how many DUI cases are handled by the lawyer and his track record. Also consider the location. Choosing a lawyer in another location than where you live can make the process even more difficult. All these considerations will help you make a good decision on who represents you

Beware of Dump Track Lawyer: Dump truck is a term used by some lawyers to describe lawyers who try to make money on volume by pleading clients guilty at early stages of the proceedings even without reviewing any discovery, pursuing any motions, or subpoenaing officers or criminalist to DMV hearings instead of actually trying to win. In simple words, they don’t fight for you.

You should know the traits of such lawyers. Such lawyers ignore your questions and use false promises like” I will take care of it’ “You need not worry about that”. They make false promises like they will charge you less and there is no need to appear at court. You have to understand that all these are traits used by Dump Track lawyers.

The relation between you and your lawyer should be very personal. Select a lawyer who is personable as an individual. Personal chemistry between the lawyer and the client can be the most helpful factor in easing an already stressful situation for you. You have to discuss all the details of your case and the lawyer to develop the right approach towards winning the case. Many lawyers are not equipped to handle the complicated DUI/drunken driving cases. Always remember that you should feel comfortable and confident with your lawyer in communicating and understanding the DUI charges. Recommendations/referrals from friends can help but you need to keep in mind that the cases vary. Your friend’s case might be different than yours. Do not hire any lawyer who does a brief discussion over the phone without addressing all aspects of your case. Any good lawyer would like to meet the person and have a lengthy discussion with him knowing what exactly has happened. If it is really not possible to meet the person, at least the phone consultation should be thorough.

Choosing the right Ohio DUI lawyer will save your drivers license and help you in reducing the DUI charge. Take you time to decide who to hire.

Client’s first concern after a Ohio DUI arrest is when can I drive?  

First, you do not get your license back until your case and suspension are over in Ohio.  Do not go to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles and get a state ID. If you do this you may lose all of your driving privileges in the State of Ohio and have to re-test to get them back.  

● In Ohio there are two different driving suspensions when you are charged with an OVI. There is a suspension from Court and a suspension from the BMV. The rules are different for both.  If you are pulled over and charged with an OVI you will receive an Administrative License Suspension which suspends your right to drive immediately.  This suspension must be appealed or stayed in order to get your driving privileges back.  

● A motion for driving privileges must be filed which requires proof of your auto insurance and employment. Some courts impose the requirement of an interlock during the pendency of your case, such as Mentor Municipal Court.  The good news is after the case is resolved, if you are a first offender the interlock will terminate.  In Euclid Municipal Court you must file two motions for driving privileges. The first one while the case is pending and the second after the case is resolved. The court will not grant driving privileges after the case is resolved unless all fines are paid in full.  Medina Municipal Court also follows this policy.  Some courts have their own procedures for filing for driving privileges.  This is true in Berea, Rocky River and Medina. You must use the Court’s forms.

● All ALS suspensions have hard time which means there is an amount of time you cannot drive at all.  You need an experienced lawyer who knows the procedure to get you driving as soon as possible.  For first time offenders the minimum suspension from the court is six months. The BMV suspension varies depending upon the facts and circumstances of your case.  The BMV suspension and the court suspension will run at the same time.  The statute provides for driving privileges for work, school, vocational, medical, drivers license exam, and court ordered treatment for AA.  Most of my clients need driving privileges for personal needs, child care and other issues which can be obtained under the right circumstances.

● Talk to your attorney before you do anything.  What you DON’T know can hurt you and affect your case.  You need to discuss all issues in your case with your attorney before you do anything so you don’t make a mistake.


The government must prove to the jurors beyond a reasonable doubt the person operated a vehicle under the influence.  An arresting officer may charge a defendant with O.V.I. based on observations and evidence like field sobriety tests and chemical tests.

A police officer must have probable cause to pull anyone over. Probable Cause is usually a traffic infraction speeding, stop sign, red light or weaving. When you are pulled over for a traffic infraction the police officer has no evidence that you may be driving under the influence. Once you are stopped, the officer begins gathering evidence against you for OVI/DUI. If you do not give him the evidence I can always win a charge of DUI/OVI.

Examples of giving evidence are (1) engaging in conversation with the policeman. By doing this he hears your speech hears your thought processes and learns whether or not you are impaired. He smells your breath. During the process he also views your eyes to see if they are red, bloodshot, or watery.

If you engage in a conversation you are giving him evidence to use against you. If he observes slow or slurred speech or smells an odor of alcohol he then goes to the next step (2) license, insurance, and registration. Have this ready. If you search for it, fumble through a wallet or purse, or cannot find it this is another strike against you.

Never admit that you consumed alcohol. Admission is another strike against you. If you have given him enough evidence he will ask you to perform Field Sobriety Tests. There is no legal obligation or requirement to perform these tests. Do not take Field Sobriety Tests. Again you are giving him evidence against you. Finally, do not try to justify your conduct. Everything you say will all be written down in a police report and used against you. Once he has made a decision to charge there is nothing you can say or do to avoid it so do not say anything. Be polite and cooperative. Do not take a breathalyzer test and call a skilled Cleveland Ohio DUI defense lawyer.

Should I submit to any of the DUI / OVI tests?

Should I submit to the field sobriety tests?  

The answer is NO.  There is no legal requirement in the State of Ohio for you to take field sobriety tests.  There are no consequences if you refuse to take them, so do not take them.  Be polite and cooperate and refuse to take any field sobriety tests.  Don’t even start to take them! The police will threaten and try to convince you to. The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) designed field sobriety tests to prove that you are intoxicated. They are designed for you to fail.  By taking these tests you only give the prosecution more evidence against you. You are testifying against yourself, DO NOT DO IT.  

If you’ve already been arrested and charged with an OVI don’t worry, I can help.  I have taken the 24 hour NHTSA field sobriety test course (FST).  If you have already taken the FSTs I will obtain your dashcam video for review.  I find that police officers make mistakes in performing the field sobriety tests. If they make a mistake the tests cannot be used against you.

Officers make mistakes in giving these tests in two ways:

1.) they do not give the tests properly and;

2.) they do not score the tests properly.  

After I review your field sobriety tests the police say that you failed, I often find that you have passed the test.  If that happens the test cannot be used against you in Court and the charges may be reduced or dismissed.  In order for the test to be used against you the officer must perform the test in substantial compliance with NHTSA standards.  If the officer makes mistakes, you have to file a Motion to Suppress (Evidence) to throw the test results out. 

Should I submit to the breath test? 

If you take a breath test and blow over .08 you will receive a second charge under the OVI statute.  It is illegal to drive if your blood alcohol is greater than .08 in the State of Ohio.
By taking the breath test called BAC and blowing over .08:

1.) You prove the state’s case against you for BAC.  I cannot advise you not to follow the law and refuse to take the breath test, but you are incriminating yourself if you take the test and blow over .08.  

2.) Even worse, if you blow over a .17 all of the penalties are doubled.  

3.) You should know that there are consequences if you refuse to blow.  The Bureau of Motor Vehicles will automatically suspend your license for one year.  Once you are pulled over and the police get you out of the car to perform field sobriety testing, the officer has already made a decision to charge you with OVI. You are going to be arrested and your license will be suspended.  If you blow over the legal limit you are going to be charged with a second DUI violation, (BAC). 

Either way they are going to get you driving privileges, whether you blow or don’t blow, whether you take the field sobriety tests or don’t take the field sobriety tests.  You have put yourself into a better position if you don’t take the Field Sobriety Tests or the breath test because the State does not have as much evidence to use against you.  If you do not take a breath test you avoid the second DUI charge and make it much more difficult for the prosecution to prove their case.  

The Role Of An Ohio Criminal Defense Attorney

In the state of Ohio, a criminal defense attorney plays several roles for their clients and can do a lot to help them avoid legal troubles. The attorney will let their client know what their rights are and explain to them how the legal process will play out in detail. They should also answer their client’s questions and make sure the client fully understands the answers.

Since attorneys have a better grasp of the state laws and procedures than almost anyone else, their experience plays an important role in getting the best results possible for those who hire them. Capable defense attorneys are the best protection average citizens have in their quest to defend themselves and without them, prosecutors and government officials would have no formidable opposition.

It is not the attorney’s job to decide if the individuals they represent are guilty or not, it is their duty to defend them to the best of their abilities since innocent people get charged with crimes as well. Those who are actually guilty of the crime they have been accused of still need protection from being hit with excessive penalties when they are sentenced.

Without good legal counsel, the guilty party does not stand a very good chance of making a case for themselves to be given the lightest sentence possible. The defense attorney does not have the burden of proof that the state has and they should do their best to keep their clients out of harm’s way and avoid having them testify or give unnecessary statements if there is any chance it will hurt their case.

Building a strong defense and getting all relevant information from the defendant and their witnesses, is another way an attorney can defend the client. Choosing the right witnesses to make contributions to the defense and showing the good qualities of their clients, is an important task that they attorney has been trained to accomplish.

Negotiating with the state prosecution team on the severity of the charges and doing their best to dismiss jurors that they feel will hold unfavorable views of their client, are jobs the defense attorney can do to turn the odds in your favor. The attorney should be able to convince the jury to judge the case based on the facts and not any outside opinion they may have about the defendant. If the attorney has a good relationship with the judge and everyone else involved it can go a long way towards getting their client the best outcome possible.

If a criminal defense lawyer in Ohio has a significant amount of experience, a strong awareness of state laws and procedures, and works hard to get their client out of a jam, then they can make the best out of a tough situation.