State v. Lewis, 187 Ohio App.3d701, 2010-Ohio-2872
Verdial Lewis was found not guilty of OVI in a trial in the Hamilton County Municipal Court. Upon finding the defendant not guilty, the court terminated the (ALS) administrative license suspension that was imposed for the driver’s refusal to submit to a chemical test.
Upon appeal, the 1st District Court of Appeals, in an opinion written by Judge Sylvia S. Hendon held that a not guilty verdict on a charge of OVI did not permit termination of the (ALS) automatic license suspension of a motorist’s driver’s license for having refused to submit to a chemical test. Even though the OVI charge was not a sufficient charge under Ohio law, the harshest provisions of the OVI suspension will remain in effect. This ruling effectively prevents a not guilty trial verdict from protecting a defendant’s driver’s license when they refuse to take the test.
The practice pointer to take away from this case is to file an ALS appeal and litigate it separately from the OVI case, otherwise you will be left without a remedy even if you are found not guilty. This is particularly important if your client cares only about the suspension time. Would you care to join me in a referendum making the ability to drive a right and not a privilege? Contact Dayton OVI attorney Charles M. Rowland II at 937-318-1DUI (318-1384) or 1-888-ROWLAND (888-769-5263).