Breath Testing

New DUI Punishment Coming To Ohio

April 2nd, 2014

dui punishmentThe Ohio legislature is considering H.B. 469 (Annie’s Law) which would bring a harsh new DUI punishment to the State.

Currently, ignition interlock devices are used in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. However, states vary widely in how the ignition interlock devices are used and which drivers are required to install them. In West Virginia, for example, interlock devices are only ordered at a judge’s discretion while Michigan mandates their use for drivers who are found with a BAC more than twice the state’s legal limit.  In Ohio, ignition interlock devices are required for any driver accused of a second OVI (drunk driving) offense and are otherwise discretionary to the judge.  MADD has pushed to eliminate these discrepancies and urge the adoption of a model rule which covers first-time offenders with a BAC just over the legal limit and would require the installation of ignition interlock devices on hundreds of thousands more vehicles.  Currently, only 20 states require the devices for anyone convicted of a drunken driving-related offense.

Opponents to the law argue interlocks are too expensive and harsh for a first time offender, because they’re responsible for the cost of the DUI punishment. It costs about $2.50 a day, or $75 a month plus a hefty installation fee.  While there are numerous different designs, the typical ignition interlock requires the driver to blow into a tube that measures breath alcohol levels. If a person fails he or she may try again, before the vehicle is locked down.  At random times after the engine has been started, the IID will require another breath sample. The purpose of this is to prevent someone other than the driver from providing a breath sample. If the breath sample isn’t provided, or the sample exceeds the ignition interlock’s preset blood alcohol level, the device will log the event, warn the driver and then start up an alarm (e.g., lights flashing, horn honking) until the ignition is turned off, or a clean breath sample has been provided.  Other versions may also use cameras to record a person’s behavior behind the wheel. Courts may access the data recorded and, in some jurisdictions, a motorist who blew over the limit may face additional penalties.  No one has considered the proportionality of this DUI punishment.

Radley Balko argued in a December 2002 article that MADD’s policies are becoming overbearing. “In fairness, MADD deserves credit for raising awareness of the dangers of driving while intoxicated. It was almost certainly MADD’s dogged efforts to spark public debate that effected the drop in fatalities since 1980, when Candy Lightner founded the group after her daughter was killed by a drunk driver,” Balko wrote. “But MADD is at heart a bureaucracy, a big one. It boasts an annual budget of $45 million, $12 million of which pays for salaries, pensions and benefits. Bureaucracies don’t change easily, even when the problems they were created to address change.”

Attorney Charles M. Rowland II dedicates his practice to defending the accused drunk driver in the Miami Valley and throughout Ohio.  He has the credentials and the experience to win your case and has made himself Dayton’s choice for drunk driving defense. Contact Charles Rowland by phone at (937) 318-1384 or toll-free at 1-888-ROWLAND (888-769-5263). If you need assistance after hours, call the 24/7 DUI Hotline at (937) 776-2671.  You can have DaytonDUI at your fingertips by downloading the DaytonDUI Android App or have DaytonDUI sent directly to your mobile device by texting DaytonDUI (one word) to 50500.  Follow DaytonDUI on Facebook, @DaytonDUI on Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, Pheed and Pintrest or get RSS of the Ohio DUI blog.  You can email CharlesRowland@DaytonDUI.com or visit his office at 2190 Gateway Dr., Fairborn, Ohio 45324.  “All I do is DUI defense.”

Find information on DUI punishment on this blog, or check these city-specific sites at the following links:

FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburgSpringboro,Huber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville

Intoxilyzer 8000: The More You Blow

March 27th, 2014

intoxilyzer 8000The Intoxilyzer 8000 is Ohio’s breath testing device in DUI cases.  One of the major flaws of the machine is that its testing protocol can result in inflated tests. The more you blow, the higher it goes.

The protocol for the Intoxilyzer 8000 in Ohio requires that you produce merely 1.1 liters of breath, less than the amount of air required to fill a two liter pop bottle.  The average adult can exhale between three and four liters of air.  If you are unlucky enough to be tested on this machine, the police will urge you to keep blowing your entire breath into the machine. However, such a long breath will artificially increase the apparent amount of alcohol in your breath by skewing the sample toward your “deep lung air,” where the alcohol is more highly concentrated. If you only blow only the required 1.1 liters, you will give an adequate sample, which may be up to 30% less than the sample that the police want you to give. 

The Intoxilyzer 8000 measures how much breath you provide by something called a ‘pressure transducer.’ Instead of directly measuring the volume of your breath by a pressure switch, like the old Intoxilyzer 5000 did, the 8000 indirectly measures breath. Not only is it needlessly complicated, it simply doesn’t work! The flow sensor systems in Florida’s Intoxilyzer 8000′s are so unreliable that FDLE ordered that police STOP KEEPING RECORDS of the system in monthly checks. In 2011, a system-wide check showed that 40% of the machines in Florida couldn’t accurately measure breath volume! (Source). As of this writing, the author knows of no testing in Ohio to determine if this is a problem.  In fact, recent court decisions reveal that precious little (if any) testing has been done by the Ohio Department of Health prior to the implementation of the machine in Ohio.

Charles M. Rowland II dedicates his practice to defending the accused drunk driver in the Miami Valley and throughout Ohio.  He has the credentials and the experience to win your case and has made himself Dayton’s choice for drunk driving defense. Contact Charles Rowland by phone at (937) 318-1384 or toll-free at 1-888-ROWLAND (888-769-5263). If you need assistance after hours, call the 24/7 DUI Hotline at (937) 776-2671.  You can have DaytonDUI at your fingertips by downloading the DaytonDUI Android App or have DaytonDUI sent directly to your mobile device by texting DaytonDUI (one word) to 50500.  Follow DaytonDUI on Facebook, @DaytonDUI on Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, Pheed and Pintrest or get RSS of the Ohio DUI blog.  You can email CharlesRowland@DaytonDUI.com or visit his office at 2190 Gateway Dr., Fairborn, Ohio 45324.  “All I do is DUI defense.”

 Find more Intoxilyzer 8000 information check these city-specific sites at the following links:

FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburgSpringboro,Huber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville

Ohio DUI Defense: The Top 10 DUI Defenses

December 11th, 2013

Ohio DUI defenseYour Ohio DUI defense attorney should be familiar with these “TOP 10″ defenses to an Ohio DUI.

1. Hire The Best DUI Attorney: The most important decision that you can make in defending your case is hiring the right Ohio DUI defense attorney.  Ohio DUI defense involves understanding Ohio’s DUI law, the Ohio Administrative Code, the breath test device, standardized field sobriety testing (administration and interpretation) and all manners of science which may affect your case.  Ohio DUI defense begins with an attorney who has the experience to fight your case, the scientific knowledge to attack in the right places, and the skill to negotiate with the prosecuting attorney to secure the best outcome.  We have written “How To Hire An Ohio OVI Attorney” to help you understand some issues you may not consider.

2. Illegal Police Stop: If the officer lacked proper cause to initiate a traffic stop, your case may be dismissed.  The Fourth Amendment requires an officer have a reasonable suspicion that a crime is being committed or about to be committed before making a traffic stop. Reasonable suspicion may consist of any minor traffic offense, such as speeding, weaving, an accident, expired plates, or a failure to activate headlights.  Upon being stopped the officer must establish an articulable reason to continue your detention to do an alcohol/drunk driving investigation.

3. Improper Administration of Standardized Field Sobriety Tests: If an officer improperly administers the field tests, gives faulty instructions, misunderstands how to administer the tests or holds the accused to impossible standards, then the botched tests amount to nothing more than “Stupid Human Tricks.”  Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFST) were developed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to help determine the level of intoxication of a driver without chemical testing. When an OVI suspect refuses a chemical test, the tests can be substantial evidence of intoxication.  The NHTSA has guidelines as to how the standardized field sobriety tests must be given. If the arresting officer fails to substantially comply with the guidelines established by the NHTSA, then the results of the tests are not admissible as evidence against the defendant. Your Ohio DUI defense attorney will be familiar with the standardized tests, the NHTSA manual and have experience cross-examining an arresting officer.

4. Faulty Interpretation of the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests: The officer may say all of the right things to get a valid field sobriety test, and still improperly interpret what he or she is seeing.  Your Ohio DUI defense attorney will review any video of the stop to make sure that your fields tests were fairly administered and properly scored.  Arresting officers can (and do) misinterpret the performance of the SFST’s, and determine the performance to be a failure. The dashboard video and aggressive cross examination of the arresting officers will determine whether a DUI defendant actually failed the SFST’s, or if the officer made a mistake. If the defendant did not fail the SFST’s, the results will serve as evidence that the defendant was not intoxicated.

5. Unlawful Arrest Not Supported By Probable Cause:  Assuming the officer has made a valid traffic stop, he or she must continue the investigation until probable cause exists for an OVI arrest.  Often, an officer intending to determine whether probable cause exists for an OVI arrest will make the arrest before this determination is made. When this happens, the officer has made an unlawful arrest, and all evidence obtained after the arrest may be deemed inadmissible in court.  Placing a suspect in a patrol car or ordering a suspect to follow directions before determining a suspect’s sobriety may constitute an unlawful arrest. If so, any evidence obtained regarding intoxication may be deemed inadmissible in court.

6. Officer Error Prior To Chemical Testing: If any statements are made after the accused is in custody, they may excluded unless a proper Miranda warning was given.  The officer must also satisfy a 20 minute observation period prior to administering an evidential breath test.  The breath test must be given within three hours of operation.  The officer must make sure that the testing conditions are free from radio frequency interference and that the testing location is not otherwise compromised.  Prior to requesting a suspect to submit to a chemical test, the arresting officer is required inform the driver of the consequences of submitting to the test, the driver’s right to refuse to submit to the test and the consequences for so refusing. If the driver submits to the test, he may be providing the State with evidence of intoxication. Failure of the arresting officer to advise the suspect of the above may render the results of the test, or the refusal inadmissible, and may fail to justify a license suspension.  Your Ohio DUI defense attorney should have a firm understanding of the Ohio Administrative Code and its requirements for a proper chemical test.

7. Bad Breath: A Flawed Breath Machine: Above we discussed defenses that arise prior to the administration of the chemical test.  There are also potential defenses present in the administration of the test. You Ohio DUI defense attorney will be familiar with the Ohio Administrative Code requirements regarding calibration and officer performance.  You should ask your Ohio DUI defense attorney to show you the “guts” of the tests that are available at the Ohio Department of Health website.  What is more, you should only hire an attorney who has become certified on the breath test machine or attended sufficient specialized training so that he or she can spot any issues with the results.  Machines, despite what some may say, are far from perfect and often a keen eye will result in a “Not Guilty.”

8. Discovery, Discovery, Discovery: Your Ohio DUI defense attorney cannot defend you against an issue he or she does not know exists.  An experienced DUI defense attorney will get proper discovery to explore every possible defense.  Filing motions for discovery, motions to preserve evidence and expeditiously obtaining the evidence is a good start.  In every DUI case, I submit a comprehensive discovery request for every type of evidence possible.   I contact the law enforcement agency directly to place it on notice to preserve evidence, such as dashboard videos and booking videos. These videos must be requested before they are destroyed. These videos can be indispensable in establishing exactly how a field test was administered, how a driver performed, and can also establish whether a driver’s speech was slurred. Often, these videos contradict an officer’s allegations and exonerate the driver.

9. Credibility Is King:  The coin of the realm in all plea negotiations is the credibility, experience and knowledge.  Credibility comes from presenting your case in a way that makes the prosecutor understand your arguments.  Experience is knowing when and where to be persuasive.  Most prosecutors distain whiners, bullies and bullshit artists, so don’t do it.  I always strive to earn the respect of every prosecutor I come into contact with.  Knowledge about Ohio DUI defense comes from being dedicated to learning as much as you can.  We once had a slogan that said, “Is your attorney thinking of DUI defense right now? If not call DaytonDUI.”  I have practiced DUI defense since 1995 and have practice DUI defense exclusively for many of those years.  I continue to try to establish myself as one of the best DUI attorneys in Ohio.

10. Noting Matters If You Won’t Fight: You can have the best defenses in the world, but they won’t matter unless you pursue them.  A good attorney will not only pursue the best possible plea, but will prepare for trial.  Your attorney should provide context and give you enough information to make a good decision.  Your attorney has an obligation to give you information and abide by your decision.  If you think you have a good chance of winning, make sure you hire an attorney who can execute and try your case.  In our office we say “good things happen at trial.”

OVI Attorney Charles M. Rowland II dedicates his practice to defending the accused drunk driver in the Miami Valley and throughout Ohio.  He has the credentials and the experience to win your case and has made himself Dayton’s choice for drunk driving defense. Contact Charles Rowland by phone at (937) 318-1384 or toll-free at 1-888-ROWLAND (888-769-5263). If you need assistance after hours, call the 24/7 DUI Hotline at (937) 776-2671.  You can have DaytonDUI at your fingertips by downloading the DaytonDUI Android App or have DaytonDUI sent directly to your mobile device by texting DaytonDUI (one word) to 50500.  Follow DaytonDUI on Facebook, @DaytonDUI on Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, Pheed and Pintrest or get RSS of the Ohio DUI blog.  You can emailCharlesRowland@DaytonDUI.com or visit his office at 2190 Gateway Dr., Fairborn, Ohio 45324.  “All I do is DUI defense.”

 Find information about Ohio DUI defense and other city-specific info at the following links:

FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburgSpringboro,Huber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville 

Court’s Find A Way To Protect Intoxilyzer 8000

December 5th, 2013

Intoxilyzer 8000Ohio Courts are slowly fixing the Intoxilyzer 8000 implementation issues and (surprise!) they are not resolving the issues in favor of the accused.

In State v. McMahon, 2013-Ohio-2557, the implementation of the Intoxilyzer 8000 was challenged due to confusion in the Ohio Administrative Code sections dealing with “operators.”  It was alleged that the Ohio Department of Health failed to establish qualifications for issuing permits for Intoxilyzer 8000 operators as required by R.C. 4511.19 and 3701.143.  The court ruled that R.C. 3701.143 authorizes the director of health to issue permits to breath-alcohol machine operators, and we found the ODH’s position that an operator access card is a type of operator permit to be supported by the relevant code provisions. Id. at ¶ 13-14.  The Court found that the statute should be read in favor of the broadest interpretation instead of read in a restrictive way in favor of the accused.

More recently, in State v. Clemente, 2013-Ohio-5213 and State v. Wirth, 2013-Ohio-5215, Ohio’s First Appellate District again saved the Intoxilyzer from an Administrative Code problem of their own making.  In these consolidated cases, the records of Intoxilyzer 8000 test were required to be maintained for a period of three years under Ohio Administrative Code 3701-53-01(A).  In ruling that the government had retained these records, the court went a long way to read the statute in the broadest possible sense.  It noted that Ohio Adm.Code 3701-53-01(A) requires only that the results of the tests be retained, and we held that the “result” is the lower of the two breath-alcohol measurements taken during the test. Muchmore at ¶ 31; McNett at ¶ 31. The ODH duplicated the results of the missing tests by consulting the District 2 logbook, and although it cannot recover all the extrinsic data from those tests, there is no provision requiring it to do so.

The court also engaged in an interesting burden shifting analysis which requires the accused to show prejudice.  It state,

When a defendant challenges the admission of a breath-alcohol test result in a motion to suppress, courts apply a burden-shifting analysis. The state must show substantial compliance with ODH regulations, and if the state meets that burden, a rebuttable presumption arises that the test results are admissible. Burnside, 100 Ohio St.3d 152, 2003-Ohio-5372, 797 N.E.2d 71, at ¶ 24; State v. Booth, 1st Dist. Hamilton No. C-070184, 2008-Ohio-1274. Then, the burden shifts back to the defendant to show that he or she “was prejudiced by anything less than strict compliance.” Burnside at ¶24. 

If you find yourself accused of an OVI, you must have an attorney who understands the intricacies of the ever-changing Ohio OVI laws.  Of particular importance is an understanding of the flaws endemic in the Intoxilyzer 8000 breath test machine.  Surely, the implementation and adoption of the Intoxilyzer 8000 will long be seen as a black eye for the Ohio Department of Health.

OVI Attorney Charles M. Rowland II dedicates his practice to defending the accused drunk driver in the Miami Valley and throughout Ohio.  He has the credentials and the experience to win your case and has made himself Dayton’s choice for drunk driving defense. Contact Charles Rowland by phone at (937) 318-1384 or toll-free at 1-888-ROWLAND (888-769-5263). If you need assistance after hours, call the 24/7 DUI Hotline at (937) 776-2671.  You can have DaytonDUI at your fingertips by downloading the DaytonDUI Android App or have DaytonDUI sent directly to your mobile device by texting DaytonDUI (one word) to 50500.  Follow DaytonDUI on Facebook, @DaytonDUI on Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, Pheed and Pintrest or get RSS of the Ohio DUI blog.  You can emailCharlesRowland@DaytonDUI.com or visit his office at 2190 Gateway Dr., Fairborn, Ohio 45324.  “All I do is DUI defense.”

Intoxilyzer 8000 information and other city-specific info at the following links:

FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburgSpringboro,Huber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville

DUI Science: Gas Chromatography

October 14th, 2013

gas chromatography

Gas chromatography mass spectrometry (hereinafter GCMS) is the most reliable method for alcohol testing in blood and urine and has become the accepted gold standard in forensic toxicology.  Gas chromatography specificity for ethanol (drinking alcohol) is very good and this method can also identify and quantify other organic or interfering substances such as methanol and isopropanol. The two commonly used techniques for analyzing the gases are “direct injection” and “headspace analysis.”  The devise works by utilizing a flow-through tube known as the column.  The different chemicals in the sample pass via a gas stream at different rates depending on their interaction with the column’s filling.  As the chemicals exit the end of the column they are detected and electronically identified.In Ohio, the Director of Health adopts Administrative rules which govern analytical testing for evidential use.  The Ohio rules for collection of blood specimens are set forth at Ohio Administrative Code.  Ohio Administrative Code 3701-53-03(A) sets forth the techniques and methods for determining the concentration of alcohol in blood, urine and other bodily substances.

Gas chromatography mass spectrometry is a method that combines the features of gas-liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry to identify different substances within a test sample.  GC-MS has been widely heralded as a “gold standard” for forensic substance identification because it is used to perform a specific test.  The GCMS instrument is made up of two parts. The gas chromatography (GC) portion separates the chemical mixture into pulses of pure chemicals and the mass spectrometer (MS) identifies and quantifies the chemicals.  The GC separates chemicals based on their volatility, or ease with which they evaporate into a gas. It is similar to a running race where a group of people begin at the starting line, but as the race proceeds, the runners separate based on their speed. The chemicals in the mixture separate based on their volatility. In general, small molecules travel more quickly than larger molecules.  The MS is used to identify chemicals based on their structure.

In order to successfully defend a blood test case, an OVI defense lawyer must be familiar with gas chromatography and mass spectrometry and Ohio’s OVI law (O.R.C. 4511.19) and the Ohio Administrative Code sections which apply to the collection, storing, transporting and testing of the whole blood, blood plasma and/or blood serum specimen.  Amphetamine, cocaine, heroine, Marijuana, Methamphetamine, Phencyclidine and L.S.D. are specifically mentioned in Ohio’s OVI statute as illegal controlled substances. The law states how much of each substance must be detected in a chemical test of urine, whole blood, blood plasma, and/or blood serum in order to sustain a charge.  A blood test is seen as the most accurate and reliable method of testing but is the most invasive.  The blood test is increasingly favored by law enforcement officers because it allows them to expand the parameters of their suspicion to include illicit and prescription drugs. Sometimes the blood test will be requested after a breath test produces a result under the .08% BAC limit.  If this is the case, your attorney should employ more traditional factual defenses such as a lack of probable cause to suspect drug use before leaping to a more scientific challenge to the collection, storage, transporting or testing of the blood sample.  If the facts support a blood test then your attorney must hold the State to its proof.

Charles M. Rowland II, DaytonDUI, is a member of the National College for DUI Defense and has attended the National Mastering Scientific Evidence seminar on multiple occasions.  He is the only attorney in Ohio to hold a certificate in Forensic Sobriety Assessment.  His commitment to understanding and winning through the use of science has made him the Miami Valley’s choice for DUI Defense. For the last seven years, Charles has focused exclusively on the complex field of DUI defense. Charles has spoken and written about DUI and is the only attorney in Ohio to hold a Forensic Sobriety Assessment certification.  Don’t you want an attorney who will defend you with the same “by any means necessary” mentality that Ohio has adopted with which to secure your conviction?

Attorney Charles M. Rowland II dedicates his practice to defending the accused drunk driver in the Miami Valley and throughout Ohio.  He has the credentials and the experience to win your case and has made himself Dayton’s choice for drunk driving defense. Contact Charles Rowland by phone at (937) 318-1384 or toll-free at 1-888-ROWLAND (888-769-5263). If you need assistance after hours, call the 24/7 DUI Hotline at (937) 776-2671.  You can have DaytonDUI at your fingertips by downloading the DaytonDUI Android App or have DaytonDUI sent directly to your mobile device by texting DaytonDUI (one word) to 50500.  Follow DaytonDUI on Facebook, @DaytonDUI on Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, Pheed and Pintrest or get RSS of the Ohio DUI blog.  You can email CharlesRowland@DaytonDUI.com or visit his office at 2190 Gateway Dr., Fairborn, Ohio 45324.  “All I do is DUI defense.”

 Find information on gas chromatography and mass spectrometry and other city-specific info at the following links:

FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburgSpringboro,Huber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville