Holiday Messages

Happy Fourth of July from Dayton DUI

July 4th, 2014

Have a happy and safe 4th of July, from all of us at DaytonDUI.

Fireworks! What is Ohio’s Law?

July 3rd, 2014

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Law You Can Use is a weekly consumer legal information column provided by the Ohio State Bar Association.  This article was originally prepared by Lawrence T. Bennett, Esq., program chair, Fire Science Education at the University of Cincinnati, and reviewed by Douglas Wehmeyer, Battalion Chief, Deerfield Township Fire & Rescue Department; updated by Lawrence T. Bennett.

Ohio Law Governs Fireworks

Q: What kinds of fireworks can be lawfully set off in Ohio?
Only “novelty and trick” fireworks, such as party poppers and glow worms can be discharged by unlicensed individuals. Section 3743.01 of the Ohio Revised Code defines these novelty and trick items as follows:
“(1) Devices that produce a small report intended to surprise
the user, including, but not limited to, booby traps, cigarette
loads, party poppers, and snappers.;
(2) Snakes or glow worms;
(3) Smoke devices;
(4) Trick matches.”

Q: Can traditional firecrackers and roman candles be set off by unlicensed individuals in Ohio?
No. Traditional firecrackers, roman candles, bottle rockets and similar items are all classified as “consumer fireworks.” Individuals may buy “consumer fireworks” from an Ohio licensed retailer, but they can not be discharged in Ohio, and must be transported to another state within 48 hours of purchase (72 hours if the buyer is not an Ohio resident). “Consumer fireworks are regulated as “1.4G Fireworks” by the U.S. Department of Transportation.  Individuals over the age of 18 may purchase them, but must sign a form certifying that the purchaser will transport the fireworks outside of Ohio within the required time.

Q: What about M80s, cherry bombs, and other powerful devices?
 They may not be discharged or even possessed in Ohio without a special license. See Ohio Fire Marshal’s “2011 Fireworks Redbook,” M80s and similar devices are so powerful that they are classified as “explosive devices” instead of “fireworks.” In Ohio, it is illegal for anyone to even possess any explosive device without a special license. Since 1976, the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission has restricted all “1.4G Fireworks” to no more than 50 milligrams of powder, with three- to nine-second fuses.

Q: Are there criminal penalties if individuals violate the fireworks law?
 Yes. First-time offenders are normally charged with a first-degree misdemeanor. If they plead guilty or are convicted, they can be sentenced to up to six months in jail, and also fined up to $1,000. A subsequent conviction is a fifth degree felony, potentially punishable by a prison term of up to one year.

Q: On the 4th of July, who may set off the large fireworks displays?
These aerial shells, known as “1.3G Fireworks” can only discharged by a licensed exhibitor with a local permit. The permit must be approved by both the local fire chief and the local chief law enforcement officer, after the exhibition site has been inspected using an Ohio Fire Marshal checklist. The Fireworks & Explosive Unit of the State Fire Marshal ( has issued licenses to about 504 exhibitors in Ohio, who must take six hours of training on fireworks laws and safety every three years, and must review this information annually with their employees. These exhibitors employ about 1,240 registered assistants who are allowed to assist in discharging the fireworks at the discharge site.

Q: Are there licensed manufacturers and wholesalers in Ohio?
Yes. There are six licensed manufacturers in Ohio, and 42 licensed wholesalers. The Ohio Revised Code was amended, effective June 1, 1998, to increase the safety of fireworks retail showrooms. These showrooms may not exceed 5,000 square feet, and must be equipped with “interlinked” fire detection, fire suppression, smoke exhaust, and smoke evacuation systems that have been approved by the Ohio Department of Commerce and the Division of Industrial Compliance. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) also has sought to increase the safety of retail fireworks stores nationwide.

Happy Father’s Day From All Of Us At

June 15th, 2014

Father's Day

Happy Father’s Day from all of us at DaytonDUI!

My father knows the proper way 
The nation should be run;
He tells us children every day
Just what should now be done.
He knows the way to fix the trusts,
He has a simple plan;
But if the furnace needs repairs,
We have to hire a man.
My father, in a day or two
Could land big thieves in jail;
There’s nothing that he cannot do,
He knows no word like “fail.”
“Our confidence” he would restore,
Of that there is no doubt;
But if there is a chair to mend,
We have to send it out.

All public questions that arise,
He settles on the spot;
He waits not till the tumult dies,
But grabs it while it’s hot.
In matters of finance he can
Tell Congress what to do;
But, O, he finds it hard to meet
His bills as they fall due.

It almost makes him sick to read
The things law-makers say;
Why, father’s just the man they need,
He never goes astray.
All wars he’d very quickly end,
As fast as I can write it;
But when a neighbor starts a fuss,
‘Tis mother has to fight it.

In conversation father can
Do many wondrous things;
He’s built upon a wiser plan
Than presidents or kings.
He knows the ins and outs of each
And every deep transaction;
We look to him for theories,
But look to ma for action” 
— Edgar Albert Guest

Happy Father’s Day from all of us at  We hope that all dad’s celebrate by doing something you enjoy.  When I asked my kids what I should put into this post to represent Father’s Day they said, “You, sitting in your chair”.

Dayton DUI Wishes You a Happy Memorial Day Holiday

May 26th, 2014

“Poor is the country that has no heroes.  But beggared is the people who having them forgets.”

-Col. Wm. A. Jones III, Medal of Honor Recipient-

As you pause to remember those who have died in our nation’s service, have a safe and relaxing Memorial Day Weekend.  If you find yourself in need of representation resulting from a DUI arrest, contact Charles M. Rowland II at 937-318-1DUI (318-1384) or 1-888-ROWLAND (888-769-5263).

How The Constitution Died In America

March 11th, 2014

US Constitution

This article is about the Constitution.  It is a departure from my norm (a rant really!).

“The ability to learn from others is central to the evolution and persistence of culture, and it is viewed as part of the reason humans have come to dominate the planet.  Sometimes individuals copy the behaviors of others seemingly at random; other times they appear to decide who to copy based on the level of prestige of the individual” [Source].  An example is a person who learns to affix a sharpened rock to the end of a stick. We do the same so as to successfully take down a wooly mammoth and survive.   Famed sociologist Max Weber writes about this evolutionary adaptation in his leadership theory, wherein he says that we have a need to place “charismatic leaders” in a position so that we may emulate their success.  Weber defines charismatic leadership as “resting on devotion to the exceptional sanctity, heroism or exemplary character of an individual person, and of the normative patterns or order revealed or ordained by him” [Source]. Who are our cultural leaders today?

With the advent of television and our celebrity culture we see the destructive nature of this evolutionary drive. In America, we have eschewed the valuable thinkers in government, philosophy, science and the arts in favor of celebrity. Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton (among others) are emulated and their desires and actions implicitly placed as examples for society to follow.  What we know of evolution dictates that a significant portion of people will follow them as an example worthy of emulation.  We acquiesce without conscious thought based on the unseen drive to copy the behavior of the successfully adapted.   It is yet to be seen if we can survive and adapt as a society if we follow the leadership and example of people who have no discernible talent (except that of maintaining attention and fame).

The point of this post is to have us examine what we place in front of police officers as charismatic leadership behavior. Recall the early days of cinema where law enforcement was seen as upholding the law; so much so, that they would defend the prisoner against the mob at the risk of their own lives. The rule of law was important and we were only safe if we submitted ourselves to it.  Lawlessness and chaos were kept at bay by the brave men (usually only men back then) that understood the rule of law was sacrosanct.  Early television shows like Gunsmoke, 1-ADAM-12 and Dragnet followed this philosophy. The characters found their nobility in upholding and trusting the system.  The police, sheriff, marshall, FBI agent, were all US.  They valued “us” because we shared with them a value system rooted in our mutual respect for the law and each other.

Somewhere in the 1960′s we lost faith in each other.  Depictions of law enforcement behavior changed accordingly.  Now, the system was the enemy.  Instead of a shared value system worthy of respect; Dirty Harry taught us that it was not to be trusted.  Only the law enforcement officer could reliably inflict punishment and justice.  He was a lone force for good.  Detective Sipowicz on NYPD Blue was lauded for his ability to “work around” the rules and intimidate criminals into confessions. “Colors” is a film about a 19 year veteran (Robert Duvall) who is teamed with a rookie (Sean Penn).  They debate (via their attitudes and actions) which approach to policing is best in our modern society.  Not surprisingly, the values of rapport and diplomacy are symbolically killed with the death of the Duvall character.  The charismatic leadership takeaway for aspiring officers: we are not in this together; the citizen is the enemy; don’t trust the Constitution because it does not work.  This had a cultural impact. [language warning for clip].

Beginning in the 1980′s we see the courts begin to adopt the same philosophy toward the Constitution as that depicted in the culture.  We began to see our cherished Constitutional American values shown as technicalities that protected criminals.  Is it any surprise that we see an erosion of the 4th Amendment, 5th Amendment and other Constitutional protections?  Should we expect anything less than the police seeking military grade weapons to protect itself against us?  Since the criminals are “the other” why not just lock up and store as many people in prisons as we can?  Why should we not adopt any tactic, no matter how unscrupulous to attack people who use drugs — they are the enemy!  Red-light cameras, civil asset forfeiture, mass incarceration, the drug war, and ultimately the sanctioning of torture by our government can be traced back to this cultural adaptation. Some more evidence -Almost 60% of teens think torture is ok! According to a Red Cross poll looking at attitudes US citizens have about the use of torture on enemy combatants. So is it a stretch to think that teens, who grew up in the last decade now think torture is an acceptable form of punishment?  In my particular practice (DUI defense) we see no shortage of advocacy groups who seek to remove that pesky Constitution from their goal of punishing the “other” the drunk driver — the enemy!

Let’s change this!  Support the Constitution. Let’s be American again! It begins by believing in the system and believing in each other.  Police officers are not our enemy and we are not theirs.

-Charles M. Rowland II (Jan. 20, 2012)