Category Archives: DUI Penalties

Links to a constantly updating penalty chart detailing possible penalties for OVI in Ohio.

Ohio DUI Law R.C 4511.19(A)(2) “a codified dilema”

ohio dui law

Ohio DUI law R.C. 4511.19(A)(2) enhances the penalty for a motorist who, having been convicted once in the last six (6) years, after having been arrested, refuses to take a blood, breath or urine test.  In State v. Hoover,173 Ohio App.3d 487, 2007-Ohio-5773, the issue of whether or not a person can have a DUI sentence enhanced pursuant to R.C. 4511.19(A)(2) for refusing to take a chemical test was before the Ohio Supreme Court.  The government sought to have the sentence of Corey Hoover enhanced from the ten (10) day mandatory penalty for a second time DUI offender in Ohio to twenty (20) days because he refused to take a breath test.  “The issue here is whether the state can criminalize a person’s failure to consent to a warrantless search, or in other words, to force a consent to search through the coercive power of threatened jail time. Although consent is implied by R.C. 4511.191, consent can be withdrawn. …  Imposing criminal sanctions for failure to consent goes far beyond the state’s power … to regulate the licensure of drivers. Id.

The defendant argued that “ he has a constitutional right to revoke his implied consent and that being forced by threat of punishment to submit to a chemical test violates his rights under the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article I, Section 14 of the Ohio Constitution, which provide that persons, houses, and effects are protected against unreasonable search and seizure.”  Justice Lanzinger emphasized that R.C. 4511.19(A)(2) does not make refusal to take a chemical test a criminal offense. “The activity prohibited under R.C. 4511.19(A)(2) is operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. A person’s refusal to take a chemical test is simply an additional element that must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt along with the person’s previous DUI conviction to distinguish the offense from a violation of R.C. 4511.19(A)(1)(a). Id.  The majority opinion was joined by Justices Evelyn Lundberg Stratton, Maureen O’Connor and Robert R. Cupp.

Justice Paul E. Pfeifer entered a dissenting opinion that was joined by Chief Justice Thomas J. Moyer and Justice Terrence O’Donnell. Justice Pfeifer wrote that today’s majority holding diverges from previous court decisions which have upheld only the imposition of administrative penalties against DUI defendants for refusing to submit to chemical testing.

“R.C. 4511.19(A)(2) veers from the traditional administrative punishment for refusal to consent to a chemical test upon an arrest for DUI and goes down a separate path, beyond the regulation of licensing; for certain DUI arrestees, R.C. 4511.19(A)(2) criminalizes the refusal to take a chemical test. This court’s previous jurisprudence regarding sanctions for a DUI defendant’s failure to consent to chemical tests have all involved license suspensions. … This court has previously answered the question whether a person can face criminal sanctions for failure to consent to a search.  In Wilson v. Cincinnati (1976) … this court held that that the Fourth Amendment prohibits the imposition of criminal penalties upon a person who refuses to submit to a warrantless search.”

“The issue here is whether the state can criminalize a person’s failure to consent to a warrantless search, or in other words, to force a consent to search through the coercive power of threatened jail time. Although consent is implied by R.C. 4511.191, consent can be withdrawn. …  Imposing criminal sanctions for failure to consent goes far beyond the state’s power … to regulate the licensure of drivers. As in Wilson, the statute at issue herein imposes a codified dilemma – consent to a warrantless search or face the possibility of a criminal penalty – and thus amounts to coercion. R.C. 4511.19(A)(2) therefore violates defendants’ rights under the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution and Section 14, Article I of the Ohio Constitution.”

This important DUI decision has withstood challenge, so far.  This author posits what impact the recent United States Supreme Court decision in Missouri v. McNeely133 S.Ct. 1552 (2013) regarding the State to obtain a warrant prior to a forced blood draw will have on this decision and other Ohio DUI law issues.  The “codified dilema” as Justice Pfeifer called this matter will have to be relitigated in cases where the State decides not to seek a warrant and also attempts to “enhance” the sentence.

Attorney Charles M. Rowland II dedicates his practice to defending the accused drunk driver in the Miami Valley and throughout Ohio.  He knows Ohio DUI law and 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.  Email CharlesRowland@DaytonDUI.com or visit his office at 2190 Gateway Dr., Fairborn, Ohio 45324.  “All I do is DUI defense.”

For more information on Ohio DUI law  check these city-specific sites at the following links:

FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburg,Huber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville

How Will A DUI Affect My Insurance Costs?

how will a dui affect my insurance costsHow will a DUI affect my insurance costs?”  This is one of the most common questions we get at initial client conferences.  I have grown frustrated in trying to give a short answer that sufficiently covers the nuances of the situation, so – here is my long-winded multi-part answer.

How Will A DUI Affect My Insurance Costs (Part I)

Insurance company evaluators look at you as a risk. Your rates are based on a number of super-secret algorithms and proprietary factors. Having a DUI conviction is just one of many things they look at and consider. Depending on their factors, insurers may raise your rates require you to purchase “high risk” insurance, or cancel your coverage. Some insurers rank a drunk driving conviction as a lesser risk than an at-fault accident, multiple moving violations or a bad credit score. Some treat reductions to a lesser charge more favorably than others. One way of understanding this is to know that a DUI offender with a bad credit score and moving violations will pay more than a person with only a DUI conviction. How high your rates go depends on the driver, the company, whether or not you are an existing customer and whether or not you are willing to shop for quotes.

You can help lower your rates following a DUI if you drive for a few years without any moving violations. Improving your credit score, moving to a home in the suburbs, having kids, trading in that sports car for a minivan and simply getting older also help you lower your rates. Perhaps the most important factor, however, is your willingness to shop, shop, shop. My wife always calls at least five companies, gets three quotes and then uses one companies’ quote against the other offer.

How Will A DUI Affect My Insurance Costs (Part II)

It may happen that you are “dropped” by your insurance company. If this happens, the insurance company has made the decision that your circumstances create a risk too high for them to accept. Does this mean that you will be uninsurable? No. Taking action to change your personal risk factors and shopping wisely will help you find a reasonable insurance rate. Some insurers, agents or salesmen may try to convince you that “high-risk” is anyone who has a DUI and that you should accept this and re-up with your company at a higher rate. Don’t believe it! See above.

How Will A DUI Affect My Insurance Costs (Part III)

The most common element a DUI or DWI offender will encounter after their license and driving privileges have been reinstated is the SR-22 form. The SR-22 is a form that your car insurance company files with the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles.  The form provides the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles with proof of financial responsibility by showing that you have the required insurance coverages in effect.  The filing acts as a guarantee to the Ohio BMV that an insurance company has issued at least minimum liability coverage for the person making the filing.  An SR-22 also requires the insurance company to notify the Ohio BMV if you cancel your coverage, thus creating a system of continuous monitoring.  The BMV usually requires that you file an SR-22 for a period of 3 years from the beginning date of your suspension. Some suspensions may have a 5 year period. The Ohio BMV will accept SR22 filings showing the purchase of either an Auto Liability Insurance Policy, for vehicle owners who want more than the minimum, or a Financial Responsibility Bond, designed for those who want just the minimum coverage.

The minimum mandatory liability insurance coverage required in the state of Ohio for private passenger vehicles is set forth at O.R.C. 4509.51. Ohio mandates the following liability coverage:

  • $12,500 bodily injury liability (BIL) per persson
  • $25,000 for two or more people in one accidents
  • $7,500 property damage liability (PDL) coverage

There are three types of Ohio SR22 certificates available:

  • Ohio SR22 Operators Certificate: 
This covers the driver for the operation of any non-owned vehicle they have been given permission to drive.
  • Ohio SR22 Owners Certificate: 
This covers the driver to drive any vehicles owned by the driver. The certificate may be issued with the details of the make and mode  of the drivers automobile or it may cover any vehicle owned by the driver.
  • Ohio SR22 Operators-Owners Certificate: 
This covers any vehicles owned by the driver and any vehicles that are not owned but the driver has been given permission to drive.

Any vehicle that is registered in Ohio falls under Ohio vehicle laws. R.C. 4509.101 requires that a vehicle’s owner maintain insurance or other acceptable form of financial responsibility coverage on a registered vehicle throughout the registration period of that vehicle.  If you have an out-of-state license and you have received a suspension in Ohio, Ohio has authority to suspend your right to drive in Ohio. This means you may no longer operate a vehicle in this state. Ohio will post your suspension on the National Driver Registry (NDR) and Problem Driver Pointer System. Your home state may check this Registry for suspensions, and may take its own action against your driver’s license. Some states will run NDR checks at the time of license renewal; others will run checks if a vehicle is stopped and the peace officer decides there may be a reason to run the check.  It is up to you to stay on top of all issues related to your SR-22 filing.  Most insurance companies send the Bureau SR-22/Bond filings electronically. These filings are usually processed the same day that they are received.  Some send paper copies of SR-22/Bonds which can take up to 72 hours to process.  We have seen some outrageous delays but it is seldom takes greater than five business days.  Sometimes SR-22/Bonds are rejected and returned to the insurance company because information is incomplete or incorrect.  To access your BMV records and stay on top of your SR-22, please visit HERE.

It is important that your Ohio DUI attorney show the Court your that you had insurance at the time of your alleged DUI offense.  Any driver and/or owner who fails to show proof that financial responsibility was in effect at the time of an accident/offense/random selection, will lose his/her driving and registration privileges for a minimum of 90 days.  Per Senate Bill 123, the length of the suspension will be 90 days for the first offense, one year for a second offense and two years for third and subsequent offenses committed within a five-year period, if the offense occurred on or after January 1, 2004.  The registration and license plates of the motor vehicle involved may be impounded when the defendant is the owner of the vehicle.  In order to regain driving and registration privileges, the individual must comply with the following requirements:

  • Serve out the suspension time, as outlined above;
  • File and maintain Financial Responsibility Insurance (Form SR-22 or Bond) for three years on a first offense, and five years on a second and subsequent offense;
  • Pay Reinstatement Fee. See Reinstatement Fee List for required fee amount.

There is a $50 non-voluntary surrender fee. If registration, license plates and driver license are surrendered within a specified time period (postmarked on or prior to suspension start date), the $50 non-voluntary surrender fee may be deducted from the amount owed. This fee reduction does not apply to individuals driving without a license because their license has expired or has been revoked, or to individuals who have never had a license.  Per House Bill 687, effective October 12, 1994, all driver licenses and license plates received by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) will be destroyed. Duplicate driver license and license plates must be purchased by the driver and/or owner once suspensions end and all requirements are met.  Registration privileges and duplicate license plates can be issued prior to the ending date of the suspension if the necessary fees are paid and Financial Responsibility Insurance is filed.  Any party that is going to be placed under a Noncompliance Suspension, resulting from a Crash Report/Accident, UTT Ticket or Random Selection has the option to request an Administrative Hearing.

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.”

For more on, “How will a dui affect my insurance costs” contact me, or check these city-specific sites at the following links:

FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburgSpringboro,Huber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville

New DUI Punishment Coming To Ohio

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

Ignition Interlock Devices For Everyone – We Warned You!

ignition interlockH.B. 469 (Annie’s Law) presented at the Ohio Statehouse on Thursday will require an ignition interlock device  be installed on the vehicle of all convicted drunk drivers, including first-time offenders.  Ohio law currently prescribes “blow to go” devices for repeat drunk driving offenders, but not on a first offense.  We have longed warned (previous story HERE) that this was at the top of MADD’s agenda and a continuation of their desire to impose penalties on a driver before they are found guilty of an offense.  Essentially, this law is an attack on a person’s presumption of innocence.  State Representatives Terry Johnson (R-McDermott) and Gary Scherer (R-Circleville) are the lead sponsors of House Bill 469.

Currently, interlock search 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.  NHTSA and MADD want 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-preventing interlock search devices on hundreds of thousands more vehicles.  Currently, only 20 states require the devices for anyone convicted of a drunken driving-related offense.

Some studies show that ignition-preventing interlock devices are about 75 percent effective in keeping those previously convicted of drunken driving from repeating their behavior. 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, for up to three attempts before the vehicle is locked down.  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.  Ignition Interlock devices typically cost about $150 and may run $80 a month or more to maintain.

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 Ignition Interlock devices on this blog, or check these city-specific sites at the following links:

FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburgSpringboro,Huber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville

Ohio’s OVI Forfeiture Law: Can I Sell My Car Before It Gets Forfeited?

OVI forfeiture law

Under Ohio’s OVI forfeiture law, you are not permitted to sell your car if it is subject to forfeiture.  Ohio’s OVI forfeiture law is set forth at R.C. 4511.19(G)(1)(b), (c), (d) and (e) and R.C. 4503.233.  Ohio’s OVI forfeiture law applies only when:

  • the vehicle is registered to the offender;
  • the vehicle was used in the incident;
  • it is the offender’s 3rd OVI conviction within 6 years;
  • it is the offenders 4th or more OVI conviction within 6 years OR 6 within 20years;
  • the offender has a prior felony OVI conviction

In any of these situations, if the title to the motor vehicle that is subject to an order of criminal forfeiture under R.C. 4511.19(G)(1)(c), (d), or (e) and R.C. 4503.234(B)(2) or (3) is assigned or transferred, the court in addition to any other penalty, may fine the offender the value of the vehicle as determined by publications of the National Auto Dealers Association. See R.C. 4511.195(G)(6).  Ohio’s OVI forfeiture law is harsh and provides a court with very little discretion in enforcing the forfeiture.

OVI Attorney Charles M. Rowland II dedicates his practice to defending the accused drunk driver in the Miami Valley and throughout Ohio and protecting you.  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.”

Ohio’s OVI forfeiture law information and other city-specific info at the following links:

FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburgSpringboro,Huber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville