Category: DUI Penalties

OVI checkpoint

How Does Ohio Spend Federal Grant Money On OVI?

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Earlier this week I gave you a breakdown of the grant money received by Ohio in fiscal year 2015 from various federal grant programs. As you will recall the total was a whopping $18,020,292.  Of that money, $5,028,774 was received by Ohio in FY 2015 to fight OVI. This post will focus on the Section 405(d) grants that are specifically targeting impaired drivers.

Under the federal program (SAFETEA-LU), Ohio was eligible for this grant in one of two ways: More info

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How Much Did Ohio Receive In Grants In 2015?

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In fiscal year 2015, Ohio received grants totaling $18,020,292 in Section federal grants to improve driver behavior and reduce deaths and injuries from motor vehicle-related crashes.

Here is a breakdown  of how Ohio spent its share of the money:

  • $2,045,296 was received by Ohio in FY 2015 for 405b Occupant Protection
  • $1,401,509 was received by Ohio in FY 2015 for 405c State Traffic Safety Information System Improvements
  • $5,028,774 was received by Ohio in FY 2015 for 405d Impaired Driving Countermeasures
  • $158,457 was received by Ohio in FY 2015 for 405f Motorcyclist Safety
  • $1,300,653 was received by Ohio in FY 2015 for sec. 164 Repeat Offender Transfer Provision
  • Total FY 2015 Highway Safety Funding for Ohio in FY 2015 $18,020,292

Below is a further breakdown of how the money was divvied up amongst the various programs and what that money is required to be used for. But first an explanation of where the funds come from.

Sources of Funding

The State and Community Highway Safety Grant Program, commonly referred to as Section 402, was initially authorized by the Highway Safety Act of 1966 and has been reauthorized and amended a number of times since then, most recently under MAP-21, with relatively few changes from SAFETEA-LU.

The program is jointly administered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) at the federal level and by the State Highway Safety Offices (SHSO) at the state level. Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) is the surface transportation bill that authorized the federal surface transportation programs – including highway safety programs – for Federal Fiscal Years 2013 and 2014. (The federal fiscal year runs from Oct. 1 through Sept. 30.) It operated under special extentions until it was replaced by the FAST Act in December, 2015.

  • Section 405
    National Priority Safety Program
    Includes sub-sections for:

    • impaired driving
    • occupant protection
    • traffic records
    • motorcyclist safety
    • distracted driving
    • graduated driver licencing

Under MAP-21, states are required to have a highway safety program that is approved by the Secretary. Funds can be spent in accordance with national guidelines for programs to:

In addition, states may (but are not required to) spend 402 funds on teen driver programs. If they do choose to fund these programs, they must fund peer-to-peer and prevention strategies. No 402 funds can be spent on the implementation of automated enforcement programs. States must agree to three new assurances (that is, certifications) under MAP-21, in addition to the assurances required under SAFETEA-LU. These focus on state participation in national mobilizations, establishment of a data-driven enforcement program and coordination of the plan required under Section 402 with the state’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan (required under a different section of MAP-21).

$2.5 million of Section 402 funds are earmarked for a national cooperative research program. States must submit an annual Highway Safety Plan (HSP) which must be data-driven and set quantifiable, annual performance targets for 15 performance measures. The plan must include strategies that will allow the state to meet its performance targets and must describe its successes in meeting its performance targets in the previous fiscal year.

States are required to submit their Section 402 and Section 405 consolidated grant application by July 1 of each fiscal year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) will have 60 days to review and approve or disapprove the consolidated grant application.

Section 164 Repeat Offender Transfer
Provision

The repeat offender transfer provision was initially authorized under the Transportation Equity Act of the 21st Century (TEA-21) and reauthorized under SAFETEA-LU and MAP-21. This transfer provision is jointly administered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).

This transfer provision encourages states to enact a repeat offender law. This transfer provision requires states to enact and enfoce a law that provides specific minimum penalties to individuals convicted or a second or subsequent impaired driving offense.

Under MAP-21, these minimum penalties are:

  • Suspension of driving privileges for not less than one year, “allowing for the reinstatement of limited driving privileges subject to restrictions and limited exemptions as established by state law, if an ignition interlock law is installed for not less than one year on each of the motor vehicles owned or operated, or both, by the individual.”
  • The impoundment or immobilization of the offender’s vehicle or the imposition of an ignition interlock only after the one-year suspension period. Impoundment, immobilization or ignition interlocks must apply to every vehicle owned by the offender.
  • A mandatory alcohol assessment and any appropriate treatment.
  • A sentence of not less than five days of imprisonment or 30 days of community service for a 2nd offense and 10 days of imprisonment or 60 days of community service for a 3rd or subsequent offense.

States that fail to comply with these minimum requirements have a portion of their highway funds transfered into the state’s Section 402 program.

Under MAP-21, the state may elect to use all or a portion of the penalty transfer funds for activities eligible under the Section 148 Highway Safety Improvement Program. If the state does so, then the funds are transferred from FHWA directly to the state department of transportation for the administration of those funds. SHSOs will no longer be required to track HSIP expenditures in that case.

States that failed to enact a repeat offender law by FY 2001 and FY 2002 had 1.5% of their National Highway System (NHS), Surface Transportation Program (STP) and Interstate Maintenance (IM) funds transferred to the Section 402 program. In subsequent years and under SAFETEA-LU, the amount transferred grew to 3%.

In FY 2012 and every year thereafter, if state is not in compliance with the revised repeat offender penalty provisions, then 2.5% of the National Highway System Performance Plan and the Surface Transportation Program funds are transferred to Section 402 in thesubsequent fiscal year. (The amount of the transfer may actually be larger than under SAFETEA-LU since the two core highway programs from which funds are transferred are actually larger.)

$1,300,653 was received by Ohio in FY 2015 pursuant to the Sec. 164 grant.

Section 405 National Priority Safety Program

History and Administration

Under prior federal highway safety authorization bills, Section 405 was known as the Occupant Protection Incentive Grant Program. Under MAP-21, Section 405 was renamed the National Priority Safety Program, which combines the impaired driving, occupant protection, traffic records and motorcyclist safety programs authorized under SAFETEA-LU (with substantial changes to two of the four) and adds two new incentive programs – one for distracted driving and one for graduated driver licensing. All are administered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) at the federal level and the State Highway Safety Offices (SHSOs) at the state level.

Each program is authorized as a separate section or tier within Section 405, and each has its own eligibility criteria. States must satisfy the eligibility criteria of each tier in order to receive funding for that tier. States must submit their Section 405 applications on July 1 as part of the consolidated application process.

Section 405(b): Occupant Protection

16% of Section 405 funds are earmarked for occupant protection incentive grants. States have to satisfy a maintenance of effort requirement and provide a 20% matching share. There are two types of grants: high belt use (90%+) and low belt use (below 90%). High belt use states must participate in national mobilizations, have an active network of child restraint inspection stations and maintain a sufficient number of CPS technicians. Low belt use states have to satisfy these criteria plus three out of six more. High belt use states have more flexibility in the use of the incentive funds.

NOTE: This program replaces the Section 405 Occupant Protection Incentive Grants authorized under SAFETEA-LU.

Funding for Section 405(b)

$2,045,296 was received by Ohio in FY 2015 for 405(b) Occupant Protection

Section 405(c): State Traffic Safety Information System Improvements

14.5% of Section 405 funds are earmarked for traffic records incentive grants. States have to satisfy a maintenance of effort requirement and provide a 20% matching share. Eligible states have to have a Traffic Records Coordinating Committee, a designated traffic records coordinator, an assessment within the last five years and a traffic records strategic plan. States would also have to show quantifiable progress in improving their traffic records systems according to six specific measures.

NOTE: This program replaces the Section 408 State Traffic Safety Information System Improvement Grants authorized under SAFETEA-LU.

Funding for Section 405(c)

$1,401,509 was received by Ohio in FY 2015 for 405(c) State Traffic Safety Information System Improvements

Section 405(d): Impaired Driving Countermeasures

52.5% of Section 405 funds are earmarked for impaired driving incentive grants to reduce the risk of driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs or a combination of the two. There is a maintenance of effort requirement and states would have to provide a 20% matching share. All states receive funds under this tier. They are divided into low-, medium-, and high-range states based on the most recent three years of FARS data. Low-range states do not have to satisfy specific eligibility requirements. The requirements increase for the other two types of states. Low-range states have more flexibility in the use of funds than medium- or high-range states.

15% of this tier is earmarked for ignition interlock incentive funds. States that have an all-offender ignition interlock law will be eligible for these grants. Eligible states can use these funds for any purpose under 402.

NOTE: This program replaces the Section 410 Alcohol-Impaired Driving Countermeasure Incentive Grant authorized under SAFETEA-LU.

Funding for Section 405(d)

$5,028,774 was received by Ohio in FY 2015 for 405(d) Impaired Driving Countermeasures

Section 405(e): Distracted Driving

8.5% of Section 405 funds are earmarked for distracted driving incentive grants. States must enact and enforce a prohibition on texting as well as a ban of the use of all electronic devices for all drivers aged 18 and younger, plus additional requirements. In the first fiscal year, 25% of this tier is available to states that have a primary texting ban for all drivers that was enacted prior to July 6, 2012. Eligible states can use 50% of the funds for Section 402 purposes and 50% for distracted driving purposes. $5 million of these funds are earmarked for a national media campaign on distracted driving.

Zero dollars were received by Ohio in FY 2015 for 405(e) Distracted Driving

Funding for Section 405(e)

Section 405(f): Motorcyclist Safety

1.5% of Section 405 funds are earmarked for motorcyclist safety incentive grants. A state must satisfy two out of six eligibility criteria in order to receive funds, and the use of funds is limited to motorcycle training and awareness programs.

NOTE: This program replaces the Section 2010 Motorcyclist Safety Grants authorized under SAFETEA-LU.

Funding for Section 405(f)

$158,457 was received by Ohio in FY 2015 for 405(f) Motorcyclist Safety

Section 405(g): State Graduated Driver Licensing Laws

5% of Section 405 funds are earmarked for graduated driver licensing (GDL) incentive grants. States have to require a two-stage driver license and satisfy specific criteria for the learner’s and intermediate stages. In addition, MAP-21 gives the Secretary of Transportation the authority to add additional eligibility criteria. Eligible states can use 25% of the funds for GDL-related purposes and 75% for any purpose under Section 402.

Funding for Section 405(g)

Zero dollars were received by Ohio in FY 2015 for 405(e) Distracted Driving

Total FY 2015 Highway Safety Funding for Ohio in FY 2015 $18,020,292. 

 

Should I Blow? Now You Know!

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When you are stopped on suspicion of OVI the question becomes – “Should I Blow?”  Unfortunately, the answer is “maybe” and involves a very complicated investigation of the facts of your case and your personal history.  You should NEVER refuse the test without understanding how a refusal would affect YOU.  No attorney can know all of the circumstances of your arrest and your personal history, always ask to speak to an attorney when making this decision.

Can you answer “TRUE” to ALL of the following questions? If so, you can politely DECLINE any police test(s) of your blood, breath, or urine with the consequences describe below.  Be prepared and know your rights and take responsibility for your decision.

  1. Iaman Ohio license holder, 21 years or older; AND
  2. I wasnotinvolved in an accident involving possible death or to serious injury to ANYBODY, even members of my family, pedestrians or passengers; AND
  3. I do not have a commercial driver’s license (CDL);AND
  4. No matter where I currently have a license to drive, I have hadno prior drunk driving convictionsor deferred pleas for DUI in ANY state within 6 years (from the date of conviction until now).

should i blowRefusing a chemical test can result in harsh penalties which includes a one-year license suspension, but your attorney can fight to get this reduced.  In some courts your refusal may be held strictly against you and in others you may be able to get a reduced suspension despite your refusal.  If, however, any of the above-stated positions apply, you will face enhanced penalties under R.C. 4511.19(A)(2) which could put you at a significant disadvantage. If any of the above conditions apply, it is a separate violation of law to refuse the chemical test. Asking the arresting officer, “Should I blow” is not the same as getting good legal advice.

In State v. Hill, 2009-Ohio-2468, the Appellate Court upheld the right of a trial court to enhance a penalty based on a refusal to take the chemical test. In most circumstances, a refusal to take a chemical test will result in a longer hard-time suspension (30 days rather than 15 days without any driving privileges on a first offense). [see the Automatic License Suspension section of this blog].  You should also engage in an honest assessment of your alcohol consumption. If you risk testing over Ohio’s “super-OVI” threshold (over a .17% BAC) you may do harm by taking the test.  Take these factors into account when making the decision.

Should I blow, Now you know! Any criminal defense attorney would rather have less evidence against you rather than more, but giving blanket advice to refuse the chemical test is a mistake.  Be prepared to make the best decision for you.  You can also plan ahead by storing my contact 24/7 DUI Hotline in your smart phone: (937)776-2671.

Answering the question “Should I Blow” is an important question that requires the advice of an attorney
with experience handling Ohio OVI cases.

 

Is It A Crime To Refuse To Take A Breath Test?

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Is it a crime to refuse to take a breath test?

refuse to take a breath testOhio has adopted O.R.C. 4511.19(A)(2) which makes it a crime to refuse to take an evidentiary chemical test if you have a prior OVI (drunk driving)  or OVUAC (juvenile/underage drunk driving) conviction any time within the last twenty (20) years.  If you refuse and you have a prior within twenty (20) years then the penalties for your OVI offense will be double the mandatory minimum. (See generally the “Penalties” section of the DaytonDUI blog).

Professional drivers who refuse to take a breath test face a separate crime if they do not take a test while in their commercial vehicles. See O.R.C. 4506.15(A)(7).  Refusing under these circumstances will result in a one year CDL disqualification.  If you livelihood depends on your CDL make sure your attorney understands these rules.  If you refuse to take a breath test for a second time, you will face a lifetime CDL disqualification.

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.  “All I do is DUI defense.”

For more information if you refuse to take a breath test check these city-specific sites at the following links:

FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburg,Huber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville