Physical Control

Can I Get An ALS Suspension On A Physical Control Charge?

June 26th, 2014

physical control If you are found drunk in a non-moving car, you may be charged with a violation of O.R.C. 4511.194, Physical Control of an Automobile While Impaired instead of drunk driving (O.R.C. 4511.19, OVI, DUI, OMVI).  The arresting officer, on behalf of the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (hereinafter BMV), imposes an Administrative License Suspension at the time of arrest for OVI, or OVUAC when the driver refuses to take the chemical test or takes it and has an alcohol concentration in his whole blood of .08%, blood serum or plasma of .096%, breath of .08%, or in his urine of .11 grams.

The BMV imposes an Administrative License Suspension at the time of arrest for a violation of 4511.194 when the driver refuses to take the test. If the driver takes the chemical test, no Administrative License Suspension is imposed. ORC §4511.191(C)(1).  So go ahead and take the test only if you are sure that you are not being charged with DUI!

Physical Control of a Vehicle While Impaired (O.R.C. 4511.194) is the offense of being intoxicated while in control of a car, but not having caused the vehicle to move. If you are under the influence and the prosecutor can prove that you “operated” your car and were not simply in “physical control” of your car, you may face a charge of OVI/DUI (drunk driving). Thus the legal analysis will turn on whether on the prosecutor can prove you “operated” your car. “Operation” includes causing or having caused a vehicle (such as a car, truck, RV, bicycle or motorcycle) to move. See Cincinnati v. Kelley, 47 Ohio St. 2d 94, 351 N.E.2d 85 (1976).

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.”

To schedule a free physical control  consultation contact me, or check these city-specific sites at the following links:

FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburgSpringboro,Huber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville

Top Ten Rules for Partying in Ohio

March 31st, 2014

In light of the arrest made following the University of Dayton’s victory, we offer college students these rules for partying (legally) in Ohio.

Rule #1: Don’t Drink and Drive

Ohio has some of the most stringent drunk driving laws in the county.  A first-time offender faces 180 days in jail and a one thousand seventy-five dollar fine, loss of their driver’s license for up to three years and enhanced penalties upon subsequent convictions.  A DUI (called an OVI in Ohio) is not subject to expungement, meaning it will be on your record forever, and subjects an offender to a six (6) year look-back period for enhancements and up to twenty (20) years for enhanced punishments for refusing an officer’s request to provide a breath, blood or urine sample.  In addition to the penalties you will face in court, you may face suspension from your school or other discipline. (Ohio Revised Code 4511.19)

Rule #2: Don’t Drink If You Are Under 21

It is illegal in Ohio for anyone under 21 to purchase, possess or consume an alcoholic beverage.  A conviction of Underage Consumption is a first degree misdemeanor and carries a maximum fine of $1,000.00 and/or up to six months in jail.  Despite efforts to lower the drinking age, the law remains rigidly enforced.  Athletes, students on scholarship and students who live in on-campus housing may face additional harsh penalties for underage drinking and be particularly vulnerable to the penalties that are sure to follow an arrest.  Ohio Revised Code Section 4301.69 contains most of the information concerning underage alcohol possession and use. Penalties are in Ohio Revised Code Section 4301.99.

Rule #3: Don’t Furnish Alcohol to Minors

Furnishing someone under 21 with alcohol is a first degree misdemeanor.  If you are providing the alcohol, make sure you know where it is going.  You may be responsible if an underage person consumes the alcohol and face harsh punishments.  Ohio regularly receives funding for programs aimed at curbing underage drinking and uses these funds to go after people providing the booze.  The bigger your party the more likely it is to draw attention from law enforcement.

Rule #4: Don’t Use a Fake ID

Just possessing  a fake ID is illegal in Ohio and is classified as a first degree misdemeanor.  Using the fake ID to purchase alcohol is punished by a mandatory $250.00 fine and may result in a 3 year driver’s license suspension.  A popular enforcement method is for police officers to serve as vendors in drive-through establishments:  “COPS IN SHOPS”

Rule #5: Don’t Drink Where You Shouldn’t

Ohio has an open container law.  It is a minor misdemeanor to possess in public an open container of an alcoholic beverage.  You are subject to a fine of up to $150.00 (a minor misdemeanor).  Possession of alcohol while in a car bumps the charge up to a fourth degree misdemeanor and subjects the offender to 30 days in jail. 4301.62 Opened container of beer or intoxicating liquor prohibited at certain premises.

Rule #6: Don’t Be Drunk In or Near a Car

Pursuant to Ohio Revised Code 4511.194 (effective Jan. 1, 2005), it is illegal to be in physical control of a vehicle while under the influence. “Physical Control” is defined as being in the driver’s seat of a car and having possession of the vehicle’s keys.  Physical Control does not require that the vehicle have ever been driven or even started.  Under the statute, having the keys within reach will satisfy the definition of having “physical control.”   The crime is one of potentiality, (i.e. you are so close to driving that we will punish you) and speaks to the growing neo-prohibitionist tendencies in Ohio law.

Rule #7:  Don’t Be Disorderly

Disorderly conduct can occur from simply being intoxicated in public.  Officers are given a great deal of discretion in determining what constitutes disorderly behavior.  Disorderly conduct occurs when one recklessly causes inconvenience, annoyance or alarm to another due to offensive conduct. Disorderly conduct also occurs when one makes unreasonable noise in such a manner as to violate the peace and quiet of the neighborhood or to be detrimental to the life and health of any individual.  While normally a minor misdemeanor ($150.00 fine) a disorderly conduct can be enhanced to a fourth degree misdemeanor (30 days jail/$250 fine) if an officer tells you to stop the behavior and you persist. See O.R.C. 2917.11 Disorderly Conduct.

Rule #8: Don’t burn stuff

Intentionally setting fire to property that might endanger other or their property, in fact damages the property of another and/or preventing police, fire or EMS personnel from doing their job is a violation of O.R.C. 2909.01 to 2909.0.  Students at public universities in Ohio who are found guilty of these crimes will lose all state-funded financial aid for two years.

Rule #9: Disperse When Instructed

Failure to disperse is also a crime in Ohio.  You should begin walking away and/or go indoors upon such an order. You must obey all lawful orders given by such persons at an emergency site.  A recent revision in the law makes a failure to disperse in situations such as campus area riots an offense for which you can be arrested and jailed. If you actively hamper police officers, firefighters, emergency medical personnel, and other public officials while they are doing their jobs you subject yourself to the charge of Misconduct During An Emergency.

Rule #10 Don’t Riot

The party is getting out of control.  If more than five people are engaging in disorderly behavior the party may be deemed a riot under Ohio law.  Your participation in a riot may subject you to criminal penalties. If there is violence involved the rioting gets bumped up to aggravated rioting.  Aggravated rioting is a felony level offense.  Those found guilty of rioting and aggravated rioting must be dismissed from their university and are not permitted to enroll in any state-supported institution of higher education for one year.

DUI attorney Charles M. Rowland II dedicates his practice to defending the accused drunk driver in Dayton, Springfield, Kettering, Vandalia, Xenia, Miamisburg, Huber Heights, Beavercreek, and throughout Ohio.  He has the credentials and the experience to win your case and has made himself the Miami Valley’s choice for DUI defense.  Contact Charles Rowland by phone at 937-318-1DUI (937-318-1384), 937-879-9542, or toll-free at 1-888-ROWLAND (888-769-5263).  For after-hours help contact our 24/7 DUI HOTLINE at 937-776-2671.  For information about Dayton DUI sent directly to your mobile device, text DaytonDUI (one word) to 50500.  Follow DaytonDUI on Twitter @DaytonDUI or Get Twitter updates via SMS by texting DaytonDUI to 40404. DaytonDUI is also available on Facebook, www.facebook.com/daytondui and on the DaytonDUI channel on YouTube.  You can also email Charles Rowland at: CharlesRowland@DaytonDUI.comor write to us at 2190 Gateway Dr., Fairborn, Ohio 45324.

Physical Control of a Vehicle While Intoxicated (O.R.C. 4511.194)

December 4th, 2013

physical controlPhysical Control of a Vehicle While Intoxicated (O.R.C. 4511.194) is the offense of being intoxicated while in physical control of a car, but not having caused the vehicle to move.  If you are under the influence and the prosecutor can prove that you “operated” your car and were not simply in “physical control” of your car, you may face a charge of OVI/DUI (drunk driving).  Thus the legal analysis will turn on whether on the prosecutor can prove you “operated” your car.  “Operation” includes causing or having caused a vehicle (such as a car, truck, RV, bicycle or motorcycle) to move. See Cincinnati v. Kelley, 47 Ohio St. 2d 94, 351 N.E.2d 85 (1976).

So what does the prosecution need to prove to sustain a charge of Physical Control?  The prosecution must prove two elements to meet their burden.  First the accused must be under the influence. “Under the influence” is defined as being “appreciably impaired” by the effects of alcohol, a drug of abuse or a combination of the two.  Secondly, the state must prove that the accused was in “physical control” of the vehicle.  “Physical control” is defined as being in the driver’s position of the front seat of a vehicle while having possession of the ignition key.  Under the statute, having the keys within reach will satisfy the definition of having “physical control.”   The physical control statute was essentially designed to “reward” or rather, not punish as severely, the person who drinks too much (or uses drugs of abuse) and then gets into their car, but decides not to actually drive.  In Cleveland v. Dumas, 2013-Ohio-4600, the 8th District Court of Appeals ruled that convictions of OVI and driving while under a license suspension were in error were officer testified that he never saw the defendant in the vehicle and therefore there was insufficient evidence to show that defendant actually operated a vehicle, a required element.

Physical Control is a first degree misdemeanor in Ohio which is punishable by a maximum $1,000.00 fine, a license suspension of up to one year and a maximum jail sentence of six (6) months.  Physical Control is preferable to some commercial drivers because it may not count as a “major incident” for CDL purposes.  Unlike a reckless operation charge (O.R.C. 4511.20), Physical Control carries no “POINTS” on your Ohio license.  The court may also require the defendant to attend a 3-day weekend intervention alcohol education course.  Another major benefit of the Physical Control statute (which is also true of Reckless Operation) is that whereas prior OVI convictions trigger enhanced minimum penalties for future OVI convictions, prior physical control convictions would not trigger those enhanced penalties for future OVI convictions.  For example, if you are convicted of OVI and you have had a prior OVI conviction within the last six years, your minimum jail time will jump from three days to ten days.  If you are convicted of OVI and have a prior physical control conviction, the minimum jail time is still only three days.

Sleeping it off; Is that a violation of the Physical Control statute?  If you are in the front seat with the keys in the ignition or within your reach… YES!  State v. Gill, 994-Ohio-403.  This author has serious concerns with the public policy implications of this law.  For instance, in a true “Physical Control” scenario, the defendant has done everything that we would hope that someone who has had too much to drink would do.  The impaired person  staggers from the bar to his or her car and chooses not to drive.  Ohio does not have a “safe harbor” law, meaning that even if a person who is intoxicated is parked without the keys in the ignition, he or she may still be arrested for DUI if the keys are sitting nearby, such as on the dashboard or passenger seat.  If you are choosing to sleep it off on a night that is freezing, you had better not turn on the heater because that is a violation of the statute.  In addition, Ohio’s Implied Consent law allows for an automatic license suspension (an immediate suspension prior to a finding of guilt) if you are implicated in a physical control charge.  RC 4511.191(A)(2) provides the implied consent trigger for a DUI or physical control ALS:  ”Any person who operates a vehicle . . . upon a highway or any public or private property used by the public for vehicular travel or parking within this state or who is in physical control of a vehicle . . . shall be deemed to have given consent to a chemical test . . . .”  Does this statutory scheme actually encourage a person to take the chance on making it home, because they will incur penalties whether they drive or not?

However, after the Gill decision, the legislature defined the term “operate” in SB 123, effective January 1, 2004. State v. Wallace, 2006-Ohio-2477, at ¶ 8; R.C. 4511.01(HHH).  The term “operate” has been amended, since it was first defined, and the applicable definition of the term includes, “[o]perate means to cause or have caused movement of a vehicle, streetcar, or trackless trolley.” R.C. 4511.01(HHH).  The State can still use the fact that the car was running and the accused was behind the wheel as “circumstantial evidence” of operation.  They can attempt to sustain a conviction for drunk driving (OVI) if they prove “operation.” As is set forth in Wallace, Id. “[c]ircumstantial evidence and direct evidence have the same probative value. State v. Jenks, 61 Ohio St.3d 259, at paragraph one of the syllabus; State v. Bridges, 3d Dist. No. 1-06-30, 2007-Ohio-1764, at ¶ 28, citing Jenks, supra.; State v. Mitchner, 3d Dist. No. 15-05-07, 2005-Ohio-6412, at ¶ 18. “When the state relies on circumstantial evidence to prove an essential element of the offense charged, there is no need for such evidence to be irreconcilable with any reasonable theory of innocence in order to support a conviction.” Jenks, 61 Ohio St.3d, at paragraph one of the syllabus.

Physical Control/DUI Attorney Charles M. Rowland II dedicates his practice to defending the accused drunk driver in the Xenia and throughout Ohio.  He has the credentials and the experience to win your case and has made himself Xenia’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.”

 Physical Control/Ohio DUI Attorney information and other city-specific info at the following links:

FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburgSpringboro,Huber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville

Photo: Morgue files free photo

Ohio DUI Laws: An Overview

August 12th, 2013

ohio dui lawsThis post collects together in one place many of the Ohio DUI Laws that arise in drunk driving cases.  

Some Ohio DUI laws are listed because law enforcement will charge these offenses to establish probable cause for pulling over your vehicle.  If you need to find out more about a specific law, or how the statute has been interpreted or applied, call Charles M. Rowland II at (937) 318-1384 or read about the specific Ohio DUI law at the Ohio DUI Law Blog.

Operating a Vehicle Impaired (OVI); O.R.C. 4511.19

This is Ohio’s drunk driving statute (Ohio’s DUI law).  It is a complex and constantly changing statute that encompasses impaired driving by having a prohibited concentration of alcohol or drugs as well as the charge of driving impaired based on no test or a defendant’s refusal to take a chemical test.  The statue has been expanded to include both high-tier and low-tier OVI charges as well as setting the under 21 prohibited concentration.  Ohio DUI laws are complex and require the assistance of an experienced Ohio DUI attorney.

Aggravated Vehicular Homicide; O.R.C. 2903.06

Ohio DUI Laws: Aggravated Vehicular Homicide is a crime that results from the death of another caused by the defendant’soperating a vehicle while impaired (a violation of R.C. 4511.19)  or while driving negligently or recklessly.  The statute  encompasses driving an automobile recklessly or negligently (called Vehicular homicide) whether or not alcohol played a part in the death.

Aggravated Vehicular Assault; O.R.C. 2903.08

Ohio DUI Laws: Aggravated Vehicular Assault is the crime of causing serious physical harm to a person while violating Ohio’s drunk driving statute.

Operating A Vehicle After Underage Consumption (OVUAC); O.R.C. 4511.19(B)

Ohio DUI Laws: O.R.C. 4511.19(B) makes it illegal for persons under 21 years of age to drive a vehicle with a concentration of .02 percent, but less than .08 percent by weight of alcohol by whole blood or breath, or with an equivalent amount by blood serum or plasma or urine.  (1994 S.B. 82, eff. 5/4/94).

Having Physical Control of a Vehicle While Under the Influence (Physical Control); O.R.C. 4511.194

Ohio DUI Laws: The crime of “Physical Control” involves being in physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or a drug of abuse.  This definition means that you do not have to be driving or operating the car.

Reckless Operation; O.R.C. 4511.20

Reckless operation in Ohio can constitute any number of offenses within the Ohio Revised Code dealing with operation of a vehicle with willful or wanton disregard to persons or property. It can be charged as a 3rd degree misdemeanor, a 4th degree misdemeanor or as a minor misdemeanor under Ohio law.

Boating Under the Influence (BUI); O.R.C. 1547.11

Penalties for Boating Under the Influence offenses are set forth at O.R.C. 1547.99 and are similar to those provided for DUI/OVI offenses.  Boating Under the Influence is a first degree misdemeanor and is subject to a minimum 3-day jail sentence and a maximum 6 months in jail.  The 3-day jail sentence can be served in a qualified driver intervention program.  The minimum mandatory fine for a first BUI offense is $150.  The language of the statute is broad, including control of any vessel underway or shall manipulate any water skis, aquaplane, or similar device on Ohio waterways.

Driving in Marked Lanes (Marked Lanes); O.R.C. 4511.33

A marked lanes charge is often a companion charge to a DUI/OVI offense.  It is also a “cue” that the officer may look for based on his/her National Highway Transportation Safety Administration training.

Lanes of travel upon roadways of sufficient width; O.R.C. 4511.25

Going the wrong way on a designated roadway or traveling into the “other” lane may be a violation of the “Lanes of Travel” law.  Some experienced officers choose to charge this offense rather than a Marked Lanes violation or charge this in combination with a Marked Lanes violation.

Turn and Stop Signals; O.R.C. 4511.39

“No person shall turn a vehicle… or move right or left upon a highway unless and until such person has exercised due care to ascertain that the movement can be made with reasonable safety nor without giving an appropriate signal in the manner hereinafter provided. When required, a signal of intention to turn or move right or left shall be given continuously during not less than the last one hundred feet traveled by the vehicle… before turning.”

Underage Consumption or Possession; O.R.C. 4301.69

This statue encompasses the crime of possessing and furnishing alcohol to minors.  If you are under 21 years old, drinking alcohol is illegal in the State of Ohio.  Ohio Revised Code 4301.69(E)(1) provides that “No underage person shall knowingly order, pay for, share the cost of, attempt to purchase, possess, or consume any beer or intoxicating liquor in any public or private place. No underage person shall knowingly be under the influence of any beer or intoxicating liquor in any public place.”  As a parent, you cannot give alcohol to your teen’s friends under the age of 21, under any circumstance, even in your own home, even with their parent’s permission.

Speeding and Assured Clear Distance, Following Too Closely; O.R.C. 4511.21

The speed law is set forth at Ohio Revised Code 4511.21.  It states:(A) No person shall operate a motor vehicle, trackless trolley, or streetcar at a speed greater or less than is reasonable or proper, having due regard to the traffic, surface, and width of the street or highway and any other conditions, and no person shall drive any motor vehicle, trackless trolley, or streetcar in and upon any street or highway at a greater speed than will permit the person to bring it to a stop within the assured clear distance ahead.  The law goes on to set forth the “speed limits” or presumed speed limits.  According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, there were more than 65,500 crashes statewide last year because of drivers following too closely. And of those crashes, 58 died and 18,552 were injured.

License Plate Light Not Illuminated, O.R.C. 4513.05

In Ohio, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle without a white light illuminating the rear registration plate. See O.R.C. 4513.05.  This law is often used as a pretext for a traffic stop which allows the officer to come into contact with the motorist. This is among the more “ticky-tack” reasons to pull someone over and the public views this as something of an underhanded trick used by law enforcement to justify a stop.

Driving Under SuspensionO.R.C.4510.14

Driving under an OVI suspension is a violation of Ohio Revised Code 4510.14.  It is a separate offense from a DUI/OVI charge and carries harsh mandatory penalties. With the use of “party plates” which stigmatize people convicted of DUI and their innocent family members, and the increased use of computer license plate readers, Ohioans are seeing an increase in the number of people being ticketed for driving under suspension.

Ohio DUI/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 email CharlesRowland@DaytonDUI.com or visit his office at 2190 Gateway Dr., Fairborn, Ohio 45324.  “All I do is DUI defense.”

 

FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburgSpringboro,Huber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville 

OVI or DUI (Which is right?)

June 19th, 2013

DUI Plate Lapel Pin(1)2The current version of Ohio’s impaired driving law is O.R.C. 4511.19, is entitled “Operating vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs – OVI.”  This is the same offense which is also known as DUI (driving under the influence), OMVI (operating a vehicle impaired), DWI (driving while intoxicated) or drunk driving.  The Ohio General Assembly changed the acronym to connote the broadening of the law from simply alcohol impairment to any drug (or condition?) which may impair.  The term “operate” also has a broader definition than that of “driving.”  For example, if a driver is found behind the wheel of a car with the keys within his grasp, the driver is operating the car for the purposes of the Ohio statute.

Vehicle is defined at R.C. 4511.01(A) as

every device, including a motorized bicycle, in, upon, or by which any person or property may be transported or drawn upon a highway, except that “vehicle” does not include any motorized wheelchair, any electric personal assistive mobility device, and device that is moved by power collected from overhead electric trolley wires, or that is used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks, or any device, other than a bicycle, that is moved by human power.

154301095_80_80“Operate” is defined at R.C. 4511.01(HHH) as “to cause or have caused movement.”  But, being found slumped over the wheel of a vehicle whilst the vehicle is running has been found to be operation of the vehicle, State v. Adams, 2007-Ohio-4932 (Ohio Ct. App. 3d Dist. Crawford 2007).  In State v. Mackie, 128 Ohio App.3d 167, 714 N.E.2d 405 (1st Dist. Hamilton County 1998), a defendant’s car was stuck in a snowbank and was incapable of movement.  His conviction was reversed due to insufficient evidence to show intoxication when the vehicle was operable.   The Mackie decision offers a good discussion of the intricacies that are raised by attempting to define “operation.”  What shocks many people is that the car does not have to be running to meet this broader definition as long as the driver is in the driver’s seat and in possession of the vehicles keys or starting fob.  Some states have laws which encourage people who are impaired to pull over – but not Ohio.

If the car is inoperable or if the investigating agency cannot prove the vehicle was “operated,” they may charge the offense of being in physical control of a vehicle while impaired, O.R.C. 4511.194.  The crime of “Physical Control” involves being in physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or a drug of abuse.  This definition means that you do not have to be driving or operating the car. Physical Control is a first degree misdemeanor in Ohio which is punishable by a maximum $1,000.00 fine, a license suspension of up to one year and a maximum jail sentence of six (6) months.  Physical Control is preferable to some commercial drivers because it may not count as a “major incident” for CDL purposes.  Unlike a reckless operation charge (O.R.C. 4511.20), Physical Control carries no “POINTS” on your Ohio license. Physical control is often evaluated in contrast to a reckless operation charge when a reduction to OVI is offered by a prosecutor during plea negotiations.

Reckless operation in Ohio can constitute any number of offenses within the Ohio Revised Code dealing with operation of a vehicle with willful or wanton disregard to persons or property.  Commonly, reckless operation is charged under O.R.C. 4511.20 (all codes sections are set forth below).  There is a separate O.R.C. section dealing with reckless operation while off-road (O.R.C. 4511.201) and while on a watercraft (O.R.C. 1547.07).  O.R.C. 4511.202 is Ohio’s Reasonable Control Statute.

The Ohio Supreme Court, in State v. Earlenbaugh (1985), 18 Ohio St.3d 19, 21-22, stated, “we believe that the statute simply provides two definite and clear bases upon which a finding of guilt may be premised. A person may be found guilty of violating R.C. 4511.20 if he acts willfully. Such conduct implies an act done intentionally, designedly, knowingly, or purposely, without justifiable excuse. Black’s Law Dictionary (5th Ed.1979) 1434. Or conversely, R.C. 4511.20 is violated when a person acts wantonly in disregard of the safety of others. A wanton act is an act done in reckless disregard of the rights of others which evinces a reckless indifference of the consequences to the life, limb, health, reputation, or property of others. (Citations omitted.)”  The statutory definition of reckless operation can be found at Ohio Revised Code Section 4511.20 which states:

4511.20 Operation in willful or wanton disregard of the safety of persons or property.

(A) No person shall operate a vehicle, trackless trolley, or streetcar on any street or highway in willful or wanton disregard of the safety of persons or property.

(B) Except as otherwise provided in this division, whoever violates this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor. If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to one predicate motor vehicle or traffic offense, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree. If, within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of two or more predicate motor vehicle or traffic offenses, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree.

DUI attorney Charles M. Rowland II dedicates his practice to defending the accused drunk driver in FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburgSpringboro,Huber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville and throughout Ohio.  He has the credentials and the experience to win your case and has made himself the Miami Valley’s choice for DUI defense.  Contact Charles Rowland by phone at 937-318-1DUI (937-318-1384), 937-879-9542, or toll-free at 1-888-ROWLAND (888-769-5263).  For after-hours help contact our 24/7 DUI HOTLINE at 937-776-2671.  For information about Dayton DUI sent directly to your mobile device, text DaytonDUI (one word) to 50500.  Follow DaytonDUI on Twitter @DaytonDUI or Get Twitter updates via SMS by texting DaytonDUI to 40404. DaytonDUI is also available onFacebook and on the DaytonDUI channel on YouTube.  You can also email Charles Rowland at: CharlesRowland@DaytonDUI.com or write to us at 2190 Gateway Dr., Fairborn, Ohio 45324.