Posts Tagged ‘drunk driving’

Ohio DUI Attorney: Is It A Just World?

April 10th, 2014

ohio dui attorneyAs an Ohio DUI attorney, I often observe a bias that people carry toward those accused of drunk driving.  Psychologists call this phenomena the “Just World Hypothesis.”

The belief that people get what they deserve and deserve what they get, which was first theorized by Melvin Lerner in 1977.  Lerner, M.J. & Miller, D.T. (1977). Just-world research and the attribution process: Looking back and ahead. Psychological Bulletin85, 1030-1051.  Attributing failures to dispositional causes rather than situational causes, which are unchangeable and uncontrollable, satisfies our need to believe that the world is fair and we have control over our life. We are motivated to see a just world because this reduces our perceived threats,Burger, J.M. (1981). Motivational biases in the attribution of responsibility for an accident: A meta-analysis of the defensive-attribution hypothesis. Psychological Bulletin90, 496-512, Walster, E. (1966). Assignment of responsibility for an accident. Journal of Personality and Social31, 73-79, gives us a sense of security, helps us find meaning in difficult and unsettling circumstances, and benefits us psychologically.  Gilbert, D.T., & Malone, P.S. (1995).The correspondence bias. Psychological Bulletin117, 21–38.

Unfortunately, the just-world hypothesis also results in a tendency for people to blame and disparage victims of a tragedy or an accident, such as victims of rape (See Abrams, D., Viki, G.T., Masser, B., & Bohner, G. (2003). Perceptions of stranger and acquaintance rape: The role of benevolent and hostile sexism in victim blame and rape proclivity. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology84, 111-125;Bell, S.T., Kuriloff, P.J., & Lottes, I. (1994). Understanding attributions of blame in stranger-rape and date-rape situations: An examinations of gender, race, identification, and students’ social perceptions of rape victims. Journal of Applied Social Psychology24, 1719-1734) and domestic abuse (See Summers, G., & Feldman, N.S. (1984).Blaming the victim versus blaming the perpetrator: An attributional analysis of spouse abuse.Journal of Applied Social and Clinical Psychology2, 339-347) to reassure themselves of their insusceptibility to such events. People may even go to such extremes as the victim’s faults in “past life” to pursue justification for their bad outcome.(Woogler, R.J. (1988). Other lives, other selves: A Jungian psychotherapist discovers past lives. New York: Bantam.)

The just world phenomena is observed in DUI trials as a bias that can cause a jury to overlook the evidence and blame the accused driver for putting himself or herself in a position where an officer could arrest them.  When you combine this inherent bias with a society that stigmatizes drinking drivers (Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over), you are left with a turbulent trial scenario for your attorney to face.  An experienced Ohio DUI attorney will make allowances for the juries unknown bias by addressing it in the void dire and in a closing argument.  Often, simply addressing the bias is enough of an inoculation to allow the jurors to focus on the evidence.

Ohio DUI 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 Ohio DUI attorney Charles M. Rowland II on this blog, 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.

Phase Two: The Personal Contact Phase

March 25th, 2014

personal contact phaseAn officer’s decision to arrest for DUI involves three steps: observing the vehicle in motion, observing the driver during a personal contact phase, and administering field sobriety tests.  Evidence is collected at each stage.  If, after conducting all three phases, the officer believes probable cause exists that you are impaired, you will then be arrested.  Probable cause is a flexible, common-sense standard. It merely requires that the facts available to the officer would ‘warrant a man of reasonable caution in the belief,’ Carroll v. United States, 267 U.S. 132, 162 (1925), that you are impaired; it does not demand any showing that such a belief be correct or more likely true than false.  A ‘practical, nontechnical’ probability that incriminating evidence is involved is all that is required. Brinegar v. United States, 338 U.S. 160, 176 (1949).”

To collect evidence during the personal contact phase, an officer is trained to:

  1. observe and interview the driver; and
  2. observe the driver’s exit and walk when the driver is asked to step from the vehicle.

When observing and interviewing the driver, NHTSA  offers the following clues for the officer to observe and record at this point in the stop:

  • ” Sight-bloodshot eyes, soiled clothing, fumbling fingers, alcohol containers, drugs or drug paraphernalia, bruises, bumps or scratches, unusual actions
  • ” Hearing-slurred speech, admission of drinking, inconsistent responses, abusive language, unusual statements
  • ” Smell-alcoholic beverages, marijuana, cover up odors like breath sprays, unusual odors

It is up to you to prevent an over-eager officer from determining that your actions are caused by alcohol impairment and not normal day-to-day activities.  One way to do this is to have your documents in order.  No matter how dexterous, some officers will observe your attempt to withdraw your paperwork as inadequate.  We routinely see reports that say:

  • fumbled for license;
  • was slow and deliberate in looking for insurance;
  • unable to produce license and registration;
  • could not get his/her license from wallet;

While these “personal contact phase” observations may not be determinative of impairment, they go a long way in establishing the officer’s decision to place you under arrest for operating a vehicle impaired.  Here is what you can do during the personal contact phase to avoid an unnecessary arrest.

Here is a common sense tip:  just have your license, insurance information and vehicle registration in a place that makes them easily accessible.  Prior to the officer’s approach, have these items close at hand, so that you can provide them upon request.  If you are arrested, you attorney will make use of the fact that you produced these documents quickly.  Practice taking your license out of your wallet.  If it takes more than five seconds, make it easier to get to.  Put you license and insurance information in an envelope near the drivers compartment.  Officers are understandably concerned about their safety and will get suspicious if you dive toward the glove compartment prior to their vehicle approach.

At the conclusion of the personal contact phase, both you and the officer have a decision to make.  The officer must determine if he or she is going to remove you from the vehicle to take standardized field sobriety tests, and you must determine if you will take the tests.  As DUI attorney Bruce Kapsack quips, “If they ask you to get out of the car, they’ve already made their decision, so why give them more evidence to use against you?”  Taking practical steps to be prepared for an officer hell-bent on arresting people for drunk driving, can save you the embarrassment and expense of a DUI arrest.

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 more about the personal contact phase at the following links:

FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburgSpringboro,Huber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville

Limited Driving Privileges Under Ohio Revised Code 4510.021

December 26th, 2013

limited driving privilegesQ. Can I get limited driving privileges during the pendency of my OVI case?

A court may grant limited driving privileges to a person who has had their license suspended pursuant to a pending OVI.  The Ohio Revised Code, 4510.021 limits driving to the following purposes: (1) Occupational, educational, vocational, or medical purposes; (2) Taking the driver’s or commercial driver’s license examination; and (3) Attending court-ordered treatment.  A court is granted broad discretion to impose restrictions so long as the restrictions are reasonable.  While most courts will not impose an ignition interlock devise or restricted “party” plates on a first offense OVI, the statute specifically grants them discretion to do so.  The statute also does not grant a right or requirement that the court grant limited driving privileges.  Some courts make obtaining privileges easy and some courts do not grant privileges prior to a plea.  Hiring an attorney who is familiar with the particular requirements for limited driving privileges will save you time and frustration during the pendency of your OVI case.

Q. When will I get limited driving privileges?

A court may not grant driving limited driving privileges for a certain period of time following the imposition of an ALS. O.R.C. 4510.13(A).  The amount of time between the imposition of the ALS suspension and the time you are eligible for limited driving privileges is called “hard time.”  How long the hard time lasts depends upon whether the person has any prior offenses and whether or not the person took the test or refused the test.

First Offense Midemeanor OVI Failed Chemical Test R.C. 4511.191(C): Occupational driving privileges cannot be granted during the following periods in test cases:

  • First 15 days of suspension on a first offense
  • First 30 days of suspension on a person who had a prior OVI or refusal within 6 years.
  • First 180 days for a person who has had 2 prior OVI/refusals within 6 years.
  • First 3 years of suspension on a person who had 3 or more previous OVI/refusals within 6 years

First Offense Misdemeanor OVI Refusal R.C. 4511.19(B): Occupational driving privileges cannot be granted during the following periods in refusal cases:

  • First 30 days of suspension on a first offense.
  • First 90 days of suspension on a person who had a previous refusal within 6 years.
  • First year of suspension on a person who had 2 previous refusals within 6 years.
  • First 3 years of suspension on a person who had 3 previous refusals within 6 years.
  • A person, who within the preceding 7 years, has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to 3 or more OVI violations cannot be granted limited privileges.

Q. Is there a way to avoid the ALS suspension and limited driving privileges?

One of the first conversations you should have with your OVI lawyer will involve wether or not grounds exist for an appeal of the ALS.  You will discuss the limited circumstances under which an Administrative License Suspension can be challenged.  The court must hold the administrative license suspension hearing within five days of arrest.  You only have 30 days from your arraignment to file an appeal of the Administrative License Suspension. The scope of appeal is confined to four issues:

 1. Was your arrest based on reasonable grounds? 

2. Did the officer request that you to take a test? 

3. Were you made aware of the consequences if you refused or failed the test? 

4. Did you refuse or fail the test?

Much confusion is caused by the fact that the Administrative License Suspension is a pre-trial suspension generated by the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles.  The warnings given by the arresting officer are misleading.  Often a client will come to our office under the misimpression that the worst case scenario will be a 90 day suspension.  If our client refused a chemical test, they believe they are condemned to a one year suspension.  This is not usually the case.  Upon a plea to a reduced charge (such as Reckless Operation) or to an OVI,  the Administrative License Suspension will be terminated and the court will impose its own suspension.   The minimum mandatory suspension for a first OVI offense is six months.  This will horrify the person who believed that they were facing 90 days, but a welcome relief to people who thought they were going to have a one year suspension. Limited driving privileges will be available during the pendency of the court-imposed suspension.  Again, be sure to ask your OVI attorney how your court typically handles ALS terminations and limited driving privileges.

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.”

Ohio Limited Driving Privileges information and other city-specific info at the following links:

FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburgSpringboro,Huber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville

Snow: What is the Law in Ohio? (by DaytonDUI)

December 9th, 2013

English: Trees covered by snow in Boreal, Cali...

With the return of winter weather, we have received some questions about what constitutes a snow emergency and under what authority a snow emergency can be deemed to exist.  We have also counseled clients who wanted to know what law would circumscribe their behavior during a snow event.  Here is what we learned:

A county sheriff may, pursuant to Ohio Revised Code sections 311.07 and 311.08, declare a snow emergency and temporarily close the state roads and municipal streets within his/her jurisdiction when such action is reasonably necessary for the preservation of the public peace. Ohio Attorney General’s Opinion 97-015, issued April 1, 1997, concluded that this authority includes state roads, county and township roads and municipal streets.

Ohio law provides for three levels of snow emergency.

Snow Emergency Classifications

LEVEL 1: Roadways are hazardous with blowing and drifting snow. Roads may also be icy. Motorists are urged to drive very cautiously.

LEVEL 2: Roadways are hazardous with blowing and drifting snow. Roads may also be very icy. Only those who feel it is necessary to drive should be out on the roads. Contact your employer to see if you should report to work. Motorists should use extreme caution.

LEVEL 3: All roadways are closed to non-emergency personnel. No one should be driving during these conditions unless it is absolutely necessary to travel or a personal emergency exists. All employees should contact their employer to see if they should report to work. Those traveling on the roads may subject themselves to arrest.

Ohio Revised Code 2917.13 sets forth the crime of “Misconduct at an Emergency.”  Any person who knowingly hampers or fails to obey a lawful order of the sheriff declaring a snow emergency and temporarily closing highways, roads and/or streets within his/her jurisdiction may be subject to criminal prosecution under Ohio Revised Code Section 2917.13, “Misconduct at an emergency” or other applicable law or ordinance. A violation under that section is a misdemeanor of the fourth degree, punishable by a jail sentence not to exceed 30 days and/or a fine not to exceed $250. If the misconduct creates a risk of physical harm to persons or property, it is a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable by a jail sentence not to exceed 180 days and/or a fine not to exceed $1,000.  Below is the full text of the statute.

ORC 2917.13. Misconduct at emergency.

(A) No person shall knowingly do any of the following:

  • 1. Hamper the lawful operations of any law enforcement officer, firefighter, rescuer, medical person, emergency medical services person, or other authorized person, engaged in the person’s duties at the scene of a fire, accident, disaster, riot or emergency of any kind;
  • 2. Hamper the lawful activities of any emergency facility person who is engaged in the person’s duties in an emergency facility;
  • 3. Fail to obey the lawful order of any law enforcement officer engaged in the law enforcement officer’s duties at the scene of or in connection with a fire, accident, disaster or emergency of any kind.

(B) Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit access or deny information to any news media representative in the lawful exercise of the news media representative’s duties.

(C) Whoever violates this section is guilty of misconduct at an emergency. Except as otherwise provided in this division, misconduct at an emergency is a misdemeanor of the fourth degree. If a violation of this section creates a risk of physical harm to persons or property, misconduct at an emergency is a misdemeanor of the first degree.

(D) As used in this section:

  • 1. “Emergency medical services person” is the singular of “emergency medical services personnel” as defined in section 2133.21 of the Revised Code.
  • 2. “Emergency facility person” is the singular of “emergency facility personnel” as defined in section 2909.04 of the Revised Code.
  • 3. “Emergency facility” has the same meaning as in section 2909.04 of the Revised Code.

Effective Date: 03-22-2004

To view the state’s weather-related road closures and restrictions, visit the Ohio Department of Transportation’s traffic Web site at www.buckeyetraffic.org.

DUI attorney Charles M. Rowland II dedicates his practice to defending the accused drunk driver in Fairborn, Dayton, Springfield, Kettering, Vandalia, Xenia, Miamisburg, Springboro, Huber Heights, Oakwood, Beavercreek, Centerville 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 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. “All I do is DUI”