Tag: dui

Dude, I’m Injured Not Stoned

00DUI, Drugs & DrivingTags: , , , ,

When a law enforcement officer comes upon a crash scene he or she may suspect illicit drug use, but their training, the  National Highway Traffic Safety Administration manual and common sense dictate that no suspicion of drug use be  assumed without evidence. When a case involves medical problems, a drug investigation (DRE, drug recognition expert evaluation) should not be performed, per NHTSA, so as to avoid confusing possible drug use with the observations really being medical issues. Where the NHTSA manual states in a situation like this, your primary purpose at this time is to look for any evidence of a medical complication that would warrant terminating the examination and summoning medical assistance since there is always the possibility that a person suspected of drug impairment is actually suffering from an illness or injury requiring medical attention.

Ohio OVI attorneyAs this blog has warned for the past years, the next phase of the government’s WAR ON DRUGS is the DRE protocol allowing roadside police to determine if a person is impaired by prescription or illicit drugs.  While it may make no sense that a police officer is turned into a roving drug scientist, the government is allowing this approach. If you are accused of driving while impaired by drugs, trust Charles M. Rowland II, the attorney who has studied the Drug Recognition Protocol training and is educated in the defenses available to a drugged driving case. Call me at (937) 318-1DUI or visit www.DaytonDUI.com.

Don’t Volunteer Evidence – You Have Rights! Use Them!

00Breath Testing, Illegal Police StopsTags: , , , , , , , , ,

tipp city oviA typical DUI/OVI stop starts with a probable cause traffic stop.  Depending on the time of day, the location or the way you are driving, the officer may begin the encounter believing that you are possibly “19” (police shorthand for a possible R.C. 4511.19 (DUI) violation). Probable cause for the stop can be anything from severe weaving or crashing all the way down to something as de minimus as a license plate light out.  The officer’s true purpose in pulling you over cannot be questioned if there is even a minor violation of law.

The officer will observe the way you pull over and will approach the vehicle with caution. Always keep your hands where the officer can see them and avoid furtive movements.  When the officer asks “do you know why I pulled you over?” what do you say? When the officer asks if you have been drinking, what do you say? If the officer asks you if you are willing to take some roadside tests, what do you say? Always begin every police encounter by asserting your rights, “I DO NOT WANT TO ANSWER QUESTIONS AND I WANT TO SPEAK TO AN ATTORNEY.”

When you are pulled over for a traffic infraction the police officer has no evidence that you may be driving under the influence. Once you are stopped, the officer begins gathering evidence against you for OVI/DUI.  If you do not give him the evidence I can win a charge of DUI/OVI. And there is only one way for the officer to obtain evidence: You must give it to him! Examples are letting the officer engage you in conversation. By doing this he hears your speech hears your thought processes and begins to build his case. He smells your breath. During the process he also views your eyes to see if they are red, bloodshot, or watery.  The officer will also ask you for your license, insurance and registration. He is doing this to see if you fumble through your belongings, thereby demonstrating lack of dexterity.  Have these papers ready at hand anytime you are in the car. Have them waiting for the officer on the dash.

At this point, the officer must determine if he has enough evidence to remove you from the vehicle.  If he believes he does, he will ask you to take standardized field sobriety tests. There is no legal obligation or requirement to perform these tests. Do not take Field Sobriety Tests! Finally, do not be a knucklehead to the officer. Be polite and courteous even if you do not receive the same treatment as most encounters are recorded. Do not argue or try to justify your conduct as all of this will be used against you. Once the officer decides to arrest you there is nothing you can do to avoid the arrest.  Let me handle that for you later!

 

To blow or not to blow, that is the question. 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 minimum impact. Be prepared and know your rights.

  • I am an Ohio license holder, 21 years or older; AND
  • I was not involved in an accident involving possible death or to serious injury to ANYBODY, even members of my family, pedestrians or passengers; AND
  • I do not have a commercial driver’s license (CDL); AND
  • No matter where I currently have a license to drive, I have had no prior drunk driving convictions or deferred pleas for DUI in ANY state within 6 years (from the date of conviction until now).
  • Refusing 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. 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). [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 your decision to blow or not to blow.

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 information in your smart phone: (937)776-2671.

350px-Marijuana_plant

How “Weed Day” (420) Got Its Name

00DUI, Drugs & DrivingTags: , , , , , ,

I am fascinated by the origin of the term “420” and how it became associated with marijuana.  There are as many stories about its origin as there are people you ask.  Just a short search on Google leads to the following origin stories.

  • It’s the number of active chemicals in marijuana.
  • It’s teatime in Holland.
  • It has something to do with Hitler’s birthday.
  • It’s those numbers in that Bob Dylan song multiplied.
  • It was like a police code for smoking in progress or something.
  • In 2003, when the California Legislature codified the medical marijuana law that voters had approved, the bill was named SB 420.

It turns out that I’m not the only one who wanted an answer. Some heavy hitting investigators were unleashed over at Huffington Post.  Their story focuses on a group of five San Rafael High School friends known as the Waldos — by virtue of their chosen hangout spot, a wall outside the school — coined the term in 1971. “The Waldos’ story goes like this: One day in the fall of 1971 — harvest time — the Waldos got word of a Coast Guard service member who could no longer tend his plot of marijuana plants near the Point Reyes Peninsula Coast Guard station. A treasure map in hand, the Waldos decided to pluck some of the free bud. The Waldos, who were all athletes, agreed to meet at the statue of Louis Pasteur outside the school at 4:20 p.m., after practice, to begin the hunt.” (link).

Whatever story you choose to believe, there is no doubt that “420” has become a day celebrating the struggle for legalization of marijuana and continued research into medical uses of marijuana.  We stand ready to help you in Ohio if you are accused of driving while high, driving under the influence of drugs, driving under the influence (DUI), or operating a vehicle under the influence of marijuana (OVI).

OVI, DUI, OMVI, DWI, Drunk Driving – Is There Any Difference?

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OVI, DUI, OMVI, DWI, Drunk Driving – Is There Any Difference?

ovi, omvi, dui, dwi, drunk drivingSpoiler Alert: They all mean the same thing: operating a vehicle under the influence of drug, alcohol or a combination of drugs and alcohol, in violation of Ohio Revised Code 4511.19.

Colloquially, the most common way to describe drunk driving is by referring to it as a DUI. The term DUI is universally understood and used by most national news organizations. DWI (driving while impaired) is also a ubiquitous term used to describe drunk driving. More info