Tag Archives: license plate light not illuminated

Ohio DUI Laws: An Overview

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.”

 

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License Plate Light Not Illuminated (O.R.C. 4513.05)

Neon sign

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.  Here is a full text of the law. 

4513.05 Tail lights and illumination of rear license plate.

(A) Every motor vehicle, trackless trolley, trailer, semitrailer, pole trailer, or vehicle which is being drawn at the end of a train of vehicles shall be equipped with at least one tail light mounted on the rear which, when lighted, shall emit a red light visible from a distance of five hundred feet to the rear, provided that in the case of a train of vehicles only the tail light on the rearmost vehicle need be visible from the distance specified.

Either a tail light or a separate light shall be so constructed and placed as to illuminate with a white light the rear registration plate, when such registration plate is required, and render it legible from a distance of fifty feet to the rear. Any tail light, together with any separate light for illuminating the rear registration plate, shall be so wired as to be lighted whenever the headlights or auxiliary driving lights are lighted, except where separate lighting systems are provided for trailers for the purpose of illuminating such registration plate. 

(B) Whoever violates this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor.

While this may seem like a trifling reason for a traffic stop, most states have similar laws.  The justification for the law is that a passerby or pedestrian who sees a car should be able to identify the car by its license plate.  Arguing that your car has reflective license plates is not a defense.  Once the officer comes in contact he can begin a full investigation for impaired driving if he establishes reasonable and articulable suspicion to continue the detention.

Why a white light?  Law enforcement does not want the light to be able to change the color of the license plate and thus enhance the possibility of misidentification of a vehicle.  We have also seen cases of individuals being pulled over due to neon flashing lights on their license plates.  Ohio Revised Code, section 4513.17 prohibits flashing lights on motor vehicles with the exception of emergency vehicles, turn signals, and hazard flashers.Lights must not rotate, oscillate, or flash, but state law does not prohibit the use of colored neon lights under your car as long as they do not interfere or blind other drivers.  As long as the neon lights are less than 300 candle power they are not in violation of any State law. If the lights are more than 300 candle power they must be directed to strike the pavement the vehicle sets upon at a distance of no more than 75 feet. The lights can not exceed 500 candle power. Colored lights, such as neon lights around a license plate, could be illegal if the light illuminates the plate and changes the colors of the plate. State law requires a white light to illuminate the rear license plate.”

If you have questions regarding the information provided above, please contact Charles M. Rowland II by phone at 937-318-1DUI (937-318-1384), 937-879-9542, or toll-free at 1-888-ROWLAND (1-888-769-5263).For after-hours help contact our 24/7 DUI HOTLINE at 937-776-2671.  Immediate help is available by filling out the CONTACT form on any of these pages. For information about Dayton DUI sent directly to your mobile device, text DaytonDUI (one word) to 50500.  Follow DaytonDUI on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/DaytonDUI or Get Twitterupdates via SMS by texting follow DaytonDUI to 40404. DaytonDUI is also available on Facebook and you can access updates by becoming a fan of Dayton DUI/OVI Defense.  You can also email Charles Rowland at: CharlesRowland@DaytonDUI.com or write to us at 2190 Gateway Dr., Fairborn, Ohio 45324