When you drive on Ohio’s roadways you are assumed to have consented to a search of your blood, breath, plasma or urine if you are arrested pursuant to the Ohio Drunk Driving statute, R.C. 4511.19(A) or R.C. 4511.19(B). Ohio Revised Code 4511.191(A)(2) is Ohio’s Implied Consent Law. It states, in pertinent part,
“Any person who operates a vehicle, streetcar, or trackless trolley 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, streetcar, or trackless trolley shall be deemed to have given consent to a chemical test or tests of the person’s whole blood, blood serum or plasma, breath, or urine to determine the alcohol, drug of abuse, controlled substance, metabolite of a controlled substance, or combination content of the person’s whole blood, blood serum or plasma, breath, or urine if arrested for a violation of division (A) or (B) of section 4511.19 of the Revised Code, section 4511.194 of the Revised Code or a substantially equivalent municipal ordinance, or a municipal OVI ordinance.”
The first of three methods officer’s use to obtain a test is submission by a defendant. This is a typical scenario wherein a person is observed driving and arrested for OVI. At the station the officer reads the warnings on the SR-2255 form and requests that the defendant take a chemical test. The statutory authority for this method of obtaining a test is set forth at R.C. 4511.19(A)(2). It is necessary that a defendant be placed under arrest prior to the officer’s request to submit.
Section 4511.191(A)(4) applies the implied consent statute to persons who are dead or unconscious at the time a blood breath or urine sample is requested. It states,
“Any person who is dead or unconscious, or who otherwise is in a condition rendering the person incapable of refusal, shall be deemed to have consented as provided in division (A)(2) of this section, and the test or tests may be administered, subject to sections 313.12 to 313.16 of the Revised Code.”
Issues over this method of obtaining a test are often invoked in serious accident cases. Questions of fact about whether the person was semi-conscious, fully conscious or able to give consent are common. Due to the unusual circumstances of this type of case, an arrest is not necessary prior to the chemical test.
The third method for obtaining a chemical test under the implied consent provisions of Ohio law is the controversial forced blood draw. Ohio adopted a “no refusal” forced blood draw statue at R.C. 4511.191, which states, “if the person refuses to take a chemical test the officer may employ whatever reasonable means are necessary to ensure that the person submits to a chemical test of the person’s whole blood or blood serum or plasma.” [emphasis added]. Obviously, the McNeeley decision places this law in jeopardy. When a person refuses to voluntarily submit to a chemical test for BAC, if time permits, a warrant should be obtained. In State v. Hollis, 2013-Ohio-2586, the Fifth Appellate District was faced with an appeal of a decision from the Richland County Common Pleas Court. The case was the first forced blood draw decision following the United States Supreme Court ruling in Missouri v. McNeeley, which held “that in drunk-driving investigations, the natural dissipation of alcohol in the bloodstream does not constitute an exigency in every case sufficient to justify conducting a blood test without a warrant. The decision of the court used the previous rules for exigent circumstancesas set forth in Schmerber v. California and does not address or rely upon the McNeeley ruling. Instead, the court (relying on Schmerber) finds that exigent circumstances existed justifying the blood draw. Defendant was constructively arrested at the hospital after wrecking his car and likely being under the influence. The blood draw at the hospital was reasonable and with exigent circumstances. The court credits that it would have taken “hours” to get a warrant.
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 learn more about Ohio’s Implied Consent law contact me, or check these city-specific sites at the following links: