Tag Archives: ohio ovi

Ohio OVI attorney Charles Rowland represents the accused drunk driver in Ohio.

Driving Is A Right Not A Privilege

driving is a rightDriving Is A Right!

Have you ever been told that “driving is a privilege?” Bah! This author argues that the DUI case law needs to be expanded to include “driving” as a fundamental right under the First Amendment’s Freedom of Assembly. Thus, the analysis should be under the substantive due process analysis not simply under the procedural due process analysis. Because the human rights of freedom of movement, right to earn a living and the right to peaceably assemble are only capable of being maintained with a valid driver’s license, the Court should require a more rigorous standard before depriving someone of this basic right. The right to drive is a fundamental right that is deeply rooted in American history and tradition. Why is it important to establish driving as a fundamental right? Where the right is not a fundamental right, the court applies a rational basis test: if the violation of the right can be rationally related to a legitimate government purpose, then the law is held valid. If the court establishes that the right being violated is a fundamental right, it applies strict scrutiny. Strict scrutiny asks whether the law is justified by a compelling state interest, and whether the law is narrowly tailored to address the state interest.

I base this claim on cases decided in the United States Supreme Court.  DUI case law analysis at the United States Supreme Court provides that driving is not “just” a privilege as alleged and assumed by most Ohioans. You may have heard the expression that a driver’s license is “a privilege — not a right”, and thus there were few effective remedies available to a driver who wished to contest a suspension. The U.S. Supreme Court changed that in Bell v. Burson, 402 U.S. 535 (1971), recognizing that a license’s “continued possession may become essential in the pursuit of a livelihood”. Because of their value, then, they “are not to be taken away without that procedural due process required by the Fourteenth Amendment”. The Court premised its opinion on the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments protections that neither the State or Federal government can deprive a person of life, liberty or property without due process of law. Without this decision it is likely that the police would confiscate your license without any recourse in or appeal. See also, Mackey v. Montrym (1979) 443 U.S. 1, involving a license suspension for refusing to submit to a DUI breath test.  But they need to go further.

To understand why driving is a right in light of DUI case law, it is important to understand how the United States Supreme Court analyzes due process issues.  “The Supreme Court has identified two distinct categories of fundamental liberties. The first category includes most of the liberties expressly enumerated in the Bill of Rights. Through a process known as “selective incorporation,” the Supreme Court has interpreted the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to bar states from denying their residents the most important freedoms guaranteed in the first ten amendments to the federal Constitution. Only the Second Amendment right to bear arms, the Third Amendment right against involuntary quartering of soldiers, and the Fifth Amendment right to be indicted by a grand jury have not been made applicable to the states. Because these rights remain inapplicable to state governments, the Supreme Court is said to have “selectively incorporated” the Bill of Rights into the Due Process Clause.

The second category of fundamental liberties includes those liberties that are not expressly enumerated in the Bill of Rights but which are nonetheless deemed essential to the concepts of freedom and equality in a democratic society. These unenumerated liberties are derived from Supreme Court precedents, common law, moral philosophy, and deeply rooted traditions of U.S. Legal History. The word liberty cannot be defined by a definitive list of rights, the Supreme Court has stressed. Instead, it must be viewed as a rational continuum of freedom through which every facet of human behavior is safeguarded from Arbitrary impositions and purposeless restraints. In this light, the Supreme Court has observed, the Due Process Clause protects abstract liberty interests, including the right to personal autonomy, bodily integrity, self-dignity, and self-determination. Id.  Let’s get driving, freedom of movement and freedom of assembly to be included as a fundamental liberty.

Attorney Charles M. Rowland II believes that driving is a right and 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 help make sure driving is a right call me or check these city-specific sites at the following links:

FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburg, Huber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville

Ohio DUI Law R.C 4511.19(A)(2) “a codified dilema”

ohio dui law

Ohio DUI law R.C. 4511.19(A)(2) enhances the penalty for a motorist who, having been convicted once in the last six (6) years, after having been arrested, refuses to take a blood, breath or urine test.  In State v. Hoover,173 Ohio App.3d 487, 2007-Ohio-5773, the issue of whether or not a person can have a DUI sentence enhanced pursuant to R.C. 4511.19(A)(2) for refusing to take a chemical test was before the Ohio Supreme Court.  The government sought to have the sentence of Corey Hoover enhanced from the ten (10) day mandatory penalty for a second time DUI offender in Ohio to twenty (20) days because he refused to take a breath test.  “The issue here is whether the state can criminalize a person’s failure to consent to a warrantless search, or in other words, to force a consent to search through the coercive power of threatened jail time. Although consent is implied by R.C. 4511.191, consent can be withdrawn. …  Imposing criminal sanctions for failure to consent goes far beyond the state’s power … to regulate the licensure of drivers. Id.

The defendant argued that “ he has a constitutional right to revoke his implied consent and that being forced by threat of punishment to submit to a chemical test violates his rights under the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article I, Section 14 of the Ohio Constitution, which provide that persons, houses, and effects are protected against unreasonable search and seizure.”  Justice Lanzinger emphasized that R.C. 4511.19(A)(2) does not make refusal to take a chemical test a criminal offense. “The activity prohibited under R.C. 4511.19(A)(2) is operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. A person’s refusal to take a chemical test is simply an additional element that must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt along with the person’s previous DUI conviction to distinguish the offense from a violation of R.C. 4511.19(A)(1)(a). Id.  The majority opinion was joined by Justices Evelyn Lundberg Stratton, Maureen O’Connor and Robert R. Cupp.

Justice Paul E. Pfeifer entered a dissenting opinion that was joined by Chief Justice Thomas J. Moyer and Justice Terrence O’Donnell. Justice Pfeifer wrote that today’s majority holding diverges from previous court decisions which have upheld only the imposition of administrative penalties against DUI defendants for refusing to submit to chemical testing.

“R.C. 4511.19(A)(2) veers from the traditional administrative punishment for refusal to consent to a chemical test upon an arrest for DUI and goes down a separate path, beyond the regulation of licensing; for certain DUI arrestees, R.C. 4511.19(A)(2) criminalizes the refusal to take a chemical test. This court’s previous jurisprudence regarding sanctions for a DUI defendant’s failure to consent to chemical tests have all involved license suspensions. … This court has previously answered the question whether a person can face criminal sanctions for failure to consent to a search.  In Wilson v. Cincinnati (1976) … this court held that that the Fourth Amendment prohibits the imposition of criminal penalties upon a person who refuses to submit to a warrantless search.”

“The issue here is whether the state can criminalize a person’s failure to consent to a warrantless search, or in other words, to force a consent to search through the coercive power of threatened jail time. Although consent is implied by R.C. 4511.191, consent can be withdrawn. …  Imposing criminal sanctions for failure to consent goes far beyond the state’s power … to regulate the licensure of drivers. As in Wilson, the statute at issue herein imposes a codified dilemma – consent to a warrantless search or face the possibility of a criminal penalty – and thus amounts to coercion. R.C. 4511.19(A)(2) therefore violates defendants’ rights under the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution and Section 14, Article I of the Ohio Constitution.”

This important DUI decision has withstood challenge, so far.  This author posits what impact the recent United States Supreme Court decision in Missouri v. McNeely133 S.Ct. 1552 (2013) regarding the State to obtain a warrant prior to a forced blood draw will have on this decision and other Ohio DUI law issues.  The “codified dilema” as Justice Pfeifer called this matter will have to be relitigated in cases where the State decides not to seek a warrant and also attempts to “enhance” the sentence.

Attorney Charles M. Rowland II dedicates his practice to defending the accused drunk driver in the Miami Valley and throughout Ohio.  He knows Ohio DUI law and 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.  Email CharlesRowland@DaytonDUI.com or visit his office at 2190 Gateway Dr., Fairborn, Ohio 45324.  “All I do is DUI defense.”

For more information on Ohio DUI law  check these city-specific sites at the following links:

FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburg,Huber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville

Determining Probable Cause For An OVI Offense

probable causeA warrantless arrest must be supported by probable cause in order to be constitutionally valid. State v. Timson, 38 Ohio St.2d 122, 67 Ohio Op.2d 140, 311 N.E.2d 16 (1974).  In order to make a finding that probable (more likely than not) cause existed the court must look at the totality of the circumstances surrounding the arrest. State v. Miller,  117 Ohio App.3d 750, 691 N.E.2d 703 (11th Dist. Court of Appeals 1997), State v. Brandenburg, 41 Ohio App.3d 109, 534 N.E.2d 906 (2nd Dist. Court of Appeals, Montgomery County 1987). “[B]ecause of the mosaic which is analyzed for a …probable cause inquiry is multi-faceted, ‘one determination is seldom useful precedent for another.'” State v. Anez, 108 Ohio Misc.2d 18, 27, 738 N.E.2d 491 (2000) citing Ornelas v. United States, 517 U.S. 690, 698, 116 S.Ct. 1657, 1663, (1996) quoting Illinois v. Gates, 462 U.S. 213, 280, 103 S.Ct. 2317, 2332 (1983).

In an OVI case filed pursuant to O.R.C. 4511.19, the court must consider the following in making a determination:

  1. whether at the moment of arrest;
  2. the police had sufficient information
  3. derived from a reasonably trustworthy source of the facts and circumstances
  4. sufficient to cause a prudent person to believe
  5. that the suspect was driving under the influence

These factors are set forth at State v. Homan, 89 Ohio St. 3d 421, 427, 2000-Ohio-212, 732 N.E.2d 952 (2000), superseded by statute, State v. Bozcar, 2007-Ohio-1251, 113 Ohio St.3d 148, 863 N.E.2d 155 (2008) citing Beck v. Ohio, 379 U.S. 89, 91, 85 S.Ct. 223, 225 (1964); State v. Timson, 38 Ohio St.2d 122, 127, 311 N.E.2d 16 (1974).  It is clear from these cases that probable cause is a high standard that the government must meet in order to prosecute an OVI offense.

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 probable cause contact me, or check these city-specific sites at the following links:

FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburg, Huber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville

Ohio DUI Crackdown Begins Today!

ohio duiYou can expect a major increase in Ohio DUI enforcement beginning today.  Operation “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” will put 99 law enforcement agencies on our roads with over 8,400 hours of extra enforcement that will run through Labor Day.  The national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over crackdown is a program organized by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and focuses on combining high-visibility enforcement with heightened public awareness through advertising and publicity.

If you want to receive updated information on Dayton OVI checkpoint locations, enhanced traffic enforcement, saturation patrols and other important developments that affect you, sign up for text alerts on the main page of this blog. OVI checkpoint alerts will be sent directly to your mobile device/smartphone in the location you choose in the Miami Valley. In the past month we have alerted our followers to the State Route 35 traffic initiative and three local sobriety checkpoints. You should also know that we respect your trust and we will never send you irrelevant information and/or advertisements. This service is free and available to the general public.

You can also put DaytonDUI on your Android Smart phone via the DaytonDUI app. The app helps you know your rights and know yourself by providing a drink tally so that you do not overindulge. You can send safe drinking tips to friends or use the app to find the nearest taxi for a safe trip home. The app brings you the best of DaytonDUI’s video and audio content and gives you a chance to take pictures and record memories so that you can aid in your own defense. We provide OVI checkpoint information because our sincere desire is to make our roads a safer place.

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.”

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

FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburg, Huber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville

Vehicle Forfeiture: Where Does The Money Go?

vehicle forfeiture

Have you ever wondered where the money goes following a vehicle forfeiture?

Does your police agency have some really cool sports cars, tricked out SUVs or ruggedly expensive off-road vehicles?  Chances are they got it via Ohio’s vehicle forfeiture law.  Pursuant to R.C. 4503.234(C)(1), the agency that arrested a defendant has a virtual right of first refusal on any forfeited vehicle.  All they have to do is satisfy the lienholder or the innocent non-owners interest if they have protected their interest in the vehicle.

If law enforcement does not want the vehicle it will be sent to auction.  Prior to the sale the prosecuting attorney must give public notice of the proposed sale.  See R.C. 4503.234(C)(2).  At the public auction, the vehicle is sold to the highest bidder – cash only!  R.C. 4503.234(C)(2)  Interestingly, if the “blue book” value of the vehicle is under $2,000.00 the court is authorized to dispose of it in any manner it deems appropriate. R.C. 4503.234(G).

 

  • When the vehicle is sold the money goes to the following people:
  • to the costs associated the the seizure, storage, maintenance, security, and sale;
  • to the value of any non-owner interest established in the vehicle;
  • any remaining proceeds up to $1,000.00 to the law enforcement trust fund [R.C. 2933,43(D)(1)(c) and (2)];

 

Whatever proceeds are left after that go to the following people:

 

  • 50% to the reparation fund [R.C. 2743.191];
  • 25% to the Drug Abuse Resistance Education Fund [R.C. 4511.191(F)(2)(e)]; and
  • 25% to the law enforcement trust fund [R.C. 2981.13]

The law has two particularly ugly provision relating to passengers.  If you are a passenger in a vehicle and you knew or should have known that the driver was impaired you cannot get reparations for your injuries proximately caused by the driver.  See R.C. 2743.191 as amended by SB 153.   No compensation will be paid to a passenger under the influence who should have reasonably known, if that passenger would have been sober, that the driver was under the influence. R.C. 2743.06(B).

As you can see from the priority list above, the law enforcement agency benefits more when an expensive vehicle is forfeited.  Usually, we call this policing for profit when the property is targeted by police so that they can reap a benefit.  Unlike drug forfeitures, however, a vehicle forfeiture in an Ohio OVI case are caused by the actions of the accused driver not by motivated policing.

Much of the vehicle forfeiture information provided herein is set forth at Ohio DUI Law, Weiler & Weiler, 2013-2014 ed.

 

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.”

For information about vehicle forfeiture contact me, or check these city-specific sites at the following links:

FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburg, Huber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville