Tag: ohio ovi

What is Snow Law in Ohio?

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

Let it snow!

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

A county sheriff may, pursuant to Ohio Revised Code sections 311.07 and 311.08, declare an 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 emergency classifications.

Emergency Classifications

LEVEL 1: Roadways are hazardous with blowing and drifting snow (the definition may become a matter of dispute if you ever have to challenge this law). 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 an 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 (and clean up snow)”

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Ohio OVI: What Are The Legal Limits?

00Blood & Urine Tests, Breath TestingTags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

In Ohio, an OVI refers to the charge of operating a vehicle while impaired by drugs or alcohol.  If your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) and breath alcohol content (BrAC) is .08 or greater, you are considered to be “operating a vehicle impaired.” The .08 figure refers to the concentration of alcohol in your breath or in your blood.  There are also “legal limits” for the concentration of alcohol in a person’s blood serum or plasma and urine. For a urine sample, you will be over the “legal limit” if the alcohol concentration in your urine sample is .11 or greater.

Ohio OVIWhile Ohio still considers this a valid way to determine alcohol content, many states have done away with urine testing because handling and testing procedures have produced errors. If a blood serum or plasma sample is taken, the legal limit is .096. A test of blood, whether whole blood, serum or plasma, is the most accurate, but such tests must be completed according to Department of Health rules to be admissible in a court proceeding. Also, improper blood testing procedures still may yield inaccurate results.

There are also enhanced minimum penalties for “high tier” or “Super OVI” results. The high tier test results are .17 for breath and blood, .204 for blood serum or plasma, and .238 for urine. The enhanced penalties for “high tier” offenders double the minimum jail time requirement.

If you find yourself facing an Ohio OVI you need to speak to an attorney right away! Call DaytonDUI at (937) 318-1384.
OVI crackdown

Ohio State Highway Patrol 6-State OVI Crackdown

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State troopers in Ohio will take part in an OVI crackdown on impaired driving this week as part of a multi-state enforcement effort called the 6-State Trooper Project. State police from Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Pennsylvania and West Virginia will join in the project with the Ohio State Highway patrol from 12:01 a.m. Friday through 11:59 p.m. Sunday.

If you find yourself charged with an Ohio OVI as a result of this law enforcement initiative, please give us a call. Dayton DUI is open 24/7 at (937) 776-2671. Put this number in your phone and have us at your fingertips.

Arrested for OVI? Should You Blow?

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

should i blowWhen you are stopped on suspicion of DUI the question becomes – “Should I Blow?” 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 hadno prior drunk driving convictionsor 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 and a longer period of time before you can get driving privileges.   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.

Should I blow, Now you know! 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.

teen drivers

Ohio’s Rules For Obtaining A License (Teen Drivers Beware)

00DUI & College, DUI Under 21/Juvenile, Ohio BMV IssuesTags: , , , , , , , , ,

Obtaining a license has changed for teen drivers in Ohio. Ohio employs a three-step process to obtaining a license.

The first step begins when you turn 15 1/2. At this time you may apply for a temporary permit and take the drivers license knowledge exam and the eye test.  If you pass you will receive a confirmation number to present to your local BMV. You are required to bring a copy of your birth certificate and must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

When you are  driving with a temporary permit, you must be accompanied by a parent, guardian or licensed driving instructor seated in the front passenger seat until you turn 16 years old. At 16, you can  drive with a licensed driver age 21 or older seated in the front passenger seat. You must carry your temporary instruction permit identification card (TIPIC) with you while driving.

These additional rules apply to temporary (TIPIC) drivers:

  • You may not drive with more passengers than the total number or originally installed seat belts and all passengers must be wearing seat belts.
  • You may not drive between midnight and 6 a.m. unless accompanied by a licensed parent, guardian or legal custodian.
  • You must receive a minimum of 24 hours of classroom instruction and eight hours of behind-the-wheel instruction in driver training.
  • You must complete 50 hours of driving with a parent or legal guardian, including at least 10 hours of nighttime driving. Your parents or guardians must verify the hours in writing.

After turning 16 and having had your temporary permit for 6 months, you will be eligible to go to your local BMV to take the driving test and a second vision test. At this time you will present proof that you completed 50 hours of driving time. Upon completing these steps you will be issued your probationary license. Make sure a parent comes with you to sign the application form or get your parent’s notarized signature on the form ahead of time.

Now that you have a probationary license, you are allowed to drive without a parent.  But certain restrictions still apply.  If you have held a probationary license for less than 12 months, you may not drive between midnight and 6 a.m. unless accompanied by a parent or guardian. You can drive to and from work but you must have in your possession written documentation from your job. You can also drive to or from a school activity, or in an emergency. You may also not drive with more than one passenger who is not a family member unless accompanied by a parent, guardian or legal custodian.

After you have driven for one year under the probationary license, Ohio extends your curfew (but not by much). You may not drive between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. unless accompanied by a parent or guardian with the same exceptions as above. You may not have more passengers than the total number of originally installed seat belts and all passengers must be wearing seat belts. The probationary license is valid until age 18.

At age 18, teen drivers are eligible for a full license if they have successfully completed the probationary license requirements. License applicants age 18 or older who fail the required road or maneuverability test must take an abbreviated driver training course prior to attempting the test a second or subsequent time.

But what if you break the rules?

If you are under 17 and have a probationary license, and if you are convicted of having committed a moving violation during the first 6 months of license issuance, you must then only drive when accompanied by a parent or guardian for the next 6 months or until you turn 17, whichever comes first. Your temporary permit or probationary license can be suspended for periods of up to one year if you are convicted of multiple moving violations or any alcohol-related offense. If your temporary permit or probationary license is suspended, you must meet a number of requirements before your permit or license can be returned, including completion of a juvenile driver improvement program and retaking the driver’s examination.  Ohio’s “zero tolerance” law makes it illegal for teen drivers (under age 21) to drive with a blood alcohol content of .02 or greater.

Teen drivers facing an Ohio OVI offense, please give us a call!