Tag: ohio traffic lawyer

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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Speed Camera Scams Still A Thing In Ohio

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If you think that Senate Bill 342 banned all speed cameras, you must not have driven through Newburgh Heights. Tucked over off I-77, Newburgh Heights has continued issuing tickets with hand-held devices that don’t require officers to pull anyone over to issue a citation. To supplement their budget, they are churning out tickets at the tune of 300 per week. Plenty of folks aren’t happy about it but Newburgh Heights doesn’t care.  Another Ohio city, Linndale, has built essentially a house with all the comforts of home — so that it can reap the benefits of traffic cameras while some Linndale officer is paid to sit there. You can read more about the implementation of the bill at Cleveland.com.

Despite the obscene money grab, Ohio cities are desperate to use Ohioans as a source of revenue via the implementation of corrupt (and corrupting) policing for profit tactics.  This scheme was laid bare with the revelations following the events in Ferguson, Missouri and spurred several calls for reform. The federal government, along with many states (including Ohio) have begun asset forfeiture reform and a bill to reform the criminal justice system is being debated in the US Senate. But here, in sleepy Ohio towns, the desire for money is too strong to care about the respect for the law and the ramifications of destroying the citizens faith in law enforcement and the criminal justice system.


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Traffic Fatalities In Ohio On The Rise

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As of Sunday, there were 665 traffic fatalities in Ohio. By mid-August 2014, there were 571 confirmed fatalities due to traffic crashes, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol. This trend is happening all over the country. According to the National Safety Council, the United States had a 14 percent spike in traffic fatalities during the first half of the year. The Illinois-based organization said that about 19,000 people died in traffic crashes through June, up from 16,180 for the same period in 2014. It should also be noted that these statistics do not take into account two of the years more dangerous months: July and August. The country could be witnessing the highest number of traffic-related deaths since 2007.

Given these numbers, you can expect a greater push by the Ohio State Highway Patrol, the Ohio Department of Transportation, the Ohio Public Safety Department and the Governors Highway Safety Association to crack down on issues affecting traffic fatalities.  What will they target? Educated guesses usually include people who are driving impaired, not wearing a seat belt, or driving while distracted — or all of the above.

Check HERE for the Columbus Dispatch Story on Ohio Traffic Fatalities
traffic fatalities

New Restrictions For Juvenile Drivers In Ohio Begins Today

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Beginning July 1, 2015, juvenile drivers issued a probationary license will face restrictions on when they can drive and how many passengers are allowed in the car while driving based on experience instead of age. This change is a result of Ohio’s Drive Toward a Safer Ohio Initiative and is an effort to increase the level of experience for Ohio’s young drivers.

“The change in driving times and the passenger restrictions during the first 12 months of driving allows Ohio’s young motorists to gain more experience on the road, while reducing their risks,” said Karhlton Moore, Executive Director of the Office of Criminal Justice Services. “This will help them become safer drivers.”

Whether these measures will actually work is of little concern to Ohio lawmakers as juvenile drivers make up only 5 percent of all drivers. The legislature did make a change in the law that will allow teen drivers to drive past 10 p.m. and would not require an additional six months with a parent or guardian if the juvenile driver has a moving violation.

Probationary drivers under the age of 18 will have the following restrictions during the first 12 months with a license:

  • No driving between midnight and 6 a.m., unless that driver is accompanied by a parent or a guardian. Those with valid documentation from work, school or church allowing for travel for activities between these hours are exempt;
  • No driving with more than one non-family member in the car;
  • All passengers must wear safety belts at all times; and
  • No use of mobile communication while driving.

For more information on laws affecting juvenile drivers in Ohio, please contact us at (937) 318-1384.

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Ohio OVI Enforcement Statistics Year-To-Date

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The Ohio State Highway Patrol has released year-to-date statistics on its Ohio OVI Enforcement.  2014 saw 2,100 arrests for OVI.  There was an increase in 2015 to 2,367 arrests.  Greene County saw arrests jump from 25 in 2014 to 47 this year. Montgomery County jumped from 58 arrests in 2014 to 72 this year. In Clark County the OSP arrested 26 people by this time in 2014 and 32 so far this year.

2015 looks like a bad year to forget to wear your seatbelt with a huge jump of 8,278 arrest vs 6,796 last year. Drug arrests are also significantly up again in 2015 with 1,275 arrested compared to 1,009 last year.  Interestingly the OSP seems to be doing fewer motorists assists. They have done 29,725 motorists assist so far in 2015 while having done 44,131 by this same point in 2014.

ohio ovi The great news from the statistics is that Ohio roadways continue to be very safe compared to any point in our history.  Fatal crashes have increased by only one over this point last year.  Keep up the good driving, always designate a sober driver, don’t text and drive and make Ohio a great place to live.

Ohio 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 OVI 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 more info on Ohio OVI enforcement, check these city-specific sites at the following links:

Fairborn,Dayton,Springfield,Kettering,Vandalia,XeniaMiamisburg,Huber HeightsSpringboroOakwood,Beavercreek, Centerville