Posts Tagged ‘ovi arrest’

Christmas DUI Blitz Along Rt. 4 Announced

December 19th, 2013

Christmas DUIThe Ohio State Highway Patrol will be conducting a Christmas DUI enforcement action along Rt. 4 beginning this weekend.

The OVI Task Forces of Clark County, Hamilton County, Butler County, Montgomery County, and the Ohio State Highway Patrol will conduct an Christmas DUI enforcement blitz along State Route 4 this Friday and Saturday.  In addition, the Ohio Investigative Unit will have agents working in the same area during the Christmas DUI blitz.  Other Task Force member departments that are not situated along SR-4 will also have extra officers working in their areas and searching for impaired drivers.

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 emailCharlesRowland@DaytonDUI.com or visit his office at 2190 Gateway Dr., Fairborn, Ohio 45324.  “All I do is DUI defense.”

Find Christmas DUI Info and other city-specific info at the following links:

FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburgSpringboro,Huber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville

Nonstandardized Field Sobriety Tests

April 12th, 2013

Ohio has adopted the three-test field sobriety protocol as set forth in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) manual for training law enforcement officers.  The three tests adopted by NHTSA all survived scientific scrutiny as being indicative of impairment.  The tests are: (1) horizontal gaze nystagmus, a test of the subject’s eyes; (2)  walk & turn; (3) one-leg-stand.  The officer is trained to administer the tests in a standardized fashion and record “clues” of impairment as evidenced by the subject’s performance on the tests.

Often, you will encounter a circumstance where the officer employs an non-standardized field sobriety test.  These tests may include nonscientific “techniques”, some of which are described in the NHTSA manual, and can include a finger dexterity test, an alphabet test, a counting test or some other form of confusing coordination test.  Some jurisdictions still employ a thoroughly discredited test which requires the subject to tilt their head back and touch the tip of his finger to the tip of his nose.

The first step in challenging the officers decision to employ non-standardized tests is to determine why the officer is employing the tests.  Ohio has set forth eleven (11) factors that courts consider in determining whether or not the officer has established reasonable and articulable suspicion of drunk driving sufficient to request that the suspect step from the car.  See State v. Evans, citation omitted.  It is appropriate pursuant to the NHTSA manual to employ the above-described “techniques” at this phase of the officer’s investigation.  Your DUI attorney will know how to use cross examination to establish that there were omissions in the officers investigation, or that the officer lacked the legal standard necessary to ask you to step from the car.

If, however, the officer is using the tests to establish probable cause for an OVI arrest, he or she is on a faulty scientific footing.  Your DUI lawyer will challenge these tests as not probative of intoxication and that they are irrelevant for purposes of determining impairment.  At least one case, Rocky River v. Horvath, 2002 WL 538755 (Ohio Ct. App. 8th Dist. Cuyahoga 2002) has decided that these non-standardized tests are improper because they have no standardized application and they have not been approved by NHTSA. [Note: this opinion was written by now-Supreme Court Justice Terrence O'Donnell].  The Second District Court of Appeals has ruled that non-standardized tests can come in under the totality of the circumstances used to reach a probable cause determination. State v. Rajehel, 2003-Ohio-3975.  The Ohio Supreme Court has ruled that the tests may be used as lay evidence of intoxication. Brooklyn Hts. v. Yee, 2009-Ohio-4552.

If you find yourself needing the assistance of a qualified Ohio DUI lawyer, contact Charles M. Rowland II at (937) 318-1DUI or 1-888-ROWLAND.  Charles Rowland has taken the same NHTSA approved training as law enforcement, is Ohio’s only Forensic Sobriety Assessment certified attorney and has honed his skills as both a defense attorney and a prosecuting attorney.  Please visit www.DaytonDUI.com to find out more.

Defending The Accusation Of Slurred Speech (by DaytonDUI)

February 15th, 2013

A very common observation by law enforcement in an impaired driving investigation is the presence of “slurred speech.”  Experience trial counsel will look to the totality of evidence to combat the damning accusation of slurred speech.

Many traffic stops are now captured on video tape.  As the quality of the recordings has improved we are often able to hear exactly what the officer is hearing.  Reasonable people can disagree as to whether or not the speech on a video is “slurred” and whether or not it was fair for the officer to describe the speech as slurred.  Another, more subtle method is to cross-examine the officer on his or her ability to obtain evidence based on the suspect’s answers.  It is logical to conclude that the suspect’s speech was not so slurred that the officer was not able to gather evidence. Another point that can be made is that the officer notes impaired speech at the one and only location the officer  is trained to note it in his or her training.  And at no other time does the speech appear in the officer’s report.  This evidence of absence is enhanced if the jury is given a narrative that the officer was rushing to confirm an erroneous conclusion that the suspect was impaired.

It is also fair to point out that there are other causes of slurred speech besides intoxication.  The medical term for slurred speech is  ‘dysarthria’ and, like other clues of impairment, can be attributable to multiple causes.  Being pulled over by law enforcement is a very stressful situation.  According to the medical site Health Guidance, slurred speech can be caused or enhanced by anxiety.

Anxiety

If you have ever been in a highly stressful situation then you might have noticed it becoming increasingly difficult to get your words out (which doesn’t help). This is a result of stress hormones and can be particularly bad in cases of anxiety disorder.

Another argument that can be used to combat the accusation of slurred speech is that the officer has no “baseline” observation upon which to base an accusation.  This is likely the first, and only, opportunity that the officer has to speak with the suspect.  As one client testified in court, “He just don’t know that’s how I talk.”  People who are familiar with the suspects speech pattern may be called to testify.  They can refute the accusation by offering their opinion on whether or not the suspect’s speech was impaired.  The DaytonDUI app which is available (for free) on Android has a function that will allow an accused driver to make a contemporaneous recording.  This recording will serve as a record of the defendant’s voice and can be used in court to fight the charge of DUI.

DUI attorney Charles M. Rowland II dedicates his practice to defending the accused drunk driver in Fairborn, Dayton, SpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburgHuber HeightsBeavercreekCentervilleSpringboro, Franklin 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 Twitterupdates via SMS by texting DaytonDUI to 40404. DaytonDUI is also available on Facebook,www.facebook.com/daytondui 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.

Ohio DUI Law: Reasonable and Articulable Suspicion

October 23rd, 2012

What Level of Proof Does Law Enforcement Need to Pull You From Your Car For Standardized Field Tests?

One of the major decision points in the OVI arrest process is the officer’s decision to remove a suspect from his or her car and conduct standardized field sobriety testing. The officer is trained to arrive at this “decision point” by conducting an interview and using specific “pre-exit interview techniques” which include asking for two things simultaneously; asking interrupting or distracting questions; and asking unusual questions. (NHTSA Student Manual VI-4).  Additional techniques which an officer may employ include and Alphabet test (begin with E and end with P); a Countdown test (count out loud backward starting with 68 and ending with 53); and the Finger Count test (touch the tip of the thumb in turn to the tip of each finger while simultaneously counting).  Absent evidence of intoxication adduced at this point in the investigation, the officer lacks reasonable and articulable suspicion to allow him to request you to step from the car. (NHTSA Student Manual, VI-4, VI-5, VI-6).

In State v. Evans (11th Dist 1998), 127 Ohio App.3d 56, the Court cites factors to determine if an officer has reasonable articulable suspicion of driving under the influence: (1) the time and day of the stop (Friday or Saturday night as opposed to, e.g., Tuesday morning); (2) the location of the stop (whether near establishments selling alcohol); (3) any indicia of erratic driving before the stop that may indicate a lack of coordination (speeding, weaving, unusual braking, etc.); (4) whether there is a cognizable report that the driver may be intoxicated; (5) the condition of the suspect’s eyes (bloodshot, glassy, glazed, etc.); (6) impairments of the suspect’s ability to speak (slurred speech, overly deliberate speech, etc.); (7) the odor of alcohol coming from the interior of the car, or, more significantly, on the suspect’s person or breath; (8) the intensity of that odor, as described by the officer (“very strong,” “strong,” “moderate,” “slight,” etc.); (9) the suspect’s demeanor (belligerent, uncooperative, etc.); (10) any actions by the suspect after the stop that might indicate a lack of coordination (dropping keys, falling over, fumbling for a wallet, etc.); and (11) the suspect’s admission of alcohol consumption, the number of drinks had, and the amount of time in which they were consumed, if given.  Citing five factors present in this case, the Court concluded the officer did have reasonable and articulable suspicion of driving under the influence.

An Ohio OVI lawyer should be prepared to challenge the officer’s determination of reasonable and articulable suspicion.  Make sure the Ohio OVI lawyer you choose has the most recent copy of the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, Student Manual.  Charles M. Rowland has all such manuals and has received the same level of training in the standardized field sobriety tests as law enforcement.  He has furthered his education by being Ohio’s only Forensic Sobriety Assessment certified attorney which goes beyond the NHTSA manual to investigate the science (pseudo-science) of the tests.  If you need an attorney who has worked hard to achieve the highest level of training possible, contact Charles M. Rowland II today at 937-318-1DUI (318-1384), 1-888-ROWLAND or www.DaytonDUI.com.

Administrative License Suspension (by DaytonDUI)

September 19th, 2012

If you are stopped for an OVI, DUI or drunk driving and you refuse to take a chemical test (breath, blood or urine), or if your test results exceed the legal limit of Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC), the police officer can and will take your driver’s license on the spot causing your drivers license to be suspended immediately.  This pre-conviction suspension is called the ADMINISTRATIVE LICENSE SUSPENSION. The ALS is a suspension imposed by the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles and not a suspension imposed by the court.  For many the days following a drunk driving arrest are the hardest to deal with because of the inability to drive.  The ALS is independent of any jail term, fine or other criminal penalty imposed in court for a OVI offense.

When you visit Charles M. Rowland II at DaytonDUI, you will discuss how to get you driving as soon as possible.  You will discuss the limited circumstances under which an Administrative License Suspension can be challenged.  The court must hold the administrative license suspension hearing within five days of arrest.  You only have 30 days from your arraignment to file an appeal of the Administrative License Suspension. The scope of appeal is confined to four issues:

 1. Was your arrest based on reasonable grounds? 

2. Did the officer request that you to take a test? 

3. Were you made aware of the consequences if you refused or failed the test? 

4. Did you refuse or fail the test?

Charles M. Rowland II is familiar with the case law relevant to determining if an ALS appeal would be beneficial in your case.  He will check to see if the 2255 form (the yellow piece of paper you were given) was notorized.  The BMV must receive a notarized sworn copy of the 2255.  If the form is not executed as required by law, then he can bring that to the court’s attention and request that the ALS be terminated or stayed.  It is important to discuss whether or not you were able to produce the requested sample.  If you have a verifiable medical condition the Administrative License Suspension may not be plausible in your case.  No matter what the circumstances, Charles M. Rowland II will help secure you driving privileges for work or for school.

Much confusion is caused by the fact that the Administrative License Suspension is a pre-trial suspension generated by the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles.  The warnings given by the arresting officer are misleading.  Often a client will come to our office under the misimpression that the worst case scenario will be a 90 day suspension.  If our client refused a chemical test, they believe they are condemned to a one year suspension.  This is not usually the case.  Upon a plea to a reduced charge (such as Reckless Operation) or to an OVI,  the Administrative License Suspension will be terminated and the court will impose its own suspension.   The minimum mandatory suspension for a first OVI offense is six months.  This will horrify the person who believed that they were facing 90 days, but a welcome relief to people who thought they were going to have a one year suspension.  According to the Ohio BMV,

Termination of Suspension ORC Section 4511.191

The ALS Refusal Suspension will be terminated by the registrar upon notice that:

  • The person entered a plea of guilty to OVI and the refusal suspension arose from the same incident.
  • The person entered a plea of no contest to OVI, was found guilty and the refusal suspension arose from the same incident.

As with every area of DUI law, hiring an experienced lawyer is key.  For instance, even if you win your Administrative License Suspension Appeal the Court can still impose a pre-trial suspension if court finds that person is a threat to public safety.  Some courts/some prosecutors will want to punish a defendant for refusing by requiring the ALS to remain in effect which results in a one year suspension.  Perversely, the ALS will remain in effect even if you take your case to a jury trial and prevail.  That’s right, the zombie punishment of an ALS survives a jury trial win.  As you can see from the chart below, the complexity of your case increases if you have prior OVI offenses.

ALS CHART FOR REFUSAL OF CHEMICAL TEST

Number of Refusals or
Convictions in 6 years
Length Of Suspension Waiting period for driving privileges
1st one year 45 days
2nd two years 90 days
3rd three years one year
4th or more five years three year

ALS CHART FOR TESTING OVER PROHIBITED CONCENTRATION

Number of convictions
in 6 years
Length Of Suspension Waiting period for driving privileges
1st 90 days 15 days
2nd one year 30 days
3rd two years 180 days
4th or more three years three years

DUI attorney Charles M. Rowland II dedicates his practice to defending the accused drunk driver in Fairborn, Dayton, SpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburgHuber HeightsBeavercreekCentervilleSpringboro, Franklin 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 Twitterupdates via SMS by texting DaytonDUI to 40404. DaytonDUI is also available on Facebook,www.facebook.com/daytondui 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.