Ohio DUI; a definition

In Ohio, driving under the influence includes driving while intoxicated with too much alcohol, or driving under the influence of a drug of abuse. The traditional offense is "driving under the influence of alcohol" (DUI). Ohio has also enacted a second, so-called "per se" offense: driving with an excessive blood-alcohol concentration (.08%). In Ohio, BOTH offenses are usually charged.

A jury instruction which is given at every D.U.I. trial states,

  • UNDER THE INFLUENCE. "Under the influence means that the defendant consumed some (alcohol)(drug of abuse)(alcohol and a drug of abuse), whether mild or potent, in such a quantity, whether small or great, that it adversely affected and appreciably impaired the defendant's actions, reactions, or mental processes under the circumstances then existing and deprived him of that clearness of intellect and control of himself which he would otherwise have possessed. The question is not how much (alcohol)(drug of abuse)(alcohol and a drug of abuse) would affect an ordinary person. The question is what effect did any (alcohol)(drug of abuse)(alcohol and a drug of abuse), consumed by the defendant, have on him at the time and place involved. If the consumption of (alcohol)(drug of abuse)(alcohol and a drug of abuse) so affected the nervous system, brain, or muscles of the defendant so as to impair, to an appreciable degree, his ability to operate the vehicle, then the defendant was under the influence.

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