Alcohol And Drug Testing In Ohio
Alcohol tests and drug tests often play an important role in cases of Vehicular Assault and Vehicular Homicide in Columbus Ohio and the central Ohio area. Alcohol and drugs can impair abilities necessary for driving. Therefore, the prosecution obtains results from a defendant’s alcohol and drug tests to use as evidence in court to prove charges of Vehicular Homicide and Vehicular Assault.
Some charges of Aggravated Vehicular Homicide and Aggravated Vehicular Assault require the prosecution to prove the defendant committed the offense of Operating a Vehicle under the influence (OVI). In those cases, results of alcohol and drug test are used to prove the defendant was ‘under the influence’ of or ‘over the limit’ for alcohol and/or drugs at the time of the collision.
Other charges of Vehicular Homicide and Vehicular Assault require the prosecution to prove the defendant operated a vehicle recklessly or negligently. In those cases, evidence of alcohol and drug levels is used to prove the defendant’s driving was reckless or negligent.
Alcohol and drug levels are measured by testing a driver’s blood or urine, and alcohol levels are also measured by testing a person’s breath.Blood Testing For Serious Vehicular Crimes In Ohio
After a collision resulting in serious physical harm or death, the defendant is often taken to a hospital. At the hospital, a law enforcement officer may ask the defendant to consent to a blood test. The defendant is not required to consent to the blood test. Drawing a person’s blood for testing requires a search warrant or a recognized exception to the search warrant requirement. One of the recognized exceptions is the defendant’s consent. If the defendant does not consent to the blood test, the officer must obtain a search warrant to conduct a blood test or a search warrant to obtain the results of a hospital blood test. A search warrant is not required if the defendant is unconscious.
When a blood sample is obtained from a defendant, the blood sample is analyzed either by a crime laboratory or the hospital. If the blood sample is analyzed by a crime laboratory, the analysis must comply with regulations issued by the Ohio Department of Health to be admissible in court. If the blood sample is analyzed by a hospital, the analysis does not need to comply with the Ohio Department of Health regulations, but there must be expert testimony regarding the test for the results to be admissible.Urine Testing For Serious Vehicular Crimes In Ohio
Urine tests indirectly measure levels of alcohol and drugs in a person’s blood. Alcohol and drugs from a person’s blood make their way into a person’s bladder and are excreted in urine. The concentrations of alcohol and drugs in a person’s urine are not the same as the concentrations in the person’s blood. Therefore, the ‘legal limits’ for alcohol and drugs are different for urine than for blood. Most states do not use urine tests as evidence, but Ohio does. It is debatable whether a search warrant is required for law enforcement to obtain urine test results.
For a urine test to be admissible in court, the test must be conducted in compliance with Ohio Department of Health regulations. If the urine sample was not collected, handled, transported, tested, and stored in compliance with those regulations, the test is excluded from evidence (thrown out). If the urine test is not thrown out, the defendant may still introduce evidence to show why the result was not accurate.Breath Testing For Serious Vehicular Crimes In Ohio
Breath tests are only used for cases in which the defendant is not hospitalized. Like urine tests, breath tests indirectly measure alcohol levels in a person’s blood. Alcohol from a person’s blood is distributed to the lungs and expired when the person exhales. Breath tests, at this time, are not used to measure a person’s drug levels. For a person who is not hospitalized, an officer can conveniently measure the alcohol in a person’s breath with a breath-testing machine rather than go through the inconvenience of obtaining a blood sample.
For a breath test to be admitted as evidence in court, the test and machine maintenance must comply with regulations from the Ohio Department of Health. If there is a lack of substantial compliance with the regulations, the breath test is not admissible. If the breath test is admissible, the defendant can offer evidence proving the result was inaccurate.Lawyers For Vehicular Assault & Vehicular Homicide In Central Ohio
Lawyers who defend clients against allegations of Vehicular Homicide or Vehicular Assault in Ohio should closely review evidence related to the alcohol and drug tests. There may be a lack of compliance with Ohio regulations, a lack of scientific reliability, or explanations for why the test did not yield an accurate result. To do this effectively, the lawyer must have knowledge about alcohol and drug testing.
The lawyers at the Dominy Law Firm are knowledgeable about alcohol and drug testing. They have education in the Ohio regulations and training in the methods used for testing alcohol and drug levels. They authored and edited the Ohio Vehicular Homicide Guide (Rivers Edge Publishing) and the Ohio Vehicular Assault Guide (Rivers Edge Publishing). The firm represents clients for these types of cases in courts throughout central Ohio. If you would like to discuss representation for your case, you can schedule a free phone consultation by calling 614-717-1177 or by submitting a CONTACT FORM.