OVI / DUI Investigations Part 2: After The Arrest

DUI / OVI Investigations In Columbus And Central Ohio

This is the second page in a two-part series discussing investigations in DUI / OVI cases. Part 1 describes the stop and arrest, and this page addresses what happens after the arrest.

Questioning By Officers In DUI / OVI Investigations

After you are arrested, you are usually transported to the police station. During the interaction with you in the cruiser and at the station, the police officer will likely question you about the incident (e.g., where have you been, how much did you drink, etc...). If you are in custody and the officer questions you without administering Miranda warnings, the statements you make cannot be used against you later in most circumstances. If the officer tells you that you have the right to remain silent, it’s probably a good idea to remain silent. If you choose not to talk to the police, you should tell the officer politely that you do not want to discuss the incident until you consult with an attorney. A Columbus, Ohio DUI / OVI lawyer can review the circumstances surrounding any statements you made to determine their admissibility and their impact on the case.

Chemical Tests In DUI / OVI Investigations

At some point, you will be requested to submit to a breath test, blood test, or urine test to determine the level of alcohol or drugs in your blood. The legal alcohol limit for persons 21 and over is: .08 for breath; .08 for blood; and .11 for urine (there are also legal limits for certain drugs). You may refuse the tests. Refusing the test, or testing over the legal limit, will result in an immediate suspension of your license by the B.M.V. called an Administrative License Suspension (ALS).There are (at least) two separate offenses with which you may be charged: (1) driving with a prohibited alcohol or drug level (DUI / OVI “per se”); and (2) driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI / OVI “impaired”). If you test above the legal limit, you will likely be charged with both offenses. If you test below the legal limit, or if you refuse the test, you may still be charged with the second offense.

Deciding Whether To Take Or Refuse A Chemical Test In A DUI / OVI Case

Before submitting to a test or refusing at test, consider the following possible outcomes:

  • If you take the test and the result is over the prohibited amount: (a) your license will be suspended for 90 days (or longer if you have prior DUI/OVI convictions or test refusals); and (b) the prosecution will use the results of the test against you in court.
  • If you take the test and the result is under the legal limit: (a) your license will not be suspended; and (b) the results of the test will not be damaging in court, but you may still be charged with DUI / OVI.
  • If you refuse the test: (a) your license will be suspended for one year (or longer if you have prior DUI / OVI convictions or test refusals); and (b) the prosecution will not have any test results to use against you in court.
  • If you have a prior conviction for DUI/OVI (or an equivalent offense) in the last 20 years, you will likely be charged with the separate offense of Test Refusal With Prior Conviction
    • In addition, commercial drivers face additional consequences for refusing chemical tests.
    • Also, for a person on probation for DUI / OVI, it may be a violation of probation to refuse a chemical test.
Vehicle Impoundment In DUI / OVI Cases

If you are charged with DUI / OVI, you will also probably face immediate impoundment of your vehicle. If your vehicle is impounded, make sure you obtain from the police the location of the vehicle and a telephone number to contact the towing company or impound lot. If this is your first offense, you will probably be able to pick up your vehicle the next day (but you will need someone else to drive it if your license was suspended). If this is a second offense or more, you will probably not be able to pick up your vehicle until a judge issues a court order to release the vehicle. An attorney can assist you in obtaining release of your car.

DUI / OVI Investigations Part 1: The Stop And Arrest

Lawyer For DUI / OVI Investigations In Columbus And Central Ohio

My practice is focused on DUI / OVI defense, and I completed courses in breath testing and blood/urine testing. For more information about me, please see my profile, and for more details about my practice, please see the firm overview. You can also see what clients say and review my past case results. I limit the number of cases I accept so I can provide outstanding service to my clients. If you would like to discuss how I can use DUI / OVI investigation deficiencies to help with your DUI / OVI case, EMAIL ME or call me at 614-717-1177 to arrange a free consultation.