FAQ - DUI / OVI Investigations (Part 2)
Q: What takes place after a driver is arrested for DUI / OVI?
A: Several things can occur after a driver is arrested for DUI / OVI. The arrested individual is questioned by law enforcement officers, asked to submit to some type of chemical test (breath, blood, or urine), and the vehicle may be impounded. The arrested person may be taken to a police station for processing and may also be taken to jail.
Q: When being investigated for DUI / OVI, should I answer an officer’s questions?
A: 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 law enforcement officers, you should inform the officer politely you would prefer not to discuss the incident before consulting with an attorney.
Q: What if the officer did not read me my rights during a DUI / OVI investigation?
A: Officers are supposed to administer Miranda warnings when an individual is in custody for DUI / OVI investigation. If the officer questions the individual in custody without administering Miranda warnings, statements made by the individual cannot be used against them during a trial. The lack of Miranda warnings, however, does not make the entire case invalid.
Q: What tests will officers ask an individual arrested for DUI / OVI to take?
A: When a driver is arrested for DUI / OVI, he or she will be asked to submit to a chemical test, such as a urine, blood, or breath test. These tests are used by law enforcement officers to determine the level of alcohol or drugs in an individual’s blood. For individuals 21 and over, the legal limit is: .08 for breath; .08 for blood; and .11 for urine. For individuals under 21, the limit is lower. There are also legal limits for certain drugs.
Q: What types of charges will an individual arrested for DUI / OVI face?
A: Charges will depend upon the amount of alcohol or drugs in an individual’s blood. There are generally two separate offenses: 1) DUI / OVI “per se”, which means an individual was driving with a prohibited alcohol or drug level; and 2) DUI / OVI “impaired”, which means an individual was driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If the individual tests above the legal limit, he or she will likely be charged with both DUI / OVI “per se” and DUI/OVI “impaired”, and receive an immediate Administrative License Suspension (ALS). If the individual tests below the legal limit, or refuses to take the chemical test, he or she may still be charged with DUI / OVI “impaired”.
Q: Should a driver arrested for DUI / OVI take or refuse a breath/blood/urine test?
A: A driver arrested for DUI / OVI may refuse to take the chemical test. If an individual refuses to take a chemical test, the result is an immediate suspension of their license called an Administrative License Suspension (ALS). If an individual takes a chemical test and the test result is over the legal limit, there will be an Administrative License Suspension (ALS) imposed, but it will be shorter than the refusal ALS. When deciding whether to take the chemical test, there are several things to consider: 1) If the test result is over the legal limit, the individual’s license will be suspended for at least 90 days and the results of the test are used in court; 2) If the test result is under the legal limit, the individual may still be charged, but there will not be an ALS, and 3) If the individual refuses to take the test, his or her license will be suspended for at least year, but there are no chemical test results to use against them in court.
Q: Are drivers ever required to take a breath test, urine test, or blood test?
A: Yes. Individuals previously convicted of DUI / OVI (or an equivalent offense) in the last 20 years, are required by Ohio law to take a chemical test, and refusal of the test is a separate offense. Furthermore, individuals on probation for DUI / OVI, may be in violation of probation for refusing to take a chemical test. Also, drivers of commercial vehicles are subject to additional consequences for refusing to take chemical tests. Refusing to take a blood test is probably not punishable after the United States Supreme Court decision in Birchfield v. North Dakota.
Q: What happens to the vehicle after a driver is arrested for DUI / OVI?
A: When an individual is arrested for DUI / OVI, his or her vehicle is usually but not always immediately impounded. For a first offense, the vehicle can most likely be picked up the next day. For a second (or more) offense, the vehicle will likely not be available for pick up until a judge issues a court order releasing the vehicle.
Our practice is focused on DUI / OVI defense, we have experience with DUI / OVI investigations, and we represent clients that are contesting DUI / OVI charges in Columbus and central Ohio. For more information about us, please see the firm overview. You can also see what clients say and review our past case results. We limit the number of cases we accept so we can provide outstanding service to our clients. If you would like to discuss how we can help with your DUI / OVI, EMAIL US or call us at 614-717-1177 to arrange a free consultation.