FAQ – DUI/OVI ‘Impaired’ Defenses in Columbus & Central Ohio

Q: If the Officer Says I Was ‘Under the Influence’, How Can I Contest My DUI / OVI?

A: For a charge of DUI (called ‘OVI’ in Ohio) ‘Impaired’, the prosecution must prove you operated the vehicle while ‘under the influence’ of alcohol and/or drugs. That means the alcohol/drugs impaired your mental processes and actions. The prosecution will use the testimony of the officer(s), and the officer must have concluded you were under the influence, as the officer charged you with OVI. However, to charge you with OVI, an officer only needs probable cause. To convict you of OVI, the prosecution must prove the OVI beyond a reasonable doubt; a much higher standard than probable cause. Just because an officer reportedly had probable cause to charge you does not mean the prosecution has proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

Q: What Are Some Defenses to OVI ‘Impaired’ Based on Driving?

A: When a law enforcement officer observes a vehicle in motion, the officer is looking for ‘cues’ the driver of that vehicle may be under the influence. If the officer does not observe the expected cues of impaired driving, that is a defense. If the officer makes a traffic stop and the stop is not justified, all evidence obtained after the stop is excluded. If there was an accident involved, there may be problems with the accident investigation, and there may be difficulty proving who operated the vehicle. If there was an OVI checkpoint, the checkpoint may have been operated unlawfully.

Q: What Are Some Defenses to OVI ‘Impaired’ Based on Interaction Between the Officer and the Driver?

A: When an officer makes contact with the driver, the officer is seeking evidence the driver may be under the influence. The officer has been taught what evidence to look for. The absence of that evidence is a defense. If the officer does not observe problems with mental processing and physical coordination, that lack of evidence is a defense. If the officer detains a driver for an OVI investigation and does not have a justification for that detention, all evidence obtained after the detention is excluded.

Q: What Are Some Defenses to OVI ‘Impaired’ Based on Field Sobriety Tests?

A: Field sobriety tests were designed to predict a driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC). The tests do not measure a driver’s ability to operate a vehicle. If the tests are not administered in substantial compliance with current testing standards, the test results are excluded. If the officer observes ‘clues’ on the tests but the driver performs well from a common sense perspective, that is a defense. If the driver has a medical condition which affects the ability to perform the tests, that is a defense. If the officer administers a drug recognition evaluation and does not properly implement the 12-steph protocol, that is a defense. Even if the drug recognition evaluation is conducted properly, the results are not correlated with driving impairment.

Attorneys For DUI / OVI ‘Impaired’ in Columbus and Central Ohio

The Dominy Law Firm regularly represents clients charged with DUI / OVI ‘impaired’. We have a systematic method for defending against these charges and a proven record of getting these charges dismissed or reduced. If you are charged with OVI ‘impaired’ and you would like to learn more about your situation, this site has dozens of pages with relevant information, as does our book, the Ohio DUI/OVI Guide. If you would like to discuss representation for your DUI / OVI ‘impaired’, you can schedule a free consultation by calling 614-717-1177 or by submitting a CONTACT FORM.

"Shawn is a wonderful person and an elite attorney. Being represented by him gives you complete peace of mind knowing you are in good hands, with..." M.A.
"Shawn Dominy quickly displayed his expertise in defending OVI cases at a level that made me immediately comfortable in my decision to..." K.G.
"I was looking at a Physical control OVI charge. License suspension, 3 day class, all that. Shawn got it reduced to persistent disorderly conduct. I paid a fine, saw..." Y.E.