OVI / DUI Urine Tests In Ohio

DUI / OVI Charges Based On Urine Tests In Columbus And Central Ohio

Ohio’s DUI / OVI law makes it illegal to operate a vehicle with a prohibited level of alcohol or drugs in your urine. If a law enforcement official believes your alcohol or drug level is over the limit or is impairing your ability to drive, the officer may request that you take a urine test. Urine testing is commonly used as part of a Drug Recognition Evaluation (DRE). If the alcohol content is at or above .11 (but under .238), you will be cited for DUI / OVI 'per se'. If the alcohol concentration is at or above .238, you will be cited for DUI / OVI 'per se, high test'. There are also limits for various drugs, and the offenses have different mandatory penalties.

Urine testing and other DUI/OVI issues are discussed in Shawn Dominy's guide, 'I Was Charged With DUI / OVI - Now What?!' That guide is available in bookstores, and the e-book is available for free on this website: just fill-out the form on the right side of the screen to download the e-book.

Ohio OVI / DUI Lawyer With Training In Urine Testing

Shawn Dominy is trained in urine testing. Urine testing for Ohio DUI / OVI cases is done using gas chromatography. Shawn Dominy completed a course in forensic gas chromatography presented by the American Chemical Society. Only a handful of Ohio lawyers have completed that course.

Use And Accuracy Of Urine Tests For Ohio DUI / OVI

For a urine test to be administered, a urine sample is collected and stored in a glass container. The urine sample is later analyzed using scientific techniques such as gas chromatography and mass spectrometry. The machine conducting the analysis calculates the concentration of alcohol and/or drugs in the urine sample and produces a printed result. The concentration of alcohol or drugs in the urine is not equal to the concentration of alcohol or drugs in the blood; that’s why the limits are different for blood and urine.

A problem with urine testing is the alcohol or drugs may remain in the urine long after they have disappeared from the blood and are no longer affecting your ability to drive. In fact, for analysis of drugs like marijuana, what is found in the urine is an inactive metabolite of the drug (in this case, THC) and not the drug itself or even an active metabolite of the drug. In the scientific community, urine testing is considered to be far less accurate than blood testing. In fact, Ohio is one of a few states which still use urine testing in DUI / OVI cases.

Ohio Law For Urine Tests In DUI / OVI Cases

Despite the questionable accuracy of urine tests, Ohio has statutes, administrative regulations, and case law supporting the use of urine tests in DUI/OVI cases. The statutes say, in summary, that a urine test is admissible if the urine sample is obtained within three hours of operating the vehicle and is analyzed according to methods approved by the Ohio Department of Health. The Department of Health developed methods for collecting, handling, transporting, testing and storing urine samples. Case law in Ohio supports the use of urine tests in DUI / OVI cases, despite the fact they are the least reliable of the three common tests (blood/breath/urine) and are no longer used in most states. If you refuse a urine test, despite its questionable accuracy, you will be subjected to an Administrative License Suspension.

Strategies For Ohio DUI / OVI Cases With Urine Tests

A good DUI / OVI lawyer may improve the outcome of a case involving a urine test. One strategy is to file a motion to suppress the results of the urine test for lack of compliance with the Department of Health regulations. If the laboratory records and testimony by laboratory personnel do not prove the test was administered in compliance with the Department of Health regulations, the urine test result may be suppressed. If the urine test is not suppressed, the second strategy is to demonstrate the urine test did not accurately reflect the concentration of alcohol or drugs in the client’s blood (as measured by urine) and/or the urine test results do not prove the client's driving ability was impaired by the substance in the urine.

Attorney For DUI / OVI Urine Test Cases In Columbus And Central Ohio

The Dominy Law Firm is focused on DUI / OVI defense. Shawn Dominy has expertise in the area of urine testing and has represented many clients charged with DUI / OVI based on urine tests. For more information about the Dominy Law Firm, please see the 'About Us' page. You can also see what clients say and review past case results.

We limit the number of cases we accept so we can provide outstanding service to our clients. If we do not accept your case, we may be able to connect you with an attorney that we are mentoring or another DUI defense law firm. If you would like to discuss how we can help with your DUI / OVI case, EMAIL US or call 614-717-1177 to arrange a free consultation.

"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.