A driving under the influence charge, also called a DUI or OVI, is a serious criminal offense that is far more than an inconvenience. Even first-time offenders face a mandatory three days in jail or a residential driver’s intervention program. They must content with loss of their driver’s license for a mandatory minimum of six months up to a possible three years. There are also substantial financial costs including fines, court costs, probation costs, driver’s license reinstatement fees, and a hefty increase in auto liability premiums.
A driver with a prior OVI offense faces substantially greater jail time or residential alcohol treatment, heavier fines and loss of driving privileges for five years and more. Ohio law requires that an ignition interlock device be installed on a convicted driver’s vehicles in any case involving either a high-level breath test or multiple offenses. This means the driver must blow into the device before the car will start. These devices are costly, embarrassing, and intrusive.
What Your DUI Attorney Can Do
Your DUI lawyer can advise you on what defenses are available and what your options may be. For example, the following issues may be present in your case:
- Whether the stop of your car was legally valid
- Your performance on field sobriety tests
- The validity of the officer’s opinion of your impairment
- The credibility and validity of the breath test
Along with improper vehicle stops, how the officer conducts or interprets any field sobriety tests is often incorrect or does not follow protocol. Also, if the officer did not actually see you driving, there are issues of identification and the timing of any drinking in relation to the movement of the vehicle.
Further, a breath test machine must be calibrated correctly. If you have a particular medical condition, it may affect the breath test results as well. There are also multiple issues presently being litigated in regard to the Intoxilyzer 8000, the newest breath testing device being utilized in the state of Ohio.
Many times issues arise that can result in dismissal or mitigation of the offense. In many instances, hiring a skilled and knowledgeable DUI/OVI attorney can result in a favorable resolution of these serious charges.