ADMINISTRATIVE LICENSE SUSPENSION
As you should be aware; if you are charged with an OVI, you are now under an administrative license suspension.
If you took the breath test and blew over the legal limit, or your BAC otherwise tested above the legal limit, the officer can take your driver license on the spot and this administrative suspension begins immediately.
If you were arrested for OVI and subsequently refused the beath test, the officer can similarly take your license and this suspension begins immediately.
Despite the administrative license suspension, driving privileges may be obtained upon petition to the court. Call us today to discuss your ability to obtain privileges during the pendency of your OVI case.
WHAT IS AN OVI?
An arrest for OVI, or Operating a Vehicle Under The Influence, can occur in many different ways. This is largely due to the subjective nature of an OVI arrest. Until an individual's BAC (blood alcohol concentration) can be determined through a breath, blood, or urine test, a driver's impairment from the consumption of drugs or alcohol is purely based upon the arresting police officer's own determination.
This determination should be based upon several different clues that the officer is trained to look for as soon as he/she initially observes someone suspected of OVI. In many OVI arrests or investigations, an officer will observe a vehicle weaving within its own lane of travel, or may observe a driver commit a marked lane violation. The officer will likely initiate a traffic stop of the vehicle and make contact with the driver.
The officer is trained to observe certain clues of impairment throughout the entire time that he observes the vehicle and/or the suspect.
The Officer is trained to observe clues of impairment when he/she:
- first observes the vehicle;
- initiates his overhead lights;
- approaches the vehicle;
- makes contact with the driver;
- orders (kindly requests) the driver to exit the vehicle for the purpose of administering standardized field sobriety tests; and
- observes the suspect's performance on the standardized field sobriety tests.
Early in the stop/arrest sequence, the officer will ask the suspect if he/she has consumed alcohol. A verbal admission by a driver that he/she has consumed alcohol will be detrimental to him/her. Further, the officer is likely to observe bloodshot glassy eyes, slurred speech, and an odor of alcohol during this time.
The Officer will order (kindly ask) the driver to submit to the standardized field sobriety tests, which may include:
HGN, or Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus. (follow a stimulus with your eyes);
Walk and Turn; and the
One Leg Stand.
Based on his/her observations of the suspect, the officer may place the Driver under arrest for OVI at this time. The driver will be charged with OVI, in violation of 4511.19(A)(1)(a), which alleges that the driver was impaired. This is important, because again, it is the officer's own belief that you are impaired.
The officer will then request that the driver submit to a breath test. The officer may infer that this is the driver's chance to clear himself/herself and show that he/she hasn't consumed excessive alcohol.
It must be noted, however, that the driver has already been arrested for OVI under 4511.19(A)(1)(a), the impairment section of the OVI law. Should the driver blow at or above a .08, but <.17, the driver will be charged with a per se violation with a prohibited BAC. Should the driver submit to the breath test and blow at or >.17, the driver will be charged with OVI with a per se high tier, or prohibited BAC.
Thus, you can be convicted for OVI if either or both of the following apply:
you are impaired from alcohol or drugs, or your BAC is above .08.
WHY HIRE AN EXPERIENCED OVI ATTORNEY?
Let's start with the possible penalties and other detrimental effects of an Misdemeanor OVI conviction:
Jail term ranging from a minimum of 3 days up to 180 days in the local jail. (minimum means that the Judge must at least sentence an individual convicted of a first in time or low tier OVI to 3 days);
In patient treatment;
Reporting Probation for a period of 3 years;
License suspension 6 months - 3 years;
Restrictive license plates;
Gaurdian Interlock Device (blow and go);
Cannot be expunged from your record;
May have adverse effects with your employer.
Bottom line; you need a serious and experienced attorney nbecause this is a serious offense. You cannot walk in to court, plead guilty or no contest, and walk out of court that day and go back to your normal routine.
CAN AN ATTORNEY REALLY HELP MY OVI CASE?
Hiring an experienced OVI attorney who has been certified to administer the field sobriety tests and who has extensive knowledge of the clues of impairment that officers are trained to observe may significantly affect the outcome of your case. Attorney Ched H. Peck has the certification and the knowledge.