DUI / OVI FAQ

Can I be convicted of OVI if I refuse to take the breath, urine or blood test?

Yes. If you refuse to allow the arresting officer to measure the amount of alcohol in your breath, blood or urine, you may be convicted of DUI / OVI based on evidence of impairment, such as poor driving, odor of alcohol, admission to drinking, slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, unsteady on feet, and poor performance on field sobriety tests. For more information on what you should do when you get pulled over, click here.

Should I agree to the search of my vehicle?

No. If you consent to the search of your vehicle, the officer can conduct a full search without a warrant. Anything the officer finds can and will be used as evidence against you in court. Therefore, do not give the officer consent to search your vehicle, even if the officer insists or pressures you to consent. Simply say "Sir / Maam, I do not consent to searches of my vehicle."

If I am arrested for DUI / OVI, can the officer search me and my vehicle before taking me to the police station?

Yes. After making the arrest, the officer can legally search the person being arrested and his/her vehicle.

Can I exercise my right to remain silent after I have already made a statement?

In the event that you do choose to make a statement, you can always stop talking at any time. Just tell the officer: "I don't want to tell you anything else officer, I choose to exercise my right to remain silent."

Can they use force to arrest me?

Yes, and as much force as may be necessary to arrest you. But an unreasonable amount of force can be deemed as assault. After an arrest, a police officer may handcuff you, and if you resist in any way, the officer may use whatever force is necessary to restrain you.

What happens after I am arrested for DUI / OVI?

After you are arrested for DUI / OVI, you will be taken to a local police station and asked to perform a chemical test (breath, blood, or urine). For more information on how to handle this situation, click here.

After that, a bond / bail is usually set to assure you appear in Court. If you cannot post bond you will likely have to spend the night in jail. If you post bond, make sure to show up for court. The arraignment must be scheduled within 5 business days of being arrested. 

What is bail / bond?

Bail / bond is money or other property that is deposited with the clerk to ensure your appearance at a future court date. If you return to court, as required, then your bail will be returned at the end of the case (even if you are ultimately convicted). However, if you do not come to court when required or otherwise violate your bail / bond conditions, the bail / bond can be forfeited.

What happens if submit to a breath test and test way over the legal limit?

Ohio currently has enhanced minimum penalties for so called "high tier" test cases. The high tier test results are .17% or higher for breath, .204% for blood serum or plasma, and .238% for urine.

What happens at arraignment?

The arraignment is held before a judge in court. During the arraignment, the charge(s) filed against you will be explained. You will also be asked by the judge to enter a plea of guilty, not guilty, or no contest.

Having an attorney at your arraignment is beneficial because your attorney can properly deal with your administrative license suspension (ALS), including, stay the suspension, request limited driving privileges, negotiate a favorable bond for you, review the file for defects, and otherwise get a feel about your case.

If you have only spoken to an attorney before your arraignment date, explain that to the judge and either continue your arraignment date or enter a plea of not guilty and hire an attorney.

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