Under the Influence of Drugs

Offices in Ravenna and Stow

Can a urine test be used to prove a DUI in Ohio?

When it comes to DUI/OVI tests in Ohio, a urine test is the least reliable of the three chemical tests that a law enforcement officer has to choose from. Under current law in Ohio urine tests can be admissible in evidence in DUI/OVI cases.

Urine tests are the least favored choice in Ohio because they do not measure the actual blood alcohol concentration in your system. They only measure the remnants and they are not precise. Controlled substances can remain in your system for extended periods of time. 

Marijuana, in particular, can be detected in your system for nearly a month in certain cases.

Prohibited controlled substances

Ohio OVI law contains prohibitions which prohibit you from driving with specific concentrations of controlled substances in your system. These levels have no apparent relationship to impairment. They are simply prohibited per se.

So if you make the common mistake of admitting to the officer that you smoked marijuana anytime in the recent past, that statement will not only give the police probable cause to test you, but may be allowed into evidence against you as a confession that you were operating with a prohibited level of drugs in your system.

admissibility of urine test in drug cases

The multiple issues that arise when police use urine tests typically make it significantly more difficult to get a drug test into evidence. 

The prosecution has to establish that all the applicable provisions of the Ohio Department of Health regulations were followed. Otherwise, the test results could be ruled inadmissible at a suppression hearing.

Urine tests for alcohol

The multiple issues that arise when police use urine tests typically make it significantly more difficult to get a drug test into evidence. The prosecution has to establish that all the applicable provisions of the Ohio Department of Health regulations were followed. Otherwise, the test results could be ruled inadmissible at a suppression hearing.

drug searches of vehicle

One common scenario arises when someone decides it is a good idea to smoke marijuana in their automobile. Many times a law enforcement officer will stop a vehicle for a seemingly trivial violation, such as a non-working rear license plate light or failure to signal a lane change. Upon approaching the vehicle the officer will claim that he or she can smell the odor of marijuana. 

At that point they will claim that they have probable cause to search. They may ask for consent to search, which means that they don’t even need probable cause. In some case they may bring in a dog to search the vehicle.

Do not consent to any search. You certainly do not want to answer questions. If you do not clearly assert your right to remain silent under these circumstances, you are opening yourself up to serious charges, including a drug OVI and/or a felony.

Urine testing issues

Law enforcement officers will typically ask you to take a urine test if you pass the breath test. They have the right to do this under Ohio law.

Often a person will claim that they are unable to urinate. This eventually will be deemed a refusal, which may well trigger the same penalties as a high tier level OVI.

If the police officer only administered field sobriety tests at the scene related to alcohol, this could present proof problems if the officer later changes course to allege drug impairment.

A skilled and savvy DUI lawyer can often be of significant help under these circumstances.

DISCLAIMER

The ohiocrimelawyer.com website is designed for general information only. Any information on this site is not to be construed as formal legal advice from a criminal defense lawyer, a DUI lawyer, a family law lawyer or estate planning, wills, trusts, and probate lawyer, nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. Persons accessing this site are encouraged to seek personal advice regarding their individual legal issues.

The attorneys in our law firm primarily service Portage County courts (Ravenna and Kent), and Summit County courts (Akron, Stow, Barberton). Cases in all other courts in North East Ohio, such as Cuyahoga County courts, are handled under specific terms and conditions.

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