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DUI Attorneys in Portage County, OH

Always on Your Side in Portage County

A DUI charge in Ohio is a serious matter that cannot be taken lightly. Ohio DUI laws are particularly complex and require a keen understanding of the breadth and scope of the legal system and how it works. At Weisenburger Law Offices, LLC, we believe in giving our full attention to our clients. We build strong relationships from the day of hire. Call us for your detailed case evaluations at 330-296-8000.

What is the Ohio DUI Law?

The Ohio DUI law prohibits drivers from operating a vehicle if they are under the influence or above the restricted limits. The definitions in the law are essential since they are fundamental to what makes Ohio’s DUI law so complex. According to Ohio Revised Code Section 4511.01 (HHH), “to operate” means “to cause or have caused movement of a vehicle, streetcar, or trackless trolly.” These rules apply anywhere within Ohio, not just on the roads.

What Are the Charges Associated with Ohio’s DUI Laws?

Drivers pulled over for DUI violations are typically charged with two crimes.

  • They are charged with “being under the influence.” This charge requires the prosecution to prove the driver could not operate the vehicle safely. They must be able to show the driver’s ability was impaired to a noticeable degree by alcohol or drugs. Remember that prescription drugs are still considered drugs, not only illicit substances.
  • Additionally, if the driver took a breath, blood, or urine test that indicated intoxication or that they had substances in their system about the acceptable level, they will be charged with a second offense: “operating with a prohibited level of alcohol or drugs.”

How Do I Prove I Wasn’t Intoxicated?

The good news is that you don’t have to. In DUI cases, the burden of proof is on the prosecutor. The prosecution can attempt to prove both charges, but the individual can only be sentenced to one. In cases where the individual has refused to take the test, police will sometimes file additional DUI refusal charges, which can complicate prosecution. However, if convicted, the penalties for an individual who has refused a DUI test are also much more severe, so it isn’t necessarily worth the risk.

What is Probable Cause?

Law enforcement officers must have a good reason for stopping and detaining drivers. They must have a reasonable justification for their belief that the law is being broken. This means that if law enforcement officers observe you violating any law (such as failure to signal a turn or a broken taillight), they have the justification to stop your vehicle. If they then observe signs of intoxication, they can and likely will detain you, and you will be asked to submit to a DUI test.

What are the Standard Sobriety Tests Administered During DUI Stops?

Currently, three tests are in use to test the sobriety of drivers suspected of DUIS in Ohio. They are The Horizontal Nystagmus Gaze Test (HGN), The Walk and Turn Test, and the One-Leg Stand test. The officer must substantially comply with specific instructions when giving these tests to drivers.

Some police departments can also give breathalyzer tests on the scene, so drivers may be asked to do that as well. However, these portable breathalyzer test results are not accurate enough to be considered admissible evidence in court. They are only used to assist law enforcement in determining whether or not intoxication exists. A skilled DUI attorney can and should be able to challenge the results of such a test.

Know Your Rights

While it will make the officers unhappy, there is no penalty for refusing the field sobriety tests or the portable breathalyzer. There are specific requirements regarding using these tests as proof and what makes them admissible. You must obtain the assistance of an experienced DUI attorney to help you. At Weisenburger Law Offices, LLC, a DUI attorney and paralegal will be assigned to your case and available to answer any questions. We are here for you.

What are the Standard Penalties for a DUI in Ohio?

Ohio has severe penalties for DUI drivers. These are charges that judges take very seriously. They are as follows:

  • First offense: Jail: 3 days Months, $375-$1075 Fine, License Suspended 1-3 Years.
  • Second Offense: Jail: 10 days Months, $525-$1625 fine, License suspended 1-7 years.
  • Third Offense: Jail: 30 days- 1 year, $$850-$2750 fine, License suspended 1-12 years.

Administrative License Suspension What You Need To Know

Suppose you test over the legal limit with the blood, breath, or urine test, or you refuse to test. In that case, the law enforcement officer will immediately revoke your license and provide you with a form indicating the following action to be taken. This is known as the Administrative License Suspension (ALS). Here’s what you need to know.

  • ALS can last from 90 days to 5 years, depending on previous offenses. Also, depending on the prior offense, there is a “hard time” waiting period of at least 15 days with no driving privileges.
  • Some judges will allow a “stay” on the ALS, during which the effects will be put on hold, but many do not. It must be filed in writing by a DUI attorney.
  • The ALS is independent of the DUI license suspension and charges.
  • At the end of the ALS, there is a $475 reinstatement fee.

There are other considerations to think about and go over with a DUI case. To have success, you need the assistance of a skilled and knowledgeable DUI lawyer. Call Weisenburger Law Offices, LLC at 330-296-8000. Your future is worth fighting for.