So, you’re driving down the road, a police officer pulls you over and he/she suspects that you’ve had too much to drink…now what? The first thing you should be aware of is that the officer is watching every move you and your car make. He will begin making observations (and sometimes conclusions) that often end up in a police report. Moreover, many jurisdictions outfit their police cars with dash cameras that will make an audio and video recording of the whole interaction. Due to this, use your turn signal and pull over to a safe place in a timely manner.
Before the officer approaches your car, have your license, registration and proof of insurance on hand so that the officer can review your information. Aside from providing this information, you are under no obligation to answer any potentially incriminating questions. You can politely respond, “I’m sorry, but I’d like to consult with an attorney before answering any questions”.
Despite the officer’s presumed insistence, you are also under no obligation to perform the Field Sobriety Tests. The horizontal gaze nystagmus test (HGN), one-leg stand test and walk and turn tests are subjective and difficult, if not impossible, to “pass”. The true purpose of these test is for the officer to gain evidence against you that the State of Ohio will introduce as evidence at trial.
In Ohio, you cannot be forced to submit to a breathalyzer test, but refusal to do so can have consequences. The officer will tell you that if you refuse to submit to the test, your license will be suspended authomatically. The penalty for refusing the test can be a one year license suspension and should you have prior OVI convictions or refusals, you could face additional sanctions. Every individual situation is different and you should consult with an Akron DUI lawyer before taking or refusing the test, but taking the test gives the prosecution a better chance of convicting you at trial. Should you refuse to submit to the Field Sobriety Tests and/or the breathalyzer test, you will likely be arrested and charged with OVI. However, without these tests, the State of Ohio’s prosecutor will have less evidence with which to convict you and an Akron OVI lawyer may be able to help you. Further, there are instances where we could obtain occupational or educational driving privileges on the one year suspension or avoid the suspension entirely.
So, what should you do if you are pulled over or arrested for OVI/DUI? Your best option is to contact the Akron OVI attorneys at Laybourne Law as soon as possible. Our experienced Akron OVI lawyers will explain your rights and assist you through this difficult situation. Fill out the “Contact Us” box at www.laybournelaw.com or call (330) 434-3880 today for a free consultation.
As always though, we recommend that you refrain from driving if you’ve had too much to drink or designating a sober driver. Any information on this website or in this blog post is for informational purposes only. Nothing on this site should be construed as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute an attorney-client relationship.