More on Blood, Breath, and Urine Tests
When a driver is stopped on suspicion of OVI (Operating a Vehicle Impaired), they are typically asked to undergo specific tests aimed at determining their level of intoxication. These tests include Field Sobriety Tests, as well as chemical tests such as blood, breath, and urine tests.
There are two methods to test a driver’s breath for alcohol content. The first method involves using a handheld device, commonly referred to as a Breathalyzer, which is kept in the officer’s vehicle. Although the results obtained from these devices are not admissible in court in Ohio, they can lead to the driver’s arrest for OVI.
The second method is to use a stationary machine at a police station or state trooper barracks. The results obtained from these machines can be used as evidence in court. During the test, the driver is instructed to blow into the device with maximum effort for as long as possible. The machine measures the amount of infrared light absorbed by the alcohol in the breath sample, indicating the driver’s Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) level.
In Ohio, the legal alcohol limit is 0.08 percent. If a driver’s breath test results in a BAC level equal to or exceeding this limit, they will be arrested for OVI per se, meaning that their BAC is considered evidence of drunk driving. If the driver’s results indicate a BAC level of 0.17 percent or higher, they will be charged with a more severe “high test” OVI offense, which carries harsher penalties compared to cases with lower BAC levels.
It’s important to note that a positive test result does not necessarily guarantee its accuracy. Various factors can influence the test, such as the time elapsed since the person’s last drink, the occurrence of vomiting or burping immediately before the test, and more. Proper procedures and protocols must be followed when administering these tests. Failure to do so can result in inaccurate results. An experienced St. Clairsville OVI lawyer will be familiar with these procedures and may be able to challenge the results in court, if necessary.
Urine and Blood Tests
Urine and blood tests are typically conducted to determine drug impairment for drivers, although they can also detect alcohol. These tests are commonly administered when a driver refuses a breath test. It is possible to decline taking the test, but in such cases, law enforcement may obtain a search warrant to compel compliance.
Specific protocols govern the administration of urine and blood tests, including the following:
- The collection of your blood or urine sample must be witnessed.
- The sample must be obtained within three hours of the alleged OVI.
- Positive results must undergo confirmatory testing.
- Analysis of the sample must adhere to Ohio regulations and be conducted by a qualified professional as required by Ohio law.
Failure to comply with any of these procedures may lead to inaccurate results, falsely indicating intoxication. Your attorney can potentially challenge and exclude these results, increasing the likelihood of reduced or dismissed charges.
Warnings and Advice From Law Enforcement in Regards to Chemical Tests
Law enforcement officers have the authority to request drivers to undergo chemical testing if they suspect impairment. In compliance with legal procedures, officers are obligated to inform drivers of their rights verbally and through Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles Form 2255, which serves as a written notification. This form clearly states that the driver is under arrest and must undergo one or more chemical tests within two hours. Failure to comply will be considered a refusal and lead to an immediate suspension of the driver’s license. Additionally, the form informs drivers that they have the right to request their own independent test at their own expense.
To ensure accountability, a witness, usually another officer, certifies on Form 2255 that the arresting officer read it aloud to the driver. Subsequently, the driver is provided with the form, which serves as evidence of their awareness of their rights and the officers’ adherence to the law.
Can I Refuse to Submit to a Test?
If you believe that you have been pulled over by the police without a valid reason and that you are not under the influence, it is advisable to cooperate with the tests. Refusing to do so can lead to more complications than if you were to obtain a positive result.
In the event that your blood, breath, or urine test yields a positive result, do not lose hope.
Sean Logue, a St. Clairsville criminal lawyer, possesses extensive knowledge of OVI legislation and procedures. Reach out to us today for assistance!
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