OVI Differences and Defenses in St. Clairsville
In Ohio, being pulled over for drunk driving results in a charge of Operating a Vehicle under the Influence (OVI). OVI is the same offense as Driving under the Influence (DUI) with a different name. If you are arrested for OVI, it is crucial to seek the assistance of a professional St. Clairsville OVI Lawyer like Sean Logue.
Ohio’s OVI Laws
Drunk driving laws in Ohio are stipulated in the Ohio Revised Code (ORC), Section 4511.19. According to these laws, operating a motor vehicle under the following conditions is considered illegal:
- Having a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher
- Being under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or a combination thereof
There Is More Than One Way You Can Be Charged With OVI
One can be charged with OVI by surpassing the legal alcohol limit of 0.08 percent, which is commonly associated with OVI. Commercial driver’s license holders have a lower limit of 0.04 percent when operating their commercial vehicles.
Alternatively, a person can be charged with OVI if they are under the legal alcohol limit but still under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or a combination of both.
In Ohio, drugs of abuse are defined in the ORC, section 4506.01. This definition encompasses dangerous drugs, over-the-counter medications, and controlled substances that can impair a person’s reflexes and judgment when consumed in doses higher than the norm.
Dangerous drugs are defined in Section 4729.01 of the Ohio Revised Code, which includes prescription medications. Even if a drug is legally prescribed and purchased, if it causes impairment, a person can be charged and convicted of OVI. The courts do not consider legality of prescriptions as a defense.
It is the individual’s responsibility to read the drug facts sheets provided with each prescription and understand the potential effects while driving. One must also ensure they are aware of their reaction to drugs before they get behind the wheel.
It’s important to note that being arrested for OVI does not equal guilt. There are various defenses available depending on the specific charges. A skilled and experienced St. Clairsville criminal lawyers will be familiar with these defenses and guide individuals through the best path for their case.
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Are There Differences Between a OVI Charge and an OVI Charge?
Operating a Vehicle Impaired (OVI) is also referred to as Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) or Operating a Motor Vehicle Intoxicated (OMVI) in certain jurisdictions. Each state utilizes distinct terminology, and the definitions may differ to some extent. For instance, in Pennsylvania, the offense of driving under the influence is termed OVI, while here in Ohio, it is referred to as OVI as well. There are also slight variations in the penalties imposed upon conviction and in the elements that a prosecutor must establish. Nonetheless, all of these charges ultimately pertain to the act of driving while impaired.
In the state of Ohio, the prosecution must establish specific elements beyond a reasonable doubt in order to secure an OVI conviction. These elements are outlined below:
- The prosecutor must prove that you were operating a motor vehicle. This is not limited to actively driving the vehicle; it can encompass situations where the key is in the ignition or the engine is running while the car is parked.
- The prosecutor must prove that you were truly intoxicated. This can be demonstrated through your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) or a positive result from a drug test.
- The prosecutor might attempt to demonstrate your intoxication based on your physical or mental state, even without an over the limit BAC or a positive drugs of abuse test. In such instances, evidence such as footage from the police officer’s chest or dashboard camera, or the officer’s testimony, can be used.
If you are currently facing OVI charges, we encourage you to contact us at (330) 992-3036 for a complimentary consultation. Our team is available 24/7 and ready to assist you.
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