OVI Breath Tests in Steubenville
Sean Logue, a renowned Steubenville OH OVI lawyer, comprehends the potential consequences of submitting to a breath test during a traffic stop. If your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) reads a perilous .08 percent, the prosecutor may exploit this as evidence against you in court. It’s vital to remember that regardless of actual impairment, the law deems driving with a BAC at or above .08 percent illegal. Consequently, the county or municipality’s attorney will pursue prosecution independent of your true condition.
Furthermore, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) can administratively suspend your license if your BAC exceeds the maximum allowable limit. Ohio law explicitly forbids driving with a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher, imposing harsher penalties for BACs surpassing 0.17 percent. Remember, irrespective of how alcohol affects your walking, talking, or driving capabilities, operating a vehicle with a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher is illegal.
When alcohol impairs your ability to drive safely, you may face charges of operating a vehicle impaired (OVI). This stands as a separate offense from the aforementioned “per se” OVI charge. Refusing to take a breath test automatically leads to an OVI charge, as it is assumed that consent would be given if alcohol were not impairing you.
Police officers, suspecting impairment, often request a breath test during traffic stops. Approved by the Ohio Department of Health, three machines can be used for this purpose: the BAC Datamaster, Intoxilyzer 5000, and Intoxilyzer 8000. While officers carry portable handheld devices in their cruisers known as PBTs, the results obtained from these devices are not admissible as evidence. However, a prosecutor might try to use them during your initial hearing as an indicator of probable cause for arrest.
There are two variations of OVI based on blood alcohol concentration (BAC). The first applies to BACs from .80 percent to .17 percent, while the second applies to BACs of .17 percent and above. The latter is commonly known as a “high test” or “high tier” OVI, and the charge is referred to as a “per se high test” OVI. Each of these per se charges carries mandatory penalties.
Steubenville’s Breath Test Machines: How They Work
When a suspected drunk driver undergoes a breath test, they must exhale into a specialized machine. This machine comprises a chamber that captures the breath and passes an infrared light through it. At the opposite end of the chamber, a sensor detects alcohol molecules. Thanks to the predictable absorption rate of infrared radiation by alcohol, scientists and manufacturers of breath test machines can accurately measure the blood alcohol content of the breath.
Breath Test Rules, Regulations, and Laws
In Ohio, breath tests are regulated under Section 4511.19(D)(1) of the Revised Code. This section outlines the statutes, regulations, and rules governing the administration of breath tests and the admissibility of breath test evidence in trials. According to the law, breath tests must be conducted within three hours of the initial police stop. Otherwise, any evidence collected becomes inadmissible. The Ohio Department of Health oversees the maintenance, inspection, and calibration of breath test machines. They issue licenses and permits to authorized individuals responsible for operating and maintaining these machines. While Steubenville OH criminal attorneys can challenge the accuracy of individual test results, they cannot question the validity and reliability of the machines themselves.
Remember, a failed breath test does not necessarily spell doom. If you need assistance with an OVI defense, reach out to a Steubenville OH criminal lawyer, Sean Logue, at (330) 992-3036.
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