Super Lawyers 2022
TOP 40
National College for DUI Defense
Avvo Rating 10.0

Navigating the Legal Landscape of High BAC OVI Offenses in Ohio

Driving under the influence (DUI) is prohibited nationwide, and being charged with Operating a Vehicle Impaired (OVI) in Ohio brings even more severe repercussions if one’s Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) levels are considerably high. When a driver’s BAC reaches .17 or beyond—more than twice the Ohio limit of .08—the legal consequences intensify dramatically. Recognized by the courts as either a high test OVI or high tier OVI, it presents a stark contrast with cases where BAC levels approximate .08, termed low test OVI.

Being charged with an OVI where the BAC is .17 or over may result in significant jail time and substantial fines. Even beyond that, a conviction could also mean mandatory participation in drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs. With the stakes being so high, obtaining seasoned legal representation becomes indispensable for anyone facing these charges. A Youngstown criminal attorney could mean the difference between incarceration and maintaining your freedom.

When dealing with an OVI charge that involves a BAC of .17 upward, the gravity of the situation cannot be understated as penalties escalate. If confronted with such charges, it is imperative to contact a defense team specialized in DUI cases, such as the Youngstown OVI attorneys at Youngstown Criminal Law Group based. Our legal experts are ready to offer a complimentary consultation to address cases involving breath or blood alcohol concentrations exceeding the .17 BAC threshold.

The most effective defense often lies in the exclusion of the chemical test findings from the trial. Our proficiency with the methods employed by Mahoning County enforcement agencies, including the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office, Youngstown Police Department, and the Mahoning County OVI Task Force, positions us uniquely to advocate on your behalf. Arrange your initial consultation with us to explore your options in Youngstown.

Understanding Ohio’s ‘Super DUI’

A ‘Super DUI’ in Ohio refers to an OVI charge levied on individuals with exceptionally high BAC levels, a situation formally known as a high test OVI or high tier OVI. The statewide BAC limit is .08, and those testing at or near this level face arrest for low test OVI. The term ‘Super DUI’ emerges when BAC levels climb to .17 or more, significantly surpassing the accepted limit.

Legal statutes, particularly ORC 4511.19(A)(1)(h), quantify a ‘high test’ BAC result as follows:

  • Breath Sample: .17 or above
  • Urine Sample: .238 or above
  • Whole Blood Sample: .17 or above
  • Blood Serum/Plasma Sample: .204 or above

Convictions for a first-time high BAC OVI can lead to:

  • A minimum of six days in jail, up to six months maximum, with an option for a driver’s intervention program
  • Fines ranging from $375 to $1,075
  • Driver’s license suspensions from six months to three years
  • A mandatory wait of 15 days for driving privileges post-offense (ALS suspension)
  • Requirement for highly visible yellow license plates
  • An optional ignition interlock device, subject to judge’s discretion

The Process of Chemical BAC Testing in Ohio

Police administer three primary chemical tests to ascertain an individual’s BAC, starting with the commonly used breathalyzer. Officers generally have a portable version on hand and will request a breath sample if there’s suspicion of intoxication from either alcohol or drugs, although PBTs are unable to detect drugs.

Should an officer suspect drug influence, they may opt for a blood or urine test. Drug presence is not usually detectable via breath tests, hence the shift to alternative biological samples, which are promptly analyzed by state-approved laboratories or medical facilities.

Blood analysis is typically the method of last resort but is also considered the most accurate in determining intoxication by measuring the grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters in the bloodstream.

Can a BAC Test be Inaccurate?

Chemical assessments designed to measure an individual’s level of blood alcohol are not infallible. There’s emerging evidence that individuals who have not consumed alcohol are failing OVI assessments due to a variety of external and internal influences. Factors like improper breathalyzer calibration can dramatically alter the reliability of BAC outcomes. Additionally, environmental conditions and even the temperature of a subject’s breath might distort test readings.

Below we detail some typical issues that can compromise the integrity of OVI examinations conducted by law enforcement:

  • Neglected equipment maintenance;
  • Use of antiquated technology;
  • Dilution of samples;
  • Sample contamination;
  • Mismanagement of sample handling;
  • Repeated use of outdated equipment;
  • Exams overseen by unsupervised officers;
  • Non-adherence to protocols;
  • Analysis by uncertified labs;
  • Employment of uncertified operators;
  • Oversight lapses by test administrators; and
  • Tampering with test findings.

Super Drunk OVI Attorney in Youngstown, OH

For those facing charges related to driving under the influence around Youngstown or in the broader Mahoning County region of Ohio, seek expertise from the seasoned attorneys at Youngstown Criminal Law Group. Our team is adept at managing the breadth of OVI cases, whether it’s your initial charge or another in a series. We strive earnestly to shield our clients from the extreme penalties often associated with these infractions. Connect with us by calling (330) 992-3036 for a no-cost discussion about your case and to arrange for your complimentary consultation.

Client Reviews

Mr. Logue came to me for my consultation, which was nice! He helped me better understand my situation so I could weigh my options. He kept me updated on any new information about my case, and I could always easily contact him if I had any questions. I knew I was in good hands, and I got the best...

Former Client

"He always answers his phone, day or night and he understands the law better than anyone. He always answers my calls for both corporate and personal legal decisions and I have a ton of questions." Mr. Logue is good for one reason, he cares. A client is not a quick buck. His rates are reasonable too...

Former Client

"I am thankful we found him, and would recommend him to anyone needing a great attorney to represent them." I am happy to be able to share this information with everyone. Mr. Logue gave attention to our problem immediately and resolved the issue for us quickly. He is an attorney who is respected...

Former Client

Get in Touch

Fill out the contact form or call us at (330) 992-3036
to schedule your free consultation.
  1. 1 Free Consultation
  2. 2 Available 24/7
  3. 3 Highly Rated Super Lawyer

Leave Us a Message