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Understanding OVI Refusal in Youngstown, Ohio

If you’re pulled over for an OVI, commonly referred to as a DUI, and the officer has reason to believe you’re under the influence of alcohol, they may ask you to take a breathalyzer test. It’s crucial to know that prior to refusing such a test, the officer must inform you of the potential consequences, as stipulated in R.C. 4511.192(B). This requirement is part of Ohio’s implied consent law, which you tacitly agree to by using Ohio roads.

Refusing the breath test can lead to an Administrative License Suspension (ALS). The duration of the ALS for a refusal is based on specific legislative factors noted in R.C. 4511.191(8). Additionally, an ALS may be implemented if a person is caught driving with illegal levels of a controlled substance as outlined under R.C. 4511.19(A)(1)(b) — (e).

In the event of an OVI arrest where you declined the chemical test—whether of your breath, blood, or urine—it’s important to seek legal guidance. The Youngstown OVI attorneys at Youngstown Criminal Law Group specialize in handling such refusal cases.

Contact us for a complimentary consultation to talk about the specifics of your situation.

When Inability to Submit Is Not a Refusal

Not every instance of failing to take a substance analysis should be deemed a refusal. A true refusal happens “when an individual’s behavior, whether through actions, spoken words or overall demeanor, clearly shows an unwillingness to take the test,” according to the ruling in Hoban v. Rice, 25 Ohio St.2d 111, 267 N.E.2d 311 (1971).

But if a person is physically unable to provide a breath sample, it’s not considered a refusal, as refusal requires the intention not to comply. This is detailed in Hoffer-Hodge v. Cartridge, 17162, 1998 WL 906479, at *2 (Ohio Ct. App. 1998).

Failure to blow sufficiently into a breathalyzer does not equate to refusal unless it defies the officer’s explicit instructions, as stated in Riebel v. Curry, 38 Ohio Misc. 71, 74, 313 N.E.2d 26 (1974).

The court in State v. Glasscock, 111 Ohio App.3d 371, 376, 676 N.E.2d 179 (1996), explained that an individual’s rejection is apparent when their conduct validates a requesting officer’s belief that the individual was capable but showed an unwillingness to take a substance analysis.

Potential Consequences for Chemical Test Refusal

If you’re found responsible for a refusal for Operating a Vehicle Impaired (OVI), charges may be brought against you as a first-degree misdemeanor. You could be subject to various penalties, including:

  • At least 3 days to up to 6 months behind bars
  • Fines ranging from $375 to $1,075
  • Participation in a three-day driver intervention program
  • A driving license suspension from a minimum of 6 months to a maximum of 3 years
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle

Should you find yourself arrested for an OVI in Youngstown, the Youngstown Criminal Law Group is here to assist. We offer comprehensive defenses for first-time OVI refusal cases and invite you to speak with us about your charges.

Whether your arrest was made by the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office, the Youngstown Police Department, or another local entity, we’re well-versed in the strategies used by the Mahoning County OVI Task Force, especially pertaining to sobriety checkpoints.

Our Youngstown criminal lawyers also cover more severe offenses, such as a second, third, or further OVI refusals. We aim to inform you of key defenses, including those related to Ohio’s Implied Consent Statute, ensuring you are equipped with the necessary information to confront the charges.For a better understanding or legal representation, don’t hesitate to reach out to the Youngstown Criminal Law Group  or  call us at (330) 992-3036 for answers and a tailored defense strategy.

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