Implied Consent in Youngstown
Any Youngstown OVI lawyer will remind you that once you’ve been arrested for driving while intoxicated, the cop who arrests you will want to test your breath, blood, or urine to see how much alcohol you’ve consumed. The law in Ohio states that if you’ve driven a car in the state, you have already agreed to allow the tests. If you refuse to do so, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles automatically suspends your driver’s license in what is called an ALS, or Administrative License Suspension.
The Ohio Revised Code Section 4511.191 lays out the requirements as to what counts as a refusal to submit to chemical testing. The arresting officer has to follow the law exactly for a refusal to count as such. The law also says that you, the driver, agreed to take those tests when you signed on the dotted line to accept your driver’s license.
When he pulls you over for OVI (operating a vehicle while intoxicated), the officer who arrests you has to read to you the implied consent warning that is included in the law. He will ask you if you consent, you will say yes or no, and things will proceed from there.
In addition to the ALS mentioned above, there are criminal penalties for refusing to submit to a chemical test. One of those is that the prosecutor can use your refusal against you by saying you knew you were guilty of OVI and that the test would show your BAC was over the legal limit, and that’s why you wouldn’t take the test.
I’ve Refused to Submit Once Before… What Now?
Ohio law states that if you refuse to allow chemical testing after being arrested on suspicion of OVI, and this is the second time in the last 20 years you have done so (and the previous time(s) you were convicted), you could be arrested on additional charges. This is described in the Ohio Revised Code Section 4511.19(A)(2).
Defenses for Refusal to Submit
You have the right to refuse to allow chemical testing, though it’s never a good idea, and your Youngstown OVI lawyer will discourage you from doing it. However, if you do, all may not be lost.
There can be many reasons for a police officer to think a suspect has refused when he has not done so. A person with COPD or asthma may not be able to draw a deep enough breath to use a breath test machine. A person with a hearing loss may not have been able to understand what the officer was saying to him. Similarly, a person whose first or native language is not English may not understand what is being asked of him.
A person with a speech impediment may have agreed to be tested, but the officer misheard him, thinking he had refused. Or, a person with a neurological disorder or learning disability may not understand what the cop is saying and become anxious or agitated, causing the officer to think the person is refusing.
Don’t forget that the cop has to follow the law exactly, without making mistakes. It’s possible he missed something when he was arresting you that would invalidate his conclusion that you refused to allow chemical testing.
Whatever the reason, there are times when mistakes were made. Just because the police think you have refused to submit to chemical testing doesn’t mean you have. A well-trained Youngstown OVI lawyer like Sean Logue knows all the ways a submission can look like a refusal. He has over a decade of experience defending clients from all aspects of OVI law.
If you hire Sean Logue, he’ll talk with you, hear your side of the arrest and your alleged refusal, look at the evidence against you, and outline a plan of defense. He’ll know if and how he can refute the charges against you. Call him today at (330) 625-9199.
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