Dayton, Ohio recently received a “walk score” of 74 from the group Walk Score, making it one of the more walkable cities in the United States. This is not a lot of consolation after you receive an ALS (Administrative License Suspension) from the BMV (Bureau of Motor Vehicles). Walking may be healthy and fun but most of us need our vehicle to get around and make a living.
When a police officer suspects you of DUI, he or she will read to you the Ohio BMV form 2255 or ALS form before asking you to take a breath, blood, or urine test. Failing any of the tests is an automatic 90-day license suspension and a test refusal results in a one-year suspension from the BMV. This usually scares drivers enough to accept the officer’s request to take the test.
Bad Cop – Bad Cop
Even though the arresting officer may appear to be helpful during your arrest, he is an agent for the prosecution. He or she will never testify on your behalf during the trial. What the officer won’t tell you is that failing a test that provides enough evidence to convict you will also result in a one-year suspension imposed by the court. A refusal also can usually be negotiated down to 30 days by a good DUI Attorney, especially if you weren’t found guilty of DUI.
Rights Vs. Privileges
A DUI conviction puts you under the condemnation of the laws of Ohio. Throughout the proceedings of your case, your attorney will fight for your rights. However, anything involving the BMV falls under administrative rules that sometimes feel more capricious than legislated laws. At the heart of their code is the concept that you do not have a right to drive. It is a privilege granted to you by the state based on your compliance with the rules.
The arresting officer will try to use this against you to persuade you to provide evidence against yourself in the form of a breath, blood, or alcohol test. The officer, of course, is not on your side. Testing over the limit that results in your conviction will still result in a one-year suspension. And in many cases, without the test, the state will have no case or offer a reduced charge of reckless driving which carries far fewer penalties than a DUI.
To Refuse or Comply
Most people are too intimidated to refuse a breath, blood, or urine test; but with our help, it can become the most effective defense for your case. Since the court cannot assume a refusal to be an admission of guilt, your chances of acquittal or a reduced charge are increased. Additionally, without a DUI on your record, you will save money on your insurance.
An Administrative License Suspension isn’t without a defense. We are able to negotiate with the courts at your first appearance to restore driving privileges for work, medical, and educational reasons. And depending on the outcome of your case, restore all privileges in as soon as 30 days.
The threat of an administrative license suspension should not intimidate you into taking a breath, blood, or urine test if you don’t want one. In Ohio it is not a crime to refuse a test, it a civil matter between you and the BMV. As your attorney, we can represent you to resolve your ALS while representing you in court on your DUI.
It does take courage to stand up for your rights. Being prosecuted by two different tribunals may feel like a form of double jeopardy, and it probably is; but you can still come out ahead with the right representation. Give us a call and let us help you through the courts and the BMV.