A DUI will cost you.  Initially it costs you your dignity when you are arrested.  It can cost you your good name.  It will cost you your freedom to drive where and when you want.  It will cost you your privilege to drive.  It will cost you money in the form of missed time at work.  It might cost you your job.  It will cost you to get your car out of impound.  It will cost you money to hire a criminal lawyer.  A DUI will cost you money to pay fines and court costs.  You might have to pay for a breathalyzer device on your car.

You might have to pay for special restricted license plates in Ohio.  You might have to pay your lawyer more money to have a hearing on pretrial motions.  You might have to pay your lawyer to defend a pretrial win in the court of appeals if the state appeals the court’s decision.  You might have to pay a lawyer more money to have a trial.  You can also pay to hire experts.  You might also have to pay for transcripts of what was said at prior hearings.  You might have to pay for an immobilization of your vehicle if you have a prior OVI conviction in the last six years.  The court can order forfeiture of your car if you are convicted of a third DUI in six years.

Could A OVI Really Land You In Jail?

All that sounds bad, but it is nothing compared to spending time in jail.  Jail is not common on first offense cases in Southwest Ohio.  However, I have seen plenty of people ordered to serve 3, 6, 10, 20, 30, 60, 180, and 365 days in jail.  Some are made eligible for treatment programs, but some just serve out the time.  You can be ordered to pay money to be on supervised probation.  Probation can make you pay for additional alcohol assessments and treatment.  They can even make you take more time off work for meetings at probation.  They can also order that you pay for and be randomly tested for drugs and alcohol.  Ultimately, I have even seen people pay the ultimate price when they lose their life or cause the death of another related to driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol in Ohio.

But before you get too depressed, I am glad to report that the State of Ohio is not only full of bad people.  I also have the pleasure to represent a great majority of successful people.  They usually have no prior record.  Sometimes not even a speeding ticket.  They have successful jobs.  They are engineers, doctors, lawyers, bankers, owners of companies, fathers, mothers, college students, accountants, teachers, admissions board members, etc.

Misunderstanding Dayton’s DUI Laws

An OVI in Dayton, Ohio is not the end of the world.  Dayton appears to be a full of people that generally learn from their mistakes.  I take some enjoyment from my work where I like to think that my words and the words of the court have some influence on people learning from their mistakes and making the choice not to put themselves at risk of getting in trouble again.

What most people misunderstand about DUI in Ohio is that you do not have to be drunk to be convicted of a 4511.19 – Operating vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs – OVI offense.  Surprising right?  Even some troopers from the Ohio State Highway Patrol do not understand this fact.  I have convinced a jury that my client was not under the influence, but they found her guilty of being over the limit.

If I’ve Said It Once…

Don’t be so quick to condemn those that make the mistake of being over the limit when they thought a few drinks over a few hours at dinner were responsible.  I tell most folks that test about a beer over the limit, that your actions are responsibly illegal.  I mean, the old prohibited concentration of alcohol in Ohio used to be .150, then .100, currently .080, and N.H.T.S.A. wants it to be .050 in the near future.  Everyone asks me how many they can have or what they should do when they get pulled over.  I tell them all the same thing, “Don’t drink alcohol and Drive!”  If you get pulled over, even for something silly, and the officer smells alcohol they will arrest you for DUI.  No matter how benign the facts or how great our changes at trial, you will already have at least subjected yourself to the beginning costs mentioned in this blog and likely have made a call to me or one of my piers.

Continue to enjoy your freedom this Independence Day!  Don’t drink any amount of alcohol and drive.

To learn more, call our Dayton criminal defense law firm at (937) 531-0435 or visit our contact us page to send us an email.