Did a law enforcement officer in Dayton, Ohio, recently pull you over and arrest you for underage drinking and driving?
If so, you would be wise to begin fighting back against their accusations as swiftly and vigorously as you can. You can take the first step by contacting an experienced Dayton DUI under 21 defense lawyer from Suhre & Associates, LLC.
How Our Criminal Defense Attorneys Can Help If You’ve Been Charged With an Underage DUI
Drinking and driving charges are always serious. The consequences can be particularly devastating for underage defendants. If you’ve been charged with a DUI under 21, it’s important to assert a strong defense as soon as you can. The experienced Dayton criminal defense lawyers at Suhre & Associates, LLC can help.
We have been defending the people of Dayton against DUI/OVI charges for years. As a result, we know what it takes to get criminal charges dismissed or reduced.
When you hire our law firm to help you battle back against your underage drunk driving charge, we will:
- Answer all of your questions about the Ohio legal system
- Help you understand your rights and responsibilities
- Offer you astute legal advice and guidance throughout your case
- Communicate with the police and prosecution on your behalf
- Conduct an investigation into the events surrounding your arrest
- Search for evidence that may help your case
- Research and devise an effective defense strategy for your case
- Negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecuting attorney
- Represent you in municipal court, if necessary
Are you ready to have one of our Dayton DUI lawyers defend you against the allegations of the state of Ohio? Then please drop us a line to arrange a free consultation at our conveniently-located law office. We have years of experience in the legal field, and we are ready to go to battle for you.
Understanding Ohio’s Underage DUI Law
In the state of Ohio, it is illegal for anyone to operate a vehicle on a public roadway with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of over 0.08 percent. If someone violates this law, the police may charge them with driving under the influence (DUI).
However, drivers who are under the age of 21 do not need to have a BAC in excess of 0.08 percent to get arrested for drunk driving. Police officers in Ohio have the authority to charge young motorists with this offense for operating a vehicle with a BAC of 0.02 percent or more.
This lower legal limit exists because it is not lawful for people who are yet to turn 21 to consume alcoholic drinks in the Buckeye State – and because having even a small amount of alcohol in their systems can severely harm their driving abilities.
How Do Dayton Police Officers Measure a Driver’s BAC?
When a Dayton law enforcement officer pulls over a driver on suspicion of operating a vehicle while intoxicated, they may use any of these tools and techniques to assess their level of drunkenness:
Field Sobriety Tests
Many police officers in Dayton ask suspected drunk drivers to perform a series of field sobriety tests to gauge their inebriation level. If the driver fails these tests, officers typically follow up by having them take a more scientifically accurate chemical test.
Breath testing is by far the most commonly employed form of chemical analysis in the state of Ohio. Officers may administer one of these tests on the side of the road – by asking their suspect to blow into a standard breathalyzer machine.
The other benefit of breathalyzers is that they provide officers with near-instant results. If a motorist blows a BAC in excess of the legal limit, they can take them into custody immediately.
If the results of the breathalyzer test are inconclusive, police officers may ask suspects to undergo blood testing. This type of testing results in more accurate data than a breathalyzer can produce. However, it can take up to two weeks for officers to receive the information they need.
Law enforcement officers cannot administer blood tests on the side of the road. Instead, they must take the suspect to a lab, where a technician will take a sample.
Urine testing is another option available to law enforcement officers who wish to tell a driver’s BAC. However, since it is almost impossible to force a subject to urinate if they do not want to, officers usually prefer to avoid this type of test.
Can Dayton Drivers Refuse to Submit to Chemical Testing?
Drivers in the state of Ohio have the right to decline to submit to chemical testing. However, if they choose to do so, the police can take their driver’s license under the state’s Administrative License Suspension (ALS) laws.
Motorists may appeal their license suspension. However, if their appeal is unsuccessful, they typically lose their driving privileges for one year.
At Suhre & Associates, LLC, we have been helping Dayton motorists fight back against drunk driving charges for many years – achieving a plethora of favorable results along the way. So, if the police recently arrested you on an underage DUI charge, please do not hesitate to give us a call. We might be able to get your case dismissed.
Consequences of an Underage DUI or OVI Conviction in Ohio
In Ohio, underage drunk driving is a fourth-degree misdemeanor. Crimes of this nature carry severe penalties, such as:
- Incarceration of up to 30 days in county jail
- Fines of as much as $250
- Driver’s license suspension of between 60 days and two years
- Enrollment in an alcohol addiction program
- Enrollment in a remedial driving class
- A requirement to maintain an SR-22 insurance bond
When Ohio courts convict motorists of drunk driving, they also leave them with a permanent criminal record. As a result, they may endure a series of collateral consequences, such as:
- Trouble Finding a Job: Many small and large businesses in Ohio have policies against hiring people with criminal records.
- Professional Licensing Issues: Having a criminal record can make it quite challenging to renew a professional license.
- Loss of Privacy: When the friends, family, and colleagues of drunk drivers look them up online, they can quickly discover the details of their offense.
- Trouble Finding Housing: Property managers in Dayton and across the state of Ohio typically prefer to avoid renting homes to people who have criminal records.
- Harsher Future Penalties: Should underage drunk drivers get into trouble with the law again in the future, the court is likely to hand them a much more severe sentence.
Underage drunk drivers must usually experience these consequences for the rest of their lives. The only way for them to recover the freedoms and rights enjoyed by their peers is to have a judge seal their criminal record.
At Suhre & Associates, LLC, we know how devastating the consequences of an underage DUI conviction can be. That is why we fight night and day to help our clients avoid them. If you are facing a drunk driving charge in Dayton and need a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney to assist you with your case, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.
Defenses Against Ohio Underage OVI Charges
Being arrested for drunk driving at the age of 18 or 19 can be quite a scary experience. However, it does not have to mean that the arrestee will go to jail or lose their driver’s license.
With the aid of an effective defense strategy, underage DUI suspects can often get their case dismissed or their charges reduced.
A brief list of a few of the most commonly used underage DUI defenses in the state of Ohio would include:
Illegal Traffic Stop
Law enforcement officers in the state of Ohio can only pull drivers over if they have a reasonable suspicion that they are committing a crime. If an attorney can prove that the police stopped their client illegally, they can usually get their charges dismissed.
Chemical Testing Issues
The results of the suspect’s breath, blood, or urine test is almost always the most important piece of evidence in an underage DUI case. So, if an attorney can show that there was an issue with the test that renders the results inaccurate, they may be able to secure an acquittal for their client.
Lack of Evidence
To convict someone of a crime in Ohio, prosecutors must prove their guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. When lawyers argue that the prosecution has not met their evidentiary burden, they can often convince the jury to find their client not guilty.
Having spent many years working in the legal field, the skilled lawyers at Suhre & Associates, LLC, know when to use each of these defense plans. If you would like to have us analyze your case and recommend an option for you, please give us a call or contact us online as soon as possible.
Your Skilled Dayton DUI Under 21 Defense Lawyer
Over the years, the knowledgeable attorneys at Suhre & Associates, LLC, have helped a plethora of teenagers and young adults from Dayton, Ohio, fight back against their drunk driving charges. Our team would love to do the same for you. To learn more about our services, all you need to do is give us a call at a time that suits you.