Bradley R. Hoyt
MBA, JD
 

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TRAFFIC OFFENSES - DUI

DUI MYTHS

Myth 1 -You must be drunk to be guilty of DUI. Under one Ohio law, no scientific tests are necessary. This violation is based upon a police officer's observations of your driving, physical appearance, and responses to what are called "field sobriety tests." A second law for which you can be charged is the so-called "per se" violation. In effect this law states, you are not permitted to drive with a prescribed level of alcohol of .08 or more of alcohol in your breath. Blood and urine have different mandated levels. In most instances a "breathalyzer" is used. The government need not introduce any other evidence.

Myth 2 - You can make it harder to prove you're DUI by refusing to take the breathalyzer. Implied in your right to drive in Ohio is the "implied consent law." This law states every person given the right to drive in Ohio agrees to take a breathalyzer when asked. There are severe penalties for refusing to take the test. But, there may be legitimate reasons for not taking the test. When in doubt consult an attorney.

Myth 3 - The police can demand I take field sobriety tests and the breathalyzer without consulting an attorney. This is absolutely untrue. You have a right to counsel once you are placed under arrest. You must specifically state you will not take any further tests or answer any questions without consulting an attorney. At that point, the police must stop all questioning or any testing, giving you reasonable time to contact an attorney. But, the police have the right to go forward with a breathalyzer test after giving you reasonable time to contact and consult with counsel. Your refusal to take a test after being given a reasonable amount of time to call an attorney may be considered a refusal to take the test.

Myth 4 - DUI is merely a traffic violation. I don't need an attorney. A conviction for DUI can be devastating. Beside a fine and jail sentence, a conviction can impact your insurance, employment, and credit. Under the new law, it can cause your vehicle to be confiscated and sold by the state and give you a felony record! Obviously, DUI is NOT a simple traffic offense. Advice of counsel should always be sought.

This information is not intended as a complete description of your legal rights, but contains some important issues you should consider.

Fees
Most criminal and traffic matters are charged on a flat fee basis, depending on the court where the proceeding will take place and the type of hearing or trial. For example a different fee will be charged if your case has to be prepared for trial as opposed to one that a plea-bargain is the likely result. Payment of these fees is usually required before we will enter our appearance as your attorney in court.

 


Drunk Driving/DUI Resource Links


 

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD)

Alcohol Q&A: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

CDC - Impaired Driving

The Century Council

 




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Serving clients in Clermont, Warren, Hamilton, and Butler Counties in Ohio, as well as clients in Campbell and Kenton Counties in Kentucky.

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