If you have been arrested for OVI, you will be taken back to the police station and asked to submit to a blood, breath, or urine test in order to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC). By driving in the state of Ohio, or by having an Ohio driver’s license, you have already consented to this test due to Ohio’s implied consent law. Under Ohio law, a person does not have the right to operate a vehicle in the state, but rather, driving is a privilege that the State may regulate. One of the conditions of the privilege is that a driver who is legally arrested for OVI has impliedly given his consent to submit to one or more chemical tests. If a driver refuses to submit to a chemical test, there are immediate penalties that will be imposed, including an Administrative License Suspension (ALS). An ALS can be attacked through an appeal, and in some situations can be set aside. There is a limited statutory period that a driver has to appeal an ALS, so it critical that you contact an OVI/DUI defense attorney immediately if you have been arrested for OVI and had an ALS imposed.
However, in some cases, even where a person is found not guilty of OVI, the ALS will continue for the statutory period. If you have been arrested for OVI, you should politely inform the officer that you wish to speak to an attorney before agreeing to or refusing to submit to a chemical test.
Also, under Ohio law, if a driver refuses to submit to a chemical test after being arrested for OVI, and has had a prior OVI conviction within the last 20 years, they will face increased mandatory penalties if they are convicted of OVI. Because of the complexity of the issues involved, it is important to contact an experienced OVI/DUI defense attorney before agreeing to or refusing to submit to a chemical test.