If you are arrested for a DUI/OVI in Ohio, law enforcement will typically ask you to take a breath or blood test to determine your blood alcohol concentration (BAC). If the results show your BAC level is at least .08 percent, then that could be enough evidence to convict you of drunk driving.
However, do you have to take a post-arrest chemical test? While you have a right to refuse, doing so can lead to harsh penalties that are separate from the criminal penalties you face for a DUI.
According to Ohio’s “implied consent” law, anyone who operates a motor vehicle in the state automatically consents to a blood, breath, or urine test after being arrested for drunk driving. Officers are required to explain why you’re under arrest and the consequences for failing a chemical test.
For a first-time refusal, your driver’s license will be suspended for up to one year by the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV). For a second refusal within the past 10 years, your driver’s license will be suspended for up to two years. For a third refusal within 10 years, your driver’s license will be suspended for up to three years.
If you have been convicted of drunk driving in Ohio within the last 20 years, refusing a chemical test can lead to enhanced penalties. Basically, the minimum jail term for a normal DUI will be doubled.
Remember, the implied consent law doesn’t apply to preliminary breathalyzer tests that occur before an arrest is made. In other words, you can legally refuse to take a breathalyzer test without being penalized. However, law enforcement may use other methods to find probable cause for an arrest.
If you have been arrested for a DUI in Dayton or Cincinnati, contact L. Patrick Mulligan & Associates, LLC today at (937) 685-7006 and schedule a free consultation.