Did you know that you can be charged with two DUIs at the same time? That's right. It's actually not that uncommon under Ohio law. Here is why and how it can happen.
Having more alcohol in your blood than is legally permissible is a crime. Driving under the influence is also a crime. The police can charge you with both crimes. This double whammy typically happens when an impaired driver fails a blood, urine or breath test.
The Ohio Revised Code 2941.25(A) gives police the option to charge you twice. To wit, "Where the same conduct by the defendant can be construed to constitute two or more allied offenses of similar import, the indictment (or citation) may contain counts for all such offenses."
If you refuse testing, you face license suspension. If you agree to be tested and fail the test, you can be charged with multiple crimes.
For drivers age 21 or older, a breath alcohol concentration (BAC) of 8 percent or higher subjects you to criminal charges for driving while intoxicated.
If you're under 21, you only need a BAC of 2 percent to put you on the wrong side of the law. A rule of thumb is that three standard drinks will give you a blood alcohol concentration of about 6 percent.
Ohio has stiff penalties for driving while intoxicated. Moreover, each additional conviction comes with stiffer penalties. Here is what to expect with your first DUI charge:
- Jail time up to six months
- Fines costing up to $1,075
- License suspension for up to three years
- Driver's intervention program for 72 hours costing up to $500
- Completion of a treatment or education program
The more DUIs you get, the more severe the consequences. You will face felony charges if you receive more than three convictions in six years or more than four convictions in 20 years.
Fortunately, you can only be convicted of one DUI, even if you were charged with two. If you are convicted of both crimes, the judge will base your sentence on one conviction or the other. The prosecutor decides which conviction the judge should use.
An experienced Dayton criminal defense attorney can prevent criminal charges altogether. This can be accomplished when a careful investigation of the case is carried out.
Witnesses are notoriously unreliable. Police officers routinely make mistakes. The testing equipment itself may not be in compliance with Ohio DUI regulations. Moreover, equipment may be flawed or used inappropriately.
A DUI conviction will follow you everywhere for the rest of your life. A Southern Ohio criminal defense attorney can help. Call L. Patrick Mulligan & Associates, LLC at (937) 685-7006 right now for a free consultation.