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Ohio’s Implied Consent Law

Man holding a beer bottle and car keys

When pulled over for suspicion of OVI (operating a vehicle while intoxicated) law enforcement will ask a driver to submit to a breathalyzer, blood, or urine test. Those who did not drink or partake in drugs prior to getting behind the wheel should feel confident taking one of these tests. On the other hand, those who were drinking or taking drugs that could cause impairment may be hesitant to take this test.

So what repercussions are there for not taking the test, and can you be forcedto take the test?

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Can a Driver Be Forced to Take a Test?

Technically, a driver could be. If a driver is incapacitated after an incident and can or does not give their consent to take the test, then law enforcement has the right to get a sample (usually a blood test). This is laid out in Ohio’s Revised Code Section 4511.191. If a driver is able to give consent and refuses to do so, then they will face a driving suspension, at minimum.

Repercussions for Not Taking a Test

There will usually be criminal charges in most suspected OVI cases, even if it means that the initial charge is reduced or dismissed for other charges. However, despite whatever criminal charges a driver would face, the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles will implement driving restrictions.

In most cases, refusing to take a breathalyzer or chemical test will result in an automatic driving suspension, also known as an administrative license suspension. If it is a driver’s first OVI (or the first one in ten years), then the driver will most likely face a one-year suspension. This suspension is upheld even if the criminal charges for the driver are dismissed or reduced.

For each subsequent suspected OVI after the first, a driver will face more severe consequences which could result in a suspension for multiple years, the requirement to have an ignition interlock device (IID), and an SR-22 (additional high-risk insurance on top of required insurance).

Cincinnati and Dayton’s Experienced Criminal & DUI Defense Team

While there are some outcomes you may not be able to change if you are charged with an OVI, all hope should not be lost. The experienced team at L. Patrick Mulligan & Associates, LLC is ready to fight for you so you have the best outcome possible. Don’t face an OVI charge by yourself — our attorneys are available 24/7 and are here for you.

Contact us online or by phone — (937) 685-7006.