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Possible Routes for OVI Defense

Nov. 30, 2020

An arrest for operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol can result in fines, jail time and license suspension in Ohio. However, individuals facing this type of charge have the right to legal defense.

These are some of the possible defenses that could refute OVI charges in Ohio.

Procedural Issues

The defense in a DUI case can argue that procedural errors make the arrest invalid. Examples include:

  • Lack of probable cause to stop the driver in the first place, such as running a red light or swerving

  • Improperly administered field sobriety test

  • Compromised chain of custody in the case of a blood sample

Breath Test Issues

Often, the defense argues that an error with the breath sobriety test used in the OVI case invalidates its results. These issues may include:

  • Calibration and maintenance of the breath test device

  • Circumstances such as vomiting or indigestion that may cause an inaccurate reading

  • Training and technique of the officer who administered the breath test

Other Defenses

While the above categories cover the most common drunk driving defenses, some cases require different types of defense. The court may reduce or drop OVI charges if the defense can prove that the accused person:

  • Was not driving the vehicle at the time of the arrest

  • Unknowingly ingested a substance (spiked punch at a party, for example)

  • Drove under the influence under threat of violence or because of necessity (in a medical emergency, for example)

The defense may also present evidence that law enforcement acted improperly, provided false evidence or even engaged in entrapment in the OVI case in question.