This is not advice exclusive to alcohol, be cognizant that impairment can come from prescription medication, drug interaction, OTC medication, drugs of abuse, and even simple things like fatigue or texting. Focusing a practice on OVI DUI defense should not be construed to be an endorsement of impaired driving.
This is in reference to field sobriety tests that law enforcement nearly always tries to get the accused to participate in, both Standardized Field Sobriety Tests and Non-Standardized tests.
There is NO PENALTY in the state of Ohio for refusing to “have your eyes checked”, refusing to stand on one leg, refusing to walk on imaginary lines, refusing count backwards or recite portions of the alphabet, or any other “test” you are requested to perform in the field.
Additionally, there is NO PENALTY for refusing to take a handheld portable breath test.
Rarely is it beneficial to submit to field sobriety tests or handheld portable breath tests in an OVI DUI stop. Instead, politely decline the test and indicate that you understand what the officer is telling you. Be advised they will be persistent in attempting to get you to submit to these tests, remember there is no penalty for refusal.
Except for identifying yourself, you are not required to engage in conversation with police. Rather, it is advisable to indicate that you do not wish to speak with them without legal counsel present. There is nothing wrong with requesting an opportunity to call counsel at the scene or at the station.
This is a more muddled area that is more difficult to advise upon. Everyone who refuses chemical testing (breath, blood, or urine) will lose their license for a year. Individuals with prior DUI, OVI, BUI (Boating under the influence), OVMI, or DWI can face extended suspensions and increased mandatory minimum penalty. However, a test above the prohibited level will also result in a license suspension.
The best advice here is to speak to competent legal counsel prior to deciding if you should submit to chemical testing. Keep the number of available OVI DUI Defense Attorney Bucher on hand. Lima Office: 419 227 9595. Toledo Office: 419 386 2519.
Always know where your license, registration, and proof of insurance are. Keep them together if possible and in an easily accessible location in your vehicle. Often, failure to provide these documents to law enforcement in an expeditious manner is interpreted as an indication you are impaired, even if you are sober as a post and just don’t know exactly where they are located.