Refusal to Submit to Testing

When a law enforcement officer has reasonable grounds to believe a person was operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol in Ohio, or in physical control of the vehicle, the officer will ask the individual to submit to a chemical test of his breath, blood or urine. In most misdemeanor OVI cases, the officer suspects alcohol impairment and will ask the alleged offender to submit to a breath test.

If a person is dead or unconscious or are deemed incapable of refusal, they are deemed to have consented to a chemical test of their blood, breath or urine.

If an alleged OVI offender refuses to submit to chemical testing, the arresting officer is required to give implied consent warnings. If the individual still refuses chemical testing of his breath, blood or urine, the officer may arrest the individual for chemical test refusal and/or suspend the individual’s license.

Although a person can refuse to submit to a chemical test for alcohol or controlled substances, it is important to note a law enforcement officer may use whatever means necessary to make the person submit to a chemical test of their whole blood, blood serum or plasma.

Columbus OVI Refusal Attorney

If you have been charged with an OVI in Columbus, Ohio and allegedly refused to submit to chemical testing, contact the Joslyn Law Firm. Brian Joslyn of the Joslyn Law Firm will listen to the details of your particular case and make every effort to fight the allegations against you and help you receive the best possible outcome in your particular situation. Call the Joslyn Law Firm at (614) 444-1900 for a free consultation today.


Information Center for OVI Refusal Cases


The Implied Consent Warning in Ohio for Refusal Cases

Ohio’s laws provide for implied consent to chemical testing when a person drives a vehicle in the state. Section 4511.191 of the Ohio Revised Code provides the implied consent requirement for all drivers in Ohio:

“Any person who operates a vehicle, streetcar, or trackless trolley upon a highway or any public or private property used by the public for vehicular travel or parking within this states or who is in physical control of a vehicle, streetcar, or trackless trolley shall be deemed to have given consent to a chemical test or tests of the person’s whole blood, blood serum or plasma, breath, or urine to determine the alcohol, drug of abuse, controlled substance, metabolite of a controlled substance, or combination content of the person’s whole blood, blood serum or plasma, breath, or urine if arrested for a violation of division (A) or (B) of § 4511.19 of the Revised Code” (i.e. any violation for operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs).

Upon an arrest for operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances, also known as DUI or DWI, the arresting officer is required to read refusal to chemical testing warnings to the alleged offender under Ohio Rev. Code § 4511.192. These warnings, or implied consent warnings, advise the alleged offender of the consequences to his driving privileges if he refuses to submit to chemical testing.


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Criminal Offense to Refuse to Submit to Chemical Testing

It is a crime to refuse to submit to chemical testing within 20 years of a prior guilty plea or conviction of OVI. Under § 4511.19(A)(2), any person who refuses to submit after being warned of the penalties for refusal to submit in the aforementioned situation could face an arrest for refusal to submit to alcohol testing in addition to any other OVI charges.

An arrest for refusal to submit is a misdemeanor of the first degree, and is punishable by:

  • Three consecutive mandatory days in jail, but no more than six months total in jail;
  • A fine not less than $375 or more than $1,075;
  • A three-day driver’s intervention program (if the individual refuses the driver’s intervention program, they will be required to spend six consecutive days in jail);
  • A class five driver’s license suspension for a period ranging from six months to three years; and/or
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device.

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Administrative License Suspension in Ohio for Refusal

If an individual refuses to submit to chemical testing of their blood, breath or urine after a stop for suspicion of operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol in Ohio, they will immediately be subjected to an Administrative License Suspension (ALS), which is an independent civil case from any pending criminal charges for an OVI.

An ALS suspension for a first refusal, according to the Ohio Rev. Code § 4511.191, will result in a class C driver’s license suspension. This type of suspension from Ohio’s bureau of motor vehicles requires a mandatory suspension for one year, in addition to any other criminal penalties associated with the OVI.

A second refusal to consent within six years or a prior OVI guilty plea or conviction will result in a class B driver’s license suspension. According to Ohio Rev. Code § 4510.02, this suspension will result in a two year suspension.

A third refusal to consent within six years, two prior OVI guilty pleas or convictions, or one prior refusal and one prior guilty plea or conviction to an OVI will result in a class A driver’s license suspension. According to Ohio Rev. Code § 4510.02, this suspension will result in a suspension for three years.

A fourth or subsequent refusal to consent within six years, three or more prior OVI guilty pleas or convictions, or a combination of three or more prior refusals and guilty pleas or convictions to an OVI will result in a five year driver’s license suspension.

A person who has had their license suspended administratively could file a petition requesting limited driving privileges up to 30 days after the alleged offender’s initial appearance on their OVI charge.

Read more about Administrative License Suspensions in Ohio


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Penalties to Chemical Testing Refusal for Commercial Drivers

Any person who holds a commercial driver’s license (CDL) or operates a commercial motor vehicle and refuses to submit to a chemical test of blood, breath or urine will immediately be placed out-of-service for 24 hours and will be disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle for at least one year under Ohio Rev. Code § 4506.17. A second or subsequent refusal to take a chemical test can result in a lifetime disqualification from operating a commercial motor vehicle.


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Joslyn Law Firm | Columbus OVI Refusal to Submit Defense Attorney

If you have been charged with refusing to submit to chemical testing after an OVI in Columbus, Ohio contact the Joslyn Law Firm to discuss the facts of your particular situation. Brian Joslyn will make every effort to help you avoid the most serious repercussions and consequences to your alleged offense.

Contact the Joslyn Law Firm at (614) 444-1900 for a consultation about your drunk driving charge in Columbus, or the surrounding counties of Pickaway County, Madison County, Delaware County, Licking County and Fairfield County in Ohio.