High BAC Over .17
BAC is an acronym that stands for “blood alcohol concentration.” In order to determine whether a motorist is unlawfully operating their vehicle while impaired, a law enforcement officer will generally require them to submit to a breath and/or blood test. Blood tests may check for a variety of controlled and impairment-inducing substances in addition to BAC. Breath tests generally measure BAC alone. When BAC is measured, an accounting of how much alcohol is in a person’s blood is made. When a person’s BAC rises above a certain level, they are prohibited from operating a vehicle in Ohio. Violation of this prohibition can lead to severe criminal consequences.
OVI is an acronym that stands for “operating a vehicle impaired.” Ohio embraces this acronym – as opposed to the more traditionally utilized DWI (driving while impaired) and DUI (driving under the influence) because not all vehicles are motorized and therefore can be “driven.” By altering its preferred acronym choice, Ohio law underscores that operating virtually any vehicle – motorized or not – while impaired by alcohol, controlled substances, and even legal substances that can alter judgment and perception is unlawful.
A “High Tier OVI” refers to the unlawful operation of a vehicle with a BAC of more than 0.17 percent. This criminal offense is also known as a “high test” OVI.
Ohio High BAC Attorney
If you have been arrested for having a high BAC over .17, contact Joslyn Law Firm today. Drunk driving offenses carry stiff penalties such as incarceration and fines. You can also face a driver’s license suspension and be required to fulfill community service hours. To receive skilled legal representation, contact Joslyn Law Firm today. Drunk driving cases are complex, and we will do everything possible to assist you.
To discuss your drunk driving charge in Columbus with Joslyn Law Firm, call (614) 444-1900 today. Joslyn Law Firm accepts clients in Pickaway County, Madison County, Delaware County, Licking County and Fairfield County in Ohio.
- Penalties for High BAC Over .17
- Statute Of Limitations
- Defenses for High BAC Over .17
- Additional Resources
The penalties for a first-time high-tier OVI include a mandatory minimum of at least three days in jail and three days in an intervention program or six days in jail. Jail time can be suspended due to a judge’s discretion to grant the motorist unlimited driving privileges, provided that they only operate a vehicle outfitted with an ignition interlock device. The maximum term of imprisonment for this offense is six months in jail.
A minimum fine of $370 will be imposed up to a maximum fine of $1075. The driver’s license will be suspended for at least a year with a maximum of a three-year suspension unless the judge grants the unlimited driving privileges subject to the ignition interlock exception detailed above.
Finally, the motorist will not be eligible to drive until 15 days past the date of their offense, which is known as an ALS suspension. Additionally, they will be required to install yellow OVI plates on their vehicle to alert law enforcement agencies that they have a high-tier OVI offense on their recent driving record.
As a high-tier OVI charge is a felony, the statute of limitations for this crime is six years. Six years after the date of the alleged OVI charge, prosecutors are barred from filing new charges against an alleged high-tier OVI offender.
Refuting evidence of a high-tier OVI charge is not easy. However, it is important to understand that concrete evidence of a high BAC does not automatically result in a conviction. This evidence may be excluded from trial under certain circumstances. If this evidence is excluded, prosecutors may downgrade the charges or drop them completely if they no longer feel confident that they can make their case.
Additionally, some defenses may lead to the dismissal of a case for reasons having to do with the driver’s circumstances, as opposed to any issues with the stop or testing itself.
Improper Stop – Law enforcement officers are not empowered to stop motorists unless they have probable cause to make a traffic stop. In the event that an officer made an OVI stop without probable cause, this may present an alleged offender with an excellent opportunity to defend against the charges at hand.
Improperly Administered or Inaccurate Test – If a breath, blood, urine, or field sobriety test is improperly administered or the results of that test are inaccurate for any reason, that evidence may be excluded. Commonly, improperly calibrated test mechanisms lead to the exclusion of such evidence.
Chain of Evidence Problems – If the chain of evidence protocols are not strictly adhered to, questions about the accuracy of the evidence in question can lead to its exclusion.
Rising Blood Alcohol Concentration – If it takes the arresting officer a long time between pulling a motorist over and administering a breath or blood test, it can be argued that the driver’s BAC was lower when they were operating their vehicle but rose as more alcohol absorbed into their system, affecting the results of the test.
Duress or Necessity – Sometimes, people have to get behind the wheel to avoid serious injury, death, or some other great evil that surpasses the risks of driving drunk or while impaired. Under such circumstances, defenses of duress or necessity may be argued successfully.
Advice to OVI Arrestee Guidelines – Ohio State Code mandates that arresting officers must read specific text to those who have been arrested for operating a vehicle while impaired. If an alleged offender was not read the required statement, that could impact the outcome of their case.
Guide to Understanding BAC Levels & Effects – Many people don’t remember how alcohol affects their bodies after they recover from being severely intoxicated. Learning about these changes can help to clarify and inform behavior.
Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services – The State of Ohio provides services and resources for those who are struggling with alcohol abuse challenges.
Ohio High BAC Attorney | DUI Criminal Defense Lawyer
A DUI conviction can be life-altering because of jail time and significant fines. The loss of your driving privileges could make it hard to work, attend classes, or do other activities you may take for granted. To acquire the legal representation of a skilled criminal defense lawyer in Ohio, contact Joslyn Law Firm as soon as possible. Our lawyers will utilize their extensive experience in DUI cases to benefit you in your fight for justice.