For individuals convicted of a drinking and driving offense in the State of Ohio, a period of license suspension is virtually inevitable.
The most common of these offenses is OVI, which is an abbreviation for operating a vehicle while under the influence. In other states, this offense is termed a DUI, or driving under the influence. The influence in question is not limited to alcohol; driving under the influence of so-called “drugs of abuse,” which may include marijuana, cocaine, or others, can also lead to an OVI conviction. Just as alcohol is not the only substance that can lead to OVI, a car is not the only type of vehicle that can be illegally operated under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Trucks, snowmobiles, boats, planes, and more are also considered motor vehicles in the eyes of the law.
Administrative License Suspension Hearings At Ohio’s Bureau Of Motor Vehicles
Even an OVI arrest, rather than a conviction, will affect one’s driving privileges. An Administrative License Suspension (ALS) hearing will be ordered. This hearing is conducted by the state’s Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV); it is distinct from charges prosecuted in the state’s criminal justice system. As soon as an ALS case is begun, license suspension is effective. This is the case even if an arrested motorist refused a blood or breath alcohol test for suspicion of OVI. As long as the arresting officer possesses probable cause, an arrest can be made even in the absence of test results. Probable cause means reasonable suspicion, and in the OVI context, it exists when there has been erratic driving, whether in terms of speed or direction, as well as the presence of open containers of alcohol in the vehicle or the smell of alcohol on the breath of a driver.
Procedures For Challenging a License Suspension
If a driver’s license has been suspended in conjunction with an OVI arrest, he or she has 30 days to request a hearing with the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles to review the suspension. During the review process, that court will hear arguments about whether or not the arresting officer possessed probable cause to believe the operator of a vehicle was impaired before asking the operator to take a chemical test for the presence of alcohol or drugs. Calling into question the existence of probable cause is the task of a skilled Columbus OVI attorney. An attorney will review all of the evidence, or lack thereof, and explore all possible deficiencies in the probable cause cited by the arresting officer.
What To Do If Your License Has Been Suspended After An OVI Arrest
If you have been arrested and charged with OVI in the state of Ohio, you will benefit from contacting an experienced Ohio OVI attorney at Suhre & Associates, LLC as soon as possible. In some cases, it is possible to prevent a license suspension or revocation. Because you only have 30 days from the time of arrest to arrest to request a hearing, time is of the essence. A meticulous attorney will ensure that you follow the procedures necessary to request a hearing at the Ohio BMV, and work to obtain the best possible outcome.