An OVI is an Ohio-specific abbreviation for operating a vehicle while under the influence. In many states, this offense is expressed as DUI – an abbreviation for driving under the influence.

Can an OVI / DUI Be Reduced to Reckless Driving?

It is sometimes possible to have an OVI charge reduced to a reckless driving charge. For the state to convict an individual for OVI, it must proved that the arresting officer possessed probable cause to believe that a driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and precisely followed all required procedures for chemical testing for alcohol or drugs, and for making the arrest (in order for an officer to have probable cause, the facts and circumstances must lead a reasonable person to believe a crime has been committed).

An officer must possess probable cause in the first instance when making the traffic stop or setting up a lawful DUI checkpoint. Then, at a traffic stop or checkpoint, the officer must have a reasonable suspicion that the driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs in order to request the driver to take a chemical test to detect their presence. If the officer lacked probable cause in the first instance, then that officer lacked a legitimate basis for proceeding to use chemical tests. Even if the officer possessed probable cause in the first instance, the officer must have used a functioning chemical test machine, such as a breathalyzer machine. A malfunctioning testing device or a test result of within the legal blood alcohol concentration (less than .08 percent in the state of Ohio) limit also negates probable cause. Additionally, after making a lawful stop and conducting a lawful test, an officer must read an individual his or her Miranda rights while making the arrest. These rights are protected by the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and must be recited if an arrest is to be considered lawful. If an OVI arrest lacks recitation of these rights, or is deficient in any of the aforementioned probable cause bases, it may be possible to reduce a charge from OVI down to reckless driving.

What To Do If You Have Been Arrested For OVI In The State Of Ohio

If you have been arrested for OVI in the state of Ohio, contact an experienced Columbus OVI attorney. A skilled attorney will carefully look into the possibility of reducing the charges against you from OVI to reckless driving. There are many advantages to this reduction, including lesser imprisonment, fine, and license suspension penalties, as well as the status of your driving record and your ability to obtain employment. A diligent attorney will hold the state to the high standards it must meet to convict you of OVI in Ohio. If compliance with any of these standards is deficient on the part of the state, it may be grounds for reducing a charge from OVI to reckless driving. Contact an attorney at Suhre & Associates, LLC today to mount a strong defense of the charges against you, and obtain the best possible outcome.