If I’m Not Arrested for a DUI on the Scene, Could I Face Any Charges?

If you are pulled over on suspicion of DUI (now usually known as OVI or Operating a Vehicle while Impaired), and you ace the field sobriety tests, but refuse to take a breathalyzer test, you may assume the issue is over and done since you “passed” the field sobriety tests, correct? In some cases, this might be true, however there are times when it is not. In most all DUI stops, if the suspect does not pass the field sobriety tests—or, in some cases, even if he or she does pass the tests—then a breathalyzer test is the next step. If an arrest is made, the officer will issue a ticket for the DUI violation as well as for the traffic offense which gave the officer reasonable cause to pull you over in the first place.

That being said, in some cases when a person in Ohio is charged with ORC 4511.19 (A)(i)(f) (A)(i)(g), a ticket is not immediately written. These statutes state that the person has a concentration of seventeen-hundredths of one percent or more by weight per unit volume of alcohol in the person’s whole blood or that the person has a concentration of two hundred four-thousandths of one percent or more by weight per unit volume of alcohol in the person’s blood serum or plasma.

This situation usually occurs when a suspect refuses a breathalyzer test and is taken to the station. If the police officer believes your BAC is over the legal limit, you will be charged with DUI/OVI ‘per se, high test.” Since a blood test requires a search warrant before you can be compelled to submit to a blood draw in most cases, Ohio has an “implied consent law” which says every driver on Ohio roads has implicitly consented to a blood/breath/urine test if arrested.

That being said, if you revoke your implied consent by refusing a blood test, the police officer cannot force you to take a blood test but can have your driver’s license suspended for that refusal. If you agree to a blood test, it will be administered by a health care provider or a crime laboratory (a medical professional, rather than a police officer). If you had a blood test taken, the officer may not write your ticket for the blood test on the night the test was given, but it is almost certain that you have been charged with an Ohio DUI. You will not receive the actual written ticket until your blood test results comes back.

At this point you may wonder whether you should have taken the breathalyzer test. It would be extremely beneficial to consult an experienced DUI/OVI attorney from Horwitz & Horwitz at this time to have your questions answered and give your attorney the opportunity to get a jump on your charges. This is likely to result in a much better outcome that if you choose to wait until it is time for you to appear in court.