If you have made an unwise decision to drink and drive, follow these guidelines to minimize giving evidence against yourself in an OVI traffic stop.
What to do when the Officer Approaches the Car
Avoid making ANY statements, and hand your ID and Insurance card to the Officer. Remember that everything is being recorded. Remaining silent cannot be used against you. If you don't have your ID, you have to identify yourself.
Should I Take Field Sobriety Tests?
If you have been drinking, NO. There are no consequences other than raising suspicion to refusing a FIELD sobriety test. Yes, you may be arrested, but you haven't given any evidence against yourself which can be used in Court. Politely inform the Officer you believe such tests are unreliable and subjective. The worst test to take is the HGN, in which the Officer moves a fingertip, or pen, from in front of you out to 45 degrees. Your eyes start twitching as they approach 45 degrees and it directly correlates with alcohol consumption. If you want to avoid a conviction, it may be better to suffer through an arrest rather than incriminate yourself.
Should I Take a Breath Test or give a Urine Sample?
If you refuse a breath or urine test at the Station, you will likely receive an Administrative License Suspension for one year. After 30 days, you can usually obtain limited driving privileges for a first offense. If you can put up with these adverse consequences, refusing the test will deny the Officer evidence which will be used against you in Court. If you do refuse, the Police can get a search warrant for a blood sample, but most of the time they don't. One exception is in Tiffin, Ohio, where the police routinely get a warrant for bodily fluids. In that location, refusing would be of no benefit. For subsequent offenses, the consequences of refusing are increased.
Additional resources provided by the author
The Ohio BMV lists the consequences of OVI / DUI convictions, as well as those for refusing. Keep in mind that some Countries, including Canada, may deny you entry with a conviction.
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