Robert R. Hart, Jr., Attorney at Law
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Ohio Traffic Law Blog

Do OVI laws apply to bicycles in Ohio?

What do you think of when someone mentions DUI, or OVI as it's called here in Ohio? If you are like most people, you probably envision a motor vehicle such as a passenger vehicle, motorcycle or truck pulled over and a driver participating in field sobriety tests with the flashing lights of the patrol car in his or her eyes. If you are a boating enthusiast, you may even know that boating under the influence is a thing.

However, did you know that there is one other type of vehicle on which you could face arrest for OVI? Believe it or not, you could face drunk driving charges if you ride your bicycle while impaired.

Amish man arrested for DUI after buggy runs stop sign

Ohio residents don't have to be operating a car while impaired to be accused of drunk driving. For example, an Amish man was arrested and charged with DUI after a deputy pulled over his horse-drawn buggy for erratic driving.

Urine-soaked Ohio man arrested on OVI charges

A 33-year-old Parma man was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving after a traffic stop in Solon on April 22. Authorities said it appeared the defendant had urinated on himself and his car just before he was taken into custody.

According to media reports, witnesses called police after seeing a vehicle driving erratically on U.S. 422. Responding officers soon found the car parked near the highway overpass of Cannon Road. They said it had its hazard flashers on and its right front wheel was partially touching the overpass wall.

Most drunk driving arrests are first-time offenders

Most people in Ohio arrested for drunk driving are charged only on one occasion according to a report by The Columbus Dispatch newspaper. Around 66 percent of people charged with DUI in the state are first-time offenders, and their names do not appear again in state arrest records. On the other hand, there is a small group of people who have been arrested on multiple occasions and charged with drunk driving; the newspaper estimates that 1,800 Ohioans have been charged 10 or more times with drunk driving.

Defense lawyers interviewed as part of the report noted that large numbers of their clients are first-time offenders with one estimating that 90 percent of clients had been arrested only once. A few people accumulate large numbers of DUI arrests in the double digits. When people are convicted of drunk driving in Ohio for the first time, they are usually sentenced to a three-day jail sentence or three days of driver education. In addition, their license can be suspended for six months.

In Ohio, driving without a valid license is a serious offense

Your driver's license is more than just identification. It signifies that you understand the rules of the road, agree to submit to chemical tests when requested by a law enforcement officer and meet the other qualifications to receive an Ohio driver's license.

If you forget to take your valid license when leaving the house, you will probably receive a citation. However, all you have to do is provide proof that you had a valid license when an officer stopped you, which will more than likely result in a dismissal.

Steve Wilkos to enter DUI diversionary program

While not a household name, Steve Wilkos might be familiar to many Ohio residents who have seen 'The Jerry Springer Show." Wilkos is an entertainer who started his time in the public eye as the security director on 'The Jerry Springer Show," and he now has his own talk show. However, the TV personality is currently making headlines for a suspected drunk driving incident.

The accident took place in January 2018 when Wilkos's vehicle landed on its passenger side after striking a tree and poles near the roadside. The talk show host suffered some injuries in the crash, and his program briefly halted production while he healed.

Police say Ohio man was too drunk to take sobriety test

Police in Ohio say that a 34-year-old man was too intoxicated to take a field sobriety test when he was taken into custody for driving while under the influence of alcohol on the morning of April 8. A breath test taken shortly afterwards at a nearby police station is said to have revealed the Youngstown man's blood alcohol level to be .233 percent, which is almost three times the legal driving limit in Ohio.

Reports suggest that the man lost control of his car and struck a marked police vehicle on Market Street at approximately 6:30 a.m. A Youngstown Police officer says that the man had been using the turning lane to attempt a passing maneuver at the time. According to police, the man was pulled over near East Judson Avenue after initially attempting to leave the scene of the accident.

Ohio man arrested for drunk driving after hitting police car

A 34-year-old man made it is easy for law enforcement to notice his poor driving when he struck a car belonging to the Youngstown Police Department. The officer driving the cruiser reported that the man tried to pass him in the turn lane on Market Street before spinning and hitting the police car. The officer pursued the vehicle and eventually pulled the man over at the intersection of East Judson Avenue and Market. The driver could not stand on his feet when the officer tried to initiate a field sobriety test.

After the man was arrested, he was administered a breath test at the police station that indicated a blood alcohol concentration of .233, which is nearly three times the legal limit of .08. The police report indicated that the man's car contained a marijuana cigarette and a bag believed to contain more marijuana.

Alleged drunk driver in stolen car arrested in New Philadelphia

According to Ohio State Patrol, a Tuscarawas County woman was drunk when she was operating a stolen car and traveling with a syringe full of 'an unknown liquid." Authorities arrested her at 1:55 a.m. on March 30 in the 400 block of E. High Avenue in New Philadelphia.

According to law enforcement, the driver had warrants out for her arrest long before the patrolmen pulled her over for a rear license plate violation. The warrants were for furnishing false information, failing to reinstate a suspended driver's license and obstruction of official business. In addition to the warrants, the woman also faces potential drug charges as well as charges related to the stolen vehicle. When the woman was taken into custody, she provided a fake ID that earned her additional charges. The woman remained in jail through the weekend waiting for a bond hearing.

Mom charged with OVI after drunk driving with child in car

On March 21, it was reported that an Ohio woman was charged after she was accused of driving under the influence with a child in the vehicle along Parker Road in Goshen. The incident occurred on March 12 when a man reported the woman to 911 dispatchers. He claimed that she had driven him off the road. He told the dispatchers that she was driving between 80 and 100 miles per hour. He also said that he knew she had a child in the car. He said that he tried to get her to stop, but she continued and he was unable to follow her.

A woman then called dispatchers after seeing the vehicle come into a Venetian Gardens Nursing Home parking lot. The driver was seen getting out the car with her child and fleeing. The woman said that the air bags had deployed and that there was alcohol in the car.


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