Robert R. Hart, Jr., Attorney at Law
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Labor Day OVI arrests in Ohio increase from last year

Preliminary data collected by the Ohio State Highway Patrol for the 2017 Labor Day holiday shows an increase in drunk driving arrests and fatal wrecks compared to 2016's holiday. Between Friday and Monday, troopers took 845 drivers into custody on OVI charges. They also responded to 22 fatal motor vehicle crashes that killed 24 people. Law enforcement blamed alcohol for four of the fatalities, and 11 more people died because of failing to wear a seat belt or motorcycle helmet.

Overall, troopers pulled over 33,166 vehicles for enforcement actions throughout the state. They wrote 6,171 citations to people not wearing their seat belts and arrested 536 people for drug offenses. Felony charges emerged against 150 people after traffic stops.

Another 17,789 traffic stops were for reasons other than enforcement of laws. Troopers assisted over 3,500 motorists in distress over the long weekend.

Law enforcement often targets holiday weekends for aggressive enforcement of drunk driving laws. Someone accused of operating a vehicle while intoxicated could face criminal charges and might want the support of an attorney before going to court. Depending on the circumstances, an attorney might find an opportunity to defend the person if police made mistakes while administering a field sobriety test. Failure to follow proper procedures could invalidate results and result in a case dismissal. In other situations, an attorney might negotiate a plea deal that reduces penalties if the person agrees to attend an alcohol program. With legal advice, a defendant could gain an honest appraisal of the situation and make informed choices.

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