Robert R. Hart, Jr., Attorney at Law
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Why taking the keys may not be the best choice

Ohio residents may believe that they have a duty to stop impaired individuals from driving. However, the best thing to do may be to call police after observing an impaired person getting behind the wheel or driving erratically. In some cases, taking the keys away from a person could result in a theft charge, and it could also put a person in a situation where their physical safety could be put in jeopardy.

This may be especially true in cases when a person tries to take keys from a stranger. It is not uncommon for people to not comply with requests even if the police are demanding them to do so. In one instance, officers had to spend 30 minutes talking a woman out of her vehicle after a postal employee had taken away the keys to her SUV.

Those who are charged with an OVI may be best served by talking with an attorney. Legal counsel may be able to gather information related to any police misconduct or other irregularities relating to a breathalyzer or other tests conducted on a driver. It may also be possible to gather medical information about a driver that may explain his or her actions at the time that the driver was stopped by police.

Such information may make it possible to create enough doubt to have a case dropped. It may also create enough leverage for an attorney to negotiate a plea deal. Legal counsel may also be able to cast doubt on a drunk driving charge by examining witnesses or by having evidence suppressed. If evidence is suppressed, it generally cannot be considered by a jury, which may weaken the case against a driver. That may be enough to win an acquittal after a formal trial.

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