Robert R. Hart, Jr., Attorney at Law
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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.

According to media reports, a deputy from the Geauga County Sheriff's Office observed a buggy run a stop sign on April 29. He was concerned the driver may be ill or the buggy may have a runaway horse, so he followed the vehicle. When the driver eventually stopped at a farm, the deputy approached the buggy and found a 21-year-old man and a 20-year-old woman inside.

The deputy reported that the buggy smelled like alcohol. He also said there was an open container of beer sitting on its floor. During questioning, the 21-year-old allegedly admitted that he had consumed 10 beers prior to driving the buggy. He was then asked to complete a series of field sobriety tests and reportedly failed them. At that point, he was placed under arrest for drunk driving. The incident was captured by the deputy's dashcam. The defendant was later found to have a blood alcohol content level that was one and a half times the legal limit.

As this story demonstrates, defendants can be charged with drunk driving even if they are not operating a motor vehicle. Individuals facing DUI or OVI charges may help their situation by exercising their right to remain silent and contacting a criminal defense attorney for assistance. An attorney could protect a defendant's rights during police questioning and work to develop a defense strategy against the allegations. Depending on the details of the case, these efforts could get the charges reduced or dismissed.

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