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Ignition interlocks under Ohio law: What you need to know

Charged with OVI/DUI? Find out more about the ignition interlock requirements you could face, and how you may be able to avoid them.
 
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    February 08, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Operating a vehicle under the influence (OVI), also known as driving under the influence (DUI), is a serious charge in Ohio. Conventional penalties -- like fines and jail time -- can be very steep for Ohioans convicted of a drunk driving offense.

Yet, some of the most significant penalties for OVI are those that are unique to drunk driving crimes. The possibility of being forced to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle is not only inconvenient and embarrassing, but could also mean substantial monetary costs.

Ignition interlocks force you to take a breath test every time you drive

An ignition interlock is a device installed in an automobile that requires the driver to submit a breath sample before the ignition will be enabled. Drivers must also take "rolling retests" periodically while the car is in motion. In Ohio, ignition interlocks are generally calibrated to consider any sample that measure over a .02 BAC a "fail." For many individuals, the .02 BAC limit can be surpassed after only one or two drinks, or even in the morning after sleeping off a night of heavy drinking.

When you register a "fail," the ignition interlock won't just keep you from driving; it will also send out a signal notifying the authorities. Many judges will completely revoke driving privileges once they receive word of a failed ignition interlock breath test.

For first time DUIs, judges have the discretion to require the installation of an ignition interlock device. For all second and subsequent drunk driving offenses committed within six years, Ohio law mandates the installation of an ignition interlock. All costs associated with the use of an ignition interlock device -- such as installation, recalibration, service fees and removal -- are the responsibility of the offender.

How can an attorney help mitigate the consequences of an ignition interlock?

Of course, if there are weaknesses in the case against you, such as an improper arrest or evidence that was collected in violation of your rights, an Ohio OVI attorney may be able to get charges reduced or thrown out entirely. If the prosecution has a strong case against you, you might not be able to prevent conviction completely, but you may have the chance to avoid some of the worst consequences associated with an OVI conviction.

If you are a first time offender, your attorney may be able to convince the court not to impose an ignition interlock requirement. Even if you are required to use an ignition interlock, your attorney may be able to get you discounts on the costs of the device, saving you hundreds of dollars over the term of your sentence.

An Ohio OVI lawyer can tell you more about ignition interlocks and the best strategies for your defense.

Article provided by Matthew T. Ernst, Attorney at Law
Visit us at www.igotadui.com/



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