The Do’s and Don’ts of a Drunk Driving Stop in Ohio

By | May 3, 2015

1.Expect to be arrested if you are stopped and you smell like alcohol. Do not try to talk your way out of anything. The police are never going to let someone drive off if they smell like alcohol.

2.Understand that getting arrested is no big deal. Understand to that it is the inevitable end to this particular evening. In almost every case, you will be released from the police station with a ticket in a few hours and you will have a court date within the next few days. But you will also have a much stronger case to pass on to your attorney if you have not tried to talk your way out of anything.

3.Do not answer any questions about whether or not you have been drinking and/or driving the vehicle. Do not admit to even one drink. Do not lie. Just do not answer the question. Say instead that you don’t want to answer any questions and ask whether or not you are free to leave. Say as little as possible.

4.Do not take any tests by the side of the road. No following a pen with your eyes, no standing on one leg, no walking up and down a line, no ABCs or counting backwards, no finger to nose, no nothing. No tests by the side of the road. There is no penalty for refusing to take a test by the side of the road. The only reason that the police want you to take these tests is to get sufficient probable cause to arrest you and take you back to the police station. Why help them with this? You will not pass their tests because there is no way to pass them.

5.Always be police and respectful to the police officer, no matter how rude he is to you. If the police officer remembers that you were polite and respectful to him (and he or she will note this in his/her report, then if it turns out to be a close case, the officer will tell the prosecutor that he or she is okay with a plea deal. But being polite and respectful does not mean that you should take any tests or make any admissions. Say as little as possible.

6.Remember that you are being video and audio taped from the time you are stopped to the time that the police release you from the police station.

7.Never argue with the police. Leave the arguing for your attorney who will argue before the judge. There is no judge by the side of the road.

8.Call an attorney as soon as you can to get legal advice, even at 2:00 in the morning. I answer calls from the side of the road at all times of day and night. You can reach me at 614.580.4316.

9.Back at the station, you will have to make a decision on whether or not to take the test(s) they offer. Unlike the tests at the side of the road, there are penalties for not taking these tests under certain circumstances. Unless you are absolutely sure that you have no alcohol or drugs in your system, you should decline these tests (except if you have previously been charged with drunk driving before or have a commercial driver’s license). Keep in mind that if you blow over a .170 in Ohio, you are going to jail for three days and unless the results of that test get suppressed, there is almost nothing anyone can do about it.