Having the police pull you over for whatever reason is, in and of itself, stressful. Add alcohol into the mix and the stress levels can become overwhelming. Yet, if the police have reason to believe that you are operating a vehicle impaired (OVI), they will pull you over for further investigation.
Part of the OVI investigation may involve the administration of a breathalyzer test to ascertain your blood alcohol level. But should you take this test?
What Ohio law says about breathalyzer tests
Under Ohio law, anyone who signs up for a driver’s license automatically consents to submit to a chemical test if law enforcement duly directs that they do so. This is known as the “Implied Consent” doctrine. Whereas you can refuse this test, it is important to understand that such an action comes with its share of consequences.
Penalties for refusing a breathalyzer test in Ohio
Yes, you can refuse to take the breathalyzer test in Ohio. But you must be ready for the resulting consequences. Also, you will not be off the hook as far as your OVI is concerned.
Under Ohio statute, here are some of the consequences you are likely to face if you refuse a breathalyzer test:
- You could face up to six months imprisonment
- You could pay as much as $1,075 in fines
- Your driver’s license could be suspended for up to three years, or a maximum of six years for repeat refusal
- An ignition interlock device (IID) might be installed on your car at your expense
- You could be required to take a mandatory driver intervention program
- At the end of the suspension period, you will have to meet the cost of reinstating your driver’s license
Being charged with OVI is a big deal. Knowing your legal options can help you safeguard your rights and interests when charged with drunk driving in Ohio.