Appreciable Impairment Offenses – You Look Drunk!
Appreciable Impairment Offenses: If you refuse to take a chemical test, the State might still be able to prove you guilty of an OVI if they prove (beyond a reasonable doubt) that you operated a motor vehicle after having consumed some alcohol, drugs of abuse, or a combination of the two and their ability to operate the motor vehicle was appreciably impaired. How does a jury determine “under the influence?” The following is an excerpt from the Ohio Jury Instructions regarding appreciable impairment cases:
“Under the influence” means that the defendant consumed some (alcohol) (drug of abuse) (combination of alcohol and a drug of abuse), whether mild or potent, in such a quantity, whether small or great, that it adversely affected and noticeably impaired the defendant’s actions, reaction, or mental processes under the circumstances then existing and deprived the defendant of that clearness of intellect and control of himself/herself which he/she would otherwise have possessed. The question is not how much (alcohol) (drug of abuse) (alcohol and a drug of abuse) would affect an ordinary person.
The question is what effect did any (alcohol) (drug of abuse) (alcohol and a drug of abuse), consumed by the defendant, have on him/her at the time and place involved. If the consumption of (alcohol) (drug of abuse) (alcohol and a drug of abuse) so affected the nervous system, brain, or muscles of the defendant so as to impair, to a noticeable degree, his/her ability to operate the vehicle, then the defendant was under the influence. The Ohio jury Instruction cites language from State v. Hardy (1971), 28 Ohio St.2d 89, 57 O.O.2d 284, 276 N.E.2d 247; and State v. Steele (1952), 95 Ohio App. 107, 52 O.O. 488, 117 N.E.2d 617.
The “appreciable impairment offense” is set forth at Ohio Revised Code 4511.19(A)(1)(a) which states,
(A)(1) No person shall operate any vehicle, streetcar, or trackless trolley within this state, if, at the time of the operation, any of the following apply:
(a) The person is under the influence of alcohol, a drug of abuse, or a combination of them.