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Ohio OVI: What Are The Legal Limits?

In Ohio, an OVI refers to the charge of operating a vehicle while impaired by drugs or alcohol.  If your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) and breath alcohol content (BrAC) is .08 or greater, you are considered to be “operating a vehicle impaired.” The .08 figure refers to the concentration of alcohol in your breath or in your blood.  There are also “legal limits” for the concentration of alcohol in a person’s blood serum or plasma and urine. For a urine sample, you will be over the “legal limit” if the alcohol concentration in your urine sample is .11 or greater.While...

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Urine Testing: No Privacy For You!

The rules for urine testing in Ohio are set forth at Ohio Administrative Code 3701-53-05 & 3701-53-06.  At O.A.C. 3701-53-05, it is clearly stated that a urine test must be witnessed.  It states at subsection (D), (D) The collection of a urine specimen must be witnessed to assure that the sample can be authenticated. Urine shall be deposited into a clean glass or plastic screw top container which shall be capped, or collected according to the laboratory protocol as written in the laboratory procedure manual. In urine testing cases, the state has the burden to prove substantial compliance with the regulations upon...

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Alcohol And Your Body: A Primer

About 20% of the alcohol (actually the impairing substance is ethanol) in your beverage is absorbed in the stomach and the remaining 80% is absorbed in the small intestine.  How fast it is absorbed is dependent on various factors.The higher the percentage in the beverage, the faster the absorption; Are you mixing? Carbonated beverages tend to speed up absorption; Hungry? Food in your stomach slows down the absorption;When it is absorbed it looks for the water in your blood and body.  Fat does not matter as ethanol does not dissolve in fat. The inebriating effects are present when the concentration in the blood...

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Bloodshot and Glassy Eyes Are Not Clues of Impairment

In almost every DUI I have encountered, the arresting officer has indicated that the alleged drunk driver had "bloodshot" or "glassy" eyes.  We challenge the officer by pointing out that he has never seen the defendant before and has no idea whether or not the defendant was engaging in activity that would logically cause bloodshot eyes (fatigue, being in a smoky environment, etc.).  This would usually end cross-examination on this issue and the officer would be able to establish an important factor in deciding whether or not to remove the driver for standardized field sobriety testing. (Phase II of the...

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Intoxilyzer 8000 Upheld in Ohio’s 11th and 12th Appellate Courts

When you are accused of a DUI/OVI in Ohio, the breath test machine is presumed to be perfect.  What is more, your attorney cannot challenge scientifically provable flaws in the machine or the weakness in the science supporting the machine.  Such challenges are limited by a 1984 Ohio Supreme Court ruling (State v. Vega) holding that once the Ohio Department of Health certifies a machine, it becomes valid and the defendant loses the ability to argue defenses based on the underlying science of the machine.  This author has made it a long-standing goal to fight this case and has done so...

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Low BAC And Fatal Crashes (by DaytonDUI)

According to research complied by David J. Hanson, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Sociology of the State University of New York at Potsdam, most drivers who have had something to drink have low blood alcohol content or concentration (BAC) and few are involved in fatal crashes. On the other hand, while only a few drivers have BACs higher than .15, a much higher proportion of those drivers have fatal crashes.The average BAC among fatally injured drinking drivers is .16 1 The relative risk of death for drivers in single-vehicle crashes with a high BAC is 385 times that of a zero-BAC driver and for...

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DUI Science: Are Gastric Bypass Patients More Susceptible to a DUI?

According to the results of a new study in the February issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons, the dramatic changes that occur as a result of gastric bypass surgery can cause some people to overindulge when using alcohol thereby increasing their risk for a DUI. As cited at by Science Daily (linked HERE): Studies have shown that gastric bypass patients often find it difficult adjusting to physical and psychological changes after the procedure. An increased risk of depression, alcoholism, and other substance abuse issues for this patient population led researchers to take a more in-depth look at how...

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DUI Blood Tests: Whole Blood vs. Serum/Plasma

Ohio Administrative Code 3701-53-03(A) sets forth the techniques and methods for determining the concentration of alcohol in blood, urine and other bodily substances.  Pursuant to that rule, Ohio allows for testing including gas chromatography and enzyme assays.  To challenge a blood test, it is important to know if the State has tested the blood as whole blood or as serum/plasma.  Operation with a concentration of alcohol is prohibited if the concentration in whole blood is equal to or exceeds .08%, R.C. 4511.19(A)(1)(b).  However, the prohibited concentration for whole blood is a concentration equal to or exceeding .096%, R.C.4511.19(A)(1)(c).  The high...

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DaytonDUI, Defending a Breath Test Case

"I'll Huff and I'll Puff and Blow Your House Down" Did you know that your breathing pattern can significantly alter the concentration of alcohol on your evidential breath test?  According to scientific research, "[t]he subject's test manner of breathing just prior to providing breath for analysis can significantly alter the concentration of alcohol in the resulting exhalation." (Jones, 1982, Schoknecht, 1989) as cited in Physiological Aspecs of Breath-Alcohol Measurement, Alcohol Drugs & Driving Vol. 6, No. 2, A.W. Jones.Hyperventilation "...

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