Unintended Consequences of an Ohio DUI Charge
1. Child Custody – If you are involved in a custody dispute, or have a vindictive spouse who would like to start one, a DUI/OVI conviction can be used against you in domestic relations court. Automatic suspensions may make it difficult to exercise visitation with your children. You may also find a court who will refuse to let you transport the children due to a DUI/OVI conviction, thereby increasing the cost or difficulty in seeing your kids. Visit www.OhioDivorceAttorney.com for issues involving child custody. MADD has advocated putting a provision in every divorce decree calling for immediate suspension of parental rights if the parent if found to be driving while intoxicated.
2. Adoption – Some investigating agencies will use a DUI/OVI conviction against a party seeking to adopt children.
3. Car Insurance – Some companies will drop you if you have a drunk driving conviction and others may deny claims. Others raise rates dramatically and still other companies force you to buy “high risk” insurance. You can expect higher costs and less coverage for your dollar.
4. Employment – Given the societal stigma of a DUI/OVI, many companies will terminate an employee who is charged or convicted of an OVI. Particularly vulnerable employees include those who drive company cars, those who drive between states for their jobs, those who are covered by fleet insurance and those who have management jobs. In this tough job market you want to check your employment handbook for any reporting obligations a DUI/OVI require. You have to decide if the employer needs to know, or, if they will be placated by telling them that you are aggressively fighting your charge.
5. Professional Licenses – Are you a doctor, lawyer, nurse, daycare worker, cosmetologist, private security, barber or any other many other workers required by your state to hold a professional license? Do you hold a security clearance? Holders of a professional license may face a range of sanctions for a DUI/OVI conviction, including mandatory alcohol counseling, fines, probationary discipline, license review, denial of a license or revocation of an existing license. Obviously, you should fight your DUI/OVI charge with vigor to avoid these devastating results.
6. Civil Lawsuits – If you are involved in a drunk driving accident you become a target for victims of personal or property damage. Many times the societal approbation against drunk driving will motivate someone to seek revenge to assure that you are punished for your negligent and reckless behavior.
7. Pilot’s License – Those holding an FAA Airman’s Certificate are subject to reporting and disclosure requirements. A DUI is a “motor vehicle action” pursuant to section 61.15 of the FAA Aviation Regulations.
8. Military Induction – The ramifications of a DUI/OVI may prevent or delay induction into the military. Recruiters are loathe to interfere with an order of any court.
9. Educational (College) Problems – Many colleges, depending on the facts of the case and whether or not the DUI was on school property, will haul you before a disciplinary committee when you are convicted (in some cases charged) with a DUI/OVI offense. These sanctions are further complicated if you are applying to a college or university.
10. Travel – Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act may prevent entry into Canada following an OVI conviction. [see previous articles on this topic] You may also face travel restrictions if you engage in travel to sensitive places.
11. Immigration Issues – DUI/OVI is not a crime of violence but may still carry immigration issues. Make sure your attorney can get advise from a competent immigration attorney.
12. Commercial Drivers – See the numerous articles I have written on the plight of professional drivers who face the loss of their careers even when driving a non-commercial vehicle on their own time.
13. Teachers and Education Majors – First the good news, usually an OVI arrest will usually not result in disciplinary action – BUT IT CAN! In Ohio, a Teacher, Principal, or School Administrator, who is licensed by the Ohio Department of Education (ODE), may face Disciplinary Action for being arrested for DUI. The circumstances surrounding the arrest may garner publicity if you are a well-known or long-tenured educator. The internal politics of your school may cause a fellow teacher, a school board member or a member of the public to contact the Ohio Department of Education to trigger an investigation. If an investigation is initiated, the Ohio Department of Education will not wait for an outcome, but will proceed to impose discipline independent of the outcome of your case. Factors that may affect your DOE investigation may include whether the offense is a repeat offense, whether the offense involves illegal drugs and/or whether the case results in a conviction. While there are no hard and fast rules, the more mitigation you are prepared to present to the DOE, the better the chance to avoid discipline and keep your job.
14. Enhancement – A DUI/OVI in Ohio is never expungeable and will follow you for 6 years for enhancement purposes. This means that if you are convicted of a second OVI within 6 years you will face harsh enhanced penalties. A DUI/OVI will also require you to submit to a chemical test (no-refusals) for 20 years following a conviction.
Given all the above, many times the most difficult aspect of a DUI/OVI is telling those people you love you have been charged. The National Highway Transportation Administration, MADD, The Century Council, schools and colleges all spend millions of dollars on educational programs and television commercials stigmatizing the act of drunk driving. DUI clients are perceived as guilty without a presumption of innocence afforded to most defendants. Furthermore, it causes stress and financial concerns in families that can cause minor fissures to become major cracks. If you find yourself charged with a DUI/OVI please contact a competent criminal defense attorney who can protect you from this many-tentacled beast. Charles M. Rowland II has dedicated his practice to representing the accused drunk driver. Contact him immediately at 937-879-9542 or 1-888-ROWLAND
- Dayton DUI/OVI Defense for the Juvenile Defendant (daytondui.com)
- Ohio OVI: Why file a motion to suppress? (daytondui.com)
- DUI & Divorce (daytondui.com)
- CDL Disqualifications in Ohio (daytondui.com)