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Columbus OVIs and To-Go Cocktails

Posted On: October 8th, 2020   |   Posted by: Luftman, Heck & Associates LLP
picking up a cocktail

In these uncertain times, businesses have had to adapt very quickly to an abruptly remote market, and the food and beverage industry is no exception. Many states, including Ohio, have passed a carry out cocktail law, which allows restaurants to serve to-go alcoholic drinks. However, this could potentially lead to increased OVI and open container charges, especially in central Ohio areas who take an aggressive stance on drinking and driving.

If you’ve been arrested for an OVI in or around Columbus, Ohio, it can wreak on both your personal and professional life. Here at Luftman, Heck & Associates, our accomplished team of Franklin County OVI lawyers helps you deal with charges the right way so you can get back to your normal life.

Call (614) 500-3836 today for a free consultation.

Ohio’s Carry Out Laws: Beyond the Pandemic

Carry out cocktail laws and the ability to transport your favorite alcoholic restaurant drinks home have offered a brief respite from the craziness of quarantine. But the sudden institution of these carry out cocktail laws have made them a bit of a mess, and regulations differ widely from state to state. Some states have made these laws temporary, like Alabama, whereas other states like Michigan have extended them for at least five years.

Ohio introduced its own carry out law back in April, stipulating that all drinks must be closed during transport, as per the state’s open container laws. What’s more, this law is only intended to be in effect for 120 days, even though the bill to make this law permanent has since passed through the Ohio House and onto the Ohio Senate.

In a year when the restaurant industry suffered over $165 billion in losses in less than six months, any laws that encourage commerce is welcome. Thankfully, Ohio police officers haven’t seen a great uptick in drunk driving since the laws were passed, which is promising for the permanent passing of this law.

But, this doesn’t mean you should try and push the envelope. OVI charges pose very real consequences.

Possible OVI Charges

If you are charged with an OVI, you may face pre-trial sanctions like a 6-month license suspension. On top of this, first-time offenders face significant jail time along with fines, and a misdemeanor conviction on your record.

Repeat offenders face harsher punishments, and charges may even graduate to felony OVI if you have multiple OVI convictions. Even low-level penalties for a second offense include jail time, probation, and license suspension.

In addition, you may be required to install an InterLock breathalyzer system in your car and undergo substance abuse classes.

Alcohol Charges Other than OVI

Even if you are not charged with OVI, the police can still arrest you for violating Ohio open container laws if:

  • There was an open container, containing alcohol somewhere in the vehicle other than the trunk and within reach of the driver or a passenger.
  • The seal on the container was broken or its contents were at least “partially removed.”

Consumption of alcohol in a motor vehicle is a fourth-degree misdemeanor. If convicted, you face a maximum of 30 days in jail and a $250 fine. In addition, you can end up with a criminal record and face serious collateral consequences.

How Luftman, Heck & Associates Can Help You

With all the stresses of the pandemic, no one needs the hassle of an OVI or open container charge on top of everything else. At Luftman, Heck & Associates, we understand the consequences that even a first-time OVI or misdemeanor conviction can have on your record and future employment opportunities. But our intimate understanding of Ohio OVI laws work has helped countless people get their charges dismissed, reduced, or handled in way that lets them move past it quickly.

Call LHA today at (614) 500-3836 to learn more about how we can help in a free consultation.

I can FINALLY breathe easy now. I want to thank Mr. Bowen and all the attorneys that helped me with this case.

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