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High Tier OVI Reduced to Physical Control

Our client, a 20-year-old from Texas here for work with an oil and gas company, went out drinking one evening with coworkers. He didn’t have a ride back to his hotel and made the mistake of driving himself.

He was pulled over for speeding and immediately put through standardized field sobriety tests when the officer checked his ID and smelled the odor of alcohol. After failing the tests, the officer took him back to the post to administer a breath test. The legal limit for someone under 21 in Ohio is .02. His result was .187 — more than nine times the legal limit for his age, and a high tier OVI test.

After doing some research, he hired our firm and Attorney Chase Mallory was assigned to represent him. After two pretrials, the offer from the prosecuting attorneys was to plead guilty to the high tier OVI. This would result in an OVI conviction, three days in jail, three days in a driver intervention program, a year license suspension and mandatory yellow plates.

Attorney Mallory filed a motion to suppress the evidence and filed a “COBRA” (Computerized Online Breath Archives”). He issued a subpoena for Ohio Department of Health to provide this information when the prosecutor failed to respond. The Ohio Attorney General’s Office, the attorney for ODH, responded that they would not turn over the information. Chase Mallory then filed a motion for sanctions asking the judge to suppress the breath test result as a discovery violation.

At the suppression and COBRA hearing, the prosecutor backed down and reduced the high tier OVI to a Physical Control violation. Our client walked away without an OVI and avoided jail and the mandatory plates.

Several weeks later, the Ohio Supreme Court issued an opinion consistent with Chase’s argument. In Cincinnati v. Ilg, the Ohio Supreme Court said that prosecutors and the Ohio Department of Health do have to turn the COBRA information over to defendants.

Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome in your case. Individual results may vary based on the facts, injuries, jurisdiction, venue, witnesses, parties, and other factors. The results and client testimonials provided are not necessarily representative of the results obtained by all clients or their satisfaction with the firm’s services.

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Luftman, Heck & Associates LLP
580 E Rich St Fl 2
Columbus, OH 43215-5335


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