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Despite the stiff yearlong license suspension they will be subject to afterwards, more and more Ohio drivers are refusing to take chemical OVI tests (a test of a person’s BAC to see if they had been operating a vehicle while intoxicated) when asked by police officers. According to the recently released 2013 data, more drivers than before are refusing to submit to a test after being arrested under suspicion of drunk driving. In fact, nearly 83,000 Ohioans were under an administrative license suspension in 2013, over half of which for refusing an OVI test.
Although implied consent laws require you to take a chemical test of your breath, blood, or urine for the purpose of determining your BAC when you are arrested for an OVI in Ohio, you do have the right to refuse. However, you will still be penalized by a license suspension. If you are arrested, you have to choose whether or not you want to submit to the chemical test.
Many people believe that by avoiding the OVI test that they cannot be convicted of an OVI, but this is wrong. You can still be convicted even if you don’t take a chemical test. It just depends on the other facts of the case. If other evidence is convincing, you may end up prosecuted for drunk driving and for the refusal of the test.
Still, sometimes refusing can still be a choice made in your favor. Many Columbus OVI attorneys used to advise clients to refuse to take the test, because Ohio law prevented them from challenging the accuracy and reliability of a breath test. A recent Ohio Supreme Court decision changed this by allowing defendants to challenge the reliability of specific machines.
A good Columbus OVI lawyer can now challenge any findings, making it less important to refuse outright. In fact, sentencing tends to be harsher if you refuse an OVI test than if you took it and failed. In the end, it’s hard to say whether or not to consent to a BAC test after being arrested is in your best interest. You must decide for yourself whether or not the consequences of a refusal are worth any potential benefits.
What is for sure, though, is that your best defense against an OVI conviction, test or no, is good legal representation by an excellent Columbus OVI lawyer. At Luftman, Heck & Associates, we fight against OVI charges on behalf of our clients on a regular basis. As dedicated Ohio OVI attorneys, we won’t ever give up on getting you the best outcome possible in your OVI case. Call us today at for a free consultation on your specific case.