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State v. Hoover

Recently the Ohio Supreme Court (read decision) ruled imposing enhanced penalties for refusing to submit to a chemical breath test is permissible.  This case settles a dispute between the appeals courts as to whether O.R.C. Sec. 4511.19(A)(2) is constitutional.  Not surprisingly, the Court relied on the “Implied Consent” law in determining imposing additional criminal penalties for a non-criminal act is permissible.

Under Ohio law, additional criminal penalties are heaped on certain individuals who are convicted of OVI.  For example, if you have a prior OVI/DUI conviction and refuse a breathalyzer test during a second arrest for drunk driving you face a mandatory minimum of 20 days in jail as opposed to 10 days if you submitted to a test.  A 3rd time offender is facing an additional 30 day for a refusal. The Court affirmed the law – keeping it the way it already was for drunk driving offenders in Franklin County.

In my experience many people don’t know this law and automatically subscribe to the “never blow” school of thought.  While I generally support refusing a chemical test if you are stopped for OVI in Ohio, it’s important people understand all the ramifications of refusing.

For more info – check out the article “What to Know Before You Blow“, in UWeekly newspaper.