Getting Your Driver's License Back After a DUI/OVI in Richland County, Ohio
By driving on Ohio's roads, streets and highways, a person consents to a blood alcohol test if an officer has reasonable grounds to believe that the driver is under the influence of alcohol. This is the essence of Ohio’s “implied consent” law. A driver who refuses a test when stopped or arrested for impaired driving faces an administrative suspension from the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles.
Appeal of An Administrative Implied Consent Suspension
A driver must appeal the administrative suspension no later than 30 days after the initial court appearance on the operating vehicle impaired (OVI) charge. The defendant may give notice of appeal at the first appearance.
Ohio Revised Code Section 4511.197 affords drivers four grounds to appeal the suspension:
*The officer lacked reasonable grounds to believe the driver was under the influence of alcohol or other drugs and whether the person was in fact placed under arrest. Factors such as swerving, sudden stops and starts, proximity to bars, alcohol odors, slurred speech, glassy eyes, and presence of open containers may give the officer a basis to request that the driver submit to a chemical test.
*The officer did not request that the driver submit to a chemical test or tests.
*The officer did not advise the driver at the time of arrest that refusal to take the chemical test could result in an administrative suspension or other action to compel the test.
*Whether the driver did in fact refuse the chemical test or did register a blood alcohol content of at least 0.08.
The government may not deprive anyone of life, liberty, or property without “due process of law.” That requirement applies to administrative suspensions of driver’s licenses. Under the requirement of due process, the government must give a driver fair notice of the charges or grounds for the administrative suspension.
A DUI attorney might argue that a driver was deprived due process of law because the officer did not follow Ohio Code Section 4511.192. Potential violations of this statute include:
*Not completing the BMV Form 2255 (the “notice of suspension”) or filing it with the court within 48 hours after arrest.
*Using an outdated BMV Form 2255, which does not account for changes in the law concerning the required information.
*The failure of the arresting officer to provide the completed, sworn Form BMV 2255 to the driver upon arrest or the failure of the registrar of motor vehicles to mail it to the driver within 14 days after the arrest.
*Not affording the driver a timely hearing to contest the administrative suspension within 5 business days.
Further, without the BMV Form 2255 having been sworn, completed, or filed, the driver might be able to argue a lack of evidence that the officer informed the driver of the consequences of not submitting to a chemical test. This may render the suspension invalid if a court accepts the argument.
Should you find yourself in a situation where DUI/OVI was charged, we welcome you to contact Spaulding & Kitzler of Richland County, Ohio to support you through the process.