Just like every other state in the nation, Ohio has an implied consent law that establishes that any driver in the state is deemed to have consented to submitting a specimen for chemical testing when they are stopped for an alleged operating vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs (OVI) offense. Refusing to submitting to testing will carry immediate administrative penalties, with the possible license suspension being even longer than the suspension for blowing and failing the test.

Refusal to Submit to Testing

People still have the right to refuse to consent to testing, especially when they do not believe that they have exhibited any symptoms of intoxication. You have the right to appeal an administrative license suspension and fight any operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs (OVI) charges.

Test Refusal Defense Lawyers in Columbus, OH | Sabol | Mallory

If you refused to submit to chemical testing and were arrested for OVI in Columbus, it will be very important for you to retain legal counsel as soon as possible. You only have a limited amount of time to take action to protect your driver’s license status.

Sabol | Mallory will help you during any appeal for your license and also has experience handling OVI cases. We can help you understand all of your legal options as soon as you call (614) 300-5088 or contact us online to receive a free consultation.  

Ohio Implied Consent Law

Ohio Revised Code § 4511.191 is the state’s implied consent law. Ohio Revised Code § 4511.191(2) simply states that any person who operates or who is in physical control of a vehicle, streetcar, or trackless trolley upon a highway or any public or private property used by the public for vehicular travel or parking within this state will be deemed to have given consent to a chemical test or tests of the person's whole blood, blood serum or plasma, breath, or urine to determine the alcohol, drug of abuse, controlled substance, metabolite of a controlled substance, or combination content of the person's whole blood, blood serum or plasma, breath, or urine. Any person who is dead, unconscious, or is otherwise in a condition rendering them incapable of refusal will be deemed to have consented.

Ohio Revised Code § 4511.191(5)(a) establishes that a law enforcement officer who makes a request that a person submit to a chemical test or tests is not required to advise the person of the consequences of submitting to, or refusing to submit to, the test or tests and is not required to give the person the form described in Ohio Revised Code § 4511.192(B), but they must advise the person at the time of the arrest that refusal to take a chemical test may require the the officer to employ whatever reasonable means are necessary to ensure that the person submits to a chemical test of the person's whole blood or blood serum or plasma. An officer must also advise the person at the time of the arrest that they can have an independent chemical test taken at their own expense.

Refusal to Submit to Testing Penalties

When you refuse to submit to a chemical test in Ohio, the length of your immediate suspension will depend on the number of times you have previously refused OVI tests. In general suspension lengths are as follows:

  • First Refusal — One year

  • Second Refusal — Two years

  • Third Refusal — Three years

  • Fourth or Subsequent Refusal — Five years

Refusal to submit to testing is also a criminal offense that is a first-degree misdemeanor. A conviction is punishable by up to 180 days in jail and/or fine of up to $1,000.

Columbus, OH Refusal to Submit to Testing Resources

Ohio Revised Code § 4511.191 | Implied consent — View the full text of the Ohio state law for implied consent. The law simply states that a person is “deemed to have given consent to a chemical test or tests of the person's whole blood, blood serum or plasma, breath, or urine to determine the alcohol, drug of abuse, controlled substance, metabolite of a controlled substance, or combination content of the person's whole blood, blood serum or plasma, breath, or urine if arrested for a violation of Ohio Revised Code § 4511.19(A), Ohio Revised Code § 4511.19(B), Ohio Revised Code § 4511.194, “or a substantially equivalent municipal ordinance, or a municipal OVI ordinance.” Find definitions for physical control, alcohol monitoring device, and community addiction services provider.  

Breath Test Refusal Rates in the United States | 2011 Update | National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) — View a March 2014 NHTSA Traffic Safety Facts Research Note providing an update to 2011 data about breath test refusal rates in the United States. According to the note, Ohio had a 39 percent refusal rate in 2005, which was tied for the fourth-highest in the nation. Ohio did not have statistics for 2011, but NHTSA found that the test refusal rates increased in 12 states while it decreased in nine others.

Birchfield v. North Dakota, 579 U.S. ___Birchfield consolidated three cases: one person was charged with violation of a North Dakota statute for refusing to submit to blood alcohol content testing; one person was charged with a violation of a Minnesota statute for refusing to submit to breath alcohol testing; and one person underwent a blood alcohol test consistent with North Dakota's implied consent law but challenged the constitutionality of the law after an administrative hearing led to his license being revoked. The Supreme Court of the United States held that the Fourth Amendment permits warrantless breath tests incident to arrests for drunk driving but not warrantless blood tests. “Our prior opinions have referred approvingly to the general concept of implied-consent laws that impose civil penalties and evidentiary consequences on motorists who refuse to comply,” the Supreme Court wrote. “Petitioners do not question the constitutionality of those laws, and nothing we say here should be read to cast doubt on them.”

Contact a Columbus Test Refusal Defense Attorney Today

Did you refuse to consent to chemical testing during your OVI arrest in the greater Columbus area? You could be facing serious consequences and will want to make sure you are working with an experienced criminal defense lawyer to mitigate them.

Sabol | Mallory understands the tremendous burden that driver’s license suspensions can place on people and we will fight to keep you on the road. Call (614) 300-5088 or contact us online to take advantage of a free consultation.

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