Refusing a Chemical Test in Ohio

Find out what will happen if you refused the chemical test in Ohio

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It is true that you can refuse to take an alcohol level test if you have been stopped or arrested for a DUI in Ohio. But there are severe penalties for refusing to take a chemical test if you are arrested on suspicion of DUI in Ohio. Ohio law mandates that drivers submit to chemical tests when stopped or arrested on suspicion of OVI. As a result, every driver in Ohio has already given an ‘implied consent’ to be tested under Ohio law.

What Will Happen if I Refuse to Take a Chemical Test?

Ohio refusal of Chemical tests

Since Ohio law requires drivers to submit to chemical tests when stopped or arrested for DUI, a refusal carries severe penalties. If it is your first refusal in six years your license will automatically be suspended for one year if you refuse to take a chemical test. Refusing to take a chemical test for a second time in six years will get you an automatic two year license suspension, and a third refusal will automatically suspend your license for three years.

Even if you refuse a chemical test, a police officer may make you take the test. In Ohio the police are given the power to force you to take a test by any reasonable means necessary. And they are further given immunity by Ohio law for any claim by you against them for assault, battery, or other claim (unless they act wantonly or recklessly).

Should I Refuse to Take a Chemical Test?

Like we discussed, this is up to you. Refusing to take a test will get your license automatically suspended for at least a year, and maybe more. But if you do politely refuse to take a breathalyzer or road test, the prosecution will have less evidence against you in a trial. They will be forced to use the police officer’s testimony, video evidence, or witness testimony. That would make their case more difficult, but your license will automatically be suspended.

If you are already facing an automatic suspension because you refused a test, make sure you find a good Ohio DUI attorney to fight your case. Since the prosecution does not have any chemical evidence showing you were drunk while driving, a good attorney should be able to fight the charges. Remember that everything you say and do during a stop will likely be used as evidence later if there is a trial, so the less evidence you give the prosecution the better.

How Do I Find an Ohio DUI Attorney?

If you refused to take a chemical test you are already facing at least a one year suspension. You will want to find a good attorney so you can hopefully avoid a DUI conviction as well. A good attorney will give a free evaluation of your case and let you know what steps you need to take to fight these charges.

Hiring an attorney to represent you and your interests is a very important process. You want an experienced, professional attorney with a lot of DUI law experience. Some additional questions you will want to go over are:

  • Does the attorney charge by the hour or a flat fee?
  • Are there additional charges besides the rate or fee?
  • Has this attorney been successful fighting DUIs in the past?
  • What does the attorney think about your specific case?
  • Does this attorney usually practice DUI law?

There are many attorneys that would love to take your case, but it is important that they are actually Ohio DUI attorneys. You will want to find this out during the vetting process. After asking the attorney all the questions you want, look at attorney review sites to see how past clients feel about this attorney.

What Happens if I am Arrested again in OHIO for DUI?

A first time conviction for DUI in Ohio means steep fines, jail time, license suspension, and more. Subsequent convictions for a DUI in Ohio means even worse consequences. Below is a breakdown of the progression of DUI penalties in Ohio.

First Time Offenders

  • 3 days to 6 months in jail
  • 6 month to 3 year license suspension
  • $250 to $1075 in fines
  • 1st degree misdemeanor conviction

Second Time Offenders

  • 10 day minimum jail time, up to 6 months
  • 1 year to 5 years license suspension
  • minimum $525 fine, up to $1,625 fine
  • 90 day car immobilization
  • 90 day license plate impoundment

Third Time Offenders

  • 1 year to 5 years in jail
  • 1 year to 10 year license suspension
  • $350 to $1,500 fine
  • 90 day car immobilization
  • 90 day license plate impoundment

Being convicted of more than three DUIs in six years, or five DUIs in twenty years, will result in very steep penalties. You would face a fourth degree felony conviction, mandatory prison terms, minimum $1,350 to $10,500 fine, three year to life license suspension, and possible vehicle forfeiture to the state of Ohio.

The best course of action is to NOT drink and drive. But if you are in a situation where you are facing a DUI charge in Ohio, your best course of action will be to fill out the Free DUI Arrest Evaluation Form to get the Ohio OVI help you need.