Drivers Arrested For OVI in Ohio May Have To Install Uber Or Lyft

OVI in OhioIn Ohio the battle over penalties for OVI (operating vehicle impaired) has been raging for a long time, but in the past few years it heated up as lawmakers in the state struggled to pass Annie’s Law. A law that requires ignition interlocks for all offenders, Annie’s Law came to fruition recently after years of uncertainty over whether it would ever pass.

Given the difficulty and time it takes to pass a new drunk driving penalty like Ohio’s all offender ignition interlock law, it’s not surprising that some judges are using their courtrooms to put their own spin on drunk driving penalties without waiting for a nod from lawmakers.

Take one judge in Painseville Municipal Court. If someone makes the decision to drink and drive, he’s decided that all drunk drivers who pass through his court will be required to install a ride-sharing app like Lyft or Uber as part of their penalty.

It’s not a crazy idea either: since they look at the device hundreds of times a day, offenders are more likely to remember to use that app if they are have been drinking and need to get home.

If having that offender use Uber results in saving a life, it’s well worth it, and along with ignition interlocks as a mandatory part of the penalty process for an OVI in Ohio, the roads should be much safer for everyone who drives on them.

No, Bread Won’t Violate Your Ohio Ignition Interlock Program

bread won't violate Ohio ignition interlock lawWhen Annie Rooney’s family began their attempts to pass Annie’s Law, the Ohio ignition interlock law, they knew it would have its detractors. Some believe ignition interlocks should only be used for repeat offenders who are more likely to drink and drive again, while others worry that such a strict law would mean that casual drinkers are penalized too harshly.

Still others believe that Ohio ignition law could lead to unintended consequences for people who use the devices. Take a recent article in WCPO Cincinnati for example: it detailed how ignition interlock devices are so touchy they could result in failing the interlock test, all for something as simple as eating a piece of bread.

The lawyer in the video showed that if you eat a piece of bread and try to start your vehicle immediately after, you could possibly blow .02 or higher on your interlock. This is a possible reaction to the yeast in the bread, and he detailed how a similar situation could happen if you drink energy drinks, cough syrup, or even have pizza in your mouth before you blow. He also warned of possible consequences as far as your Ohio ignition interlock program is concerned if you record a “violation” like this.

The problem with this scenario is that it falls under the category of alternate facts. To start, he already provides the solution to this issue within the video: rinse out your mouth before blowing into an interlock. That’s pretty common advice when you have an Ohio ignition interlock, and it’s unlikely that someone will be eating a piece of bread or pizza and then decide to immediately blow into their ignition interlock. If they are in that situation where they are eating on the run, all they have to do is rinse their mouth and wait about 15 minutes before they blow. Problem solved.

Here’s what you need to know about ignition interlocks: if pizza dough does cause you to fail an ignition interlock test, it’s not a violation at all: it’s considered a contaminant-related fail. When an Ohio ignition interlock technician reviews the data from your interlock, he or she knows that you’ve had a contaminant-related fail. Because they know the difference between an alcohol-related violation and a contaminant-related fail, you will not receive the dire extension to your license suspension as predicted by the individual in the article.

Not everyone may be on board with Annie’s Law right now, and there are more than few ignition interlock myths like this one floating around, but thanks to Annie’s Law thousands of Ohio lives will be saved. You can’t deny that’s a great thing for the state.

2016 Ignition Interlock Year In Review

ignition interlock year in reviewWhen Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) stood up in support of ignition interlocks and made them a main part of their Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving, their goal was to ensure that every state in the USA had a law that would require every offender to install the device in any vehicle he or she drives.

That campaign began back in 2006, and now ten years later it’s clear that MADD is starting to gain ground on their goal. Twenty nine states will soon have new ignition interlock laws, with several jumping on board in the last few months of 2016.

Here’s a look back at a few changes this past year in the world of ignition interlocks.

Maryland ignition interlocks

When Officer Noah Leotta was struck and killed while working a drunk driving checkpoint in Maryland, his death set off a chain of events that culminated with the passing of Noah’s Law. Also known as the Drunk Driving Reduction Act of 2016, Noah’s Law requires anyone convicted of drunk driving in Maryland to install an ignition interlock in their vehicle.

Noah’s Law took effect on October 1st, 2016, and officials believe that the number of ignition interlocks used in Maryland will jump from 7,000 to 17,000 within a few years.

Ignition interlocks in California

After a very successful ignition interlock pilot program, lawmakers in California wanted to pass an all offender ignition interlock law. Instead they passed a law that’s similar, but not as harsh as an all offender law.

As of January 1st, 2019, all convicted repeat offenders and first offenders who cause injury in a drunk driving crash will be required to install an interlock. If you’re a first offender you’ll have the option of installing an interlock or applying for a route-restricted driver’s license.

California has some work to do before they can be considered an all offender ignition interlock state.

Annie’s Law in Ohio

It’s not official until the Governor’s signature is on the paperwork, but Annie’s Law has now passed the Ohio Senate. That means that all drunk driving offenders in the state of Ohio will be required to install an ignition interlock upon conviction. When signed, Ohio will be the 29th state with an all offender interlock law.

Those are just three of the developments this past year in the world of ignition interlocks. Maybe by the end of 2017, eleven years after MADD launched the Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving, the USA will be nearing the 50 state mark for all offender laws.

Are Ignition Interlocks Finally Going To Happen In Ohio?

ignition interlocks ohioDriver’s license suspension or ignition interlocks? States debate which one to use to stop drunk drivers, and both have supporters.
But if you look at driver’s license suspensions as the only means to stop a drunk driver, you’ll come up short in many ways. A driver’s license suspension relies on the driver to make a conscious choice not to get behind the wheel of a car at all during their time of suspension, and because there’s always the possibility of not getting caught, a lot of people opt to just keep on driving. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) knows this, and they estimate that between fifty and seventy five percent of convicted drunk drivers will skip their suspensions.
That’s why some lawmakers push for ignition interlocks instead of just driver’s license suspensions, and no state has been pushing harder as of late than Ohio. Over the past few years HB 388 or Annie’s Law, named for lawyer Annie Rooney who was killed by a drunk driver in Ohio, has seen it’s fair share of stops and starts. Now that it hit the floor for a hearing on November 22nd and is expected to be discussed several more times this year, it’s starting to look like ignition interlocks could be a go for Ohio in the new year.
If Ohio operating vehicle impaired (OVI) laws change to incorporate ignition interlocks, you can guarantee that OVI rates will start to drop. Instead of having judges offer drunk drivers restricted driving privileges to get to and from work or school, the new law would offer first time drunk driving offenders unlimited driving privileges if they install an ignition interlock.
If the drunk driver installs an ignition interlock, any choice of whether or not to drive on a suspended license or whether or not to drive sober is taken away.  Life goes on the same way it always has thanks to the ignition interlock, and the offender can go anywhere as long as they drive alcohol-free. That sounds like a pretty good deal for the convicted drunk driver, and an even better deal for the drivers on the roads with them in Ohio.

The Clock Is Ticking On Annie’s Law And Ohio Ignition Interlocks

annie rooney ignition interlocksAnnie Rooney has been dead for over three years, but her family is still fighting a battle in her name. Shortly after she was killed by a woman with repeat drunk driving convictions, the Ohio native’s family launched an effort to pass Annie’s Law; a law that would bring ignition interlocks to all Ohio operating vehicle impaired (OVI) offenders.

The road to passing the new law hasn’t been a smooth one. Although Annie’s Law looked as if it was going to be voted on by the House Judiciary Committee in 2014, it was pulled due to concerns over the law. At the time Annie’s Law would require all first time OVI offenders to use ignition interlocks for six months after conviction. Although the people behind the bill said they’d change the language to allow first time offenders to ask for a driver’s license suspension instead of ignition interlocks, that wasn’t enough to send it for a vote.

Fast forward to May 2016 and Annie’s Law was passed by the house. Annie’s family and the lawmakers behind the bill have been waiting for a vote in the state Senate that has yet to happen. The worst part? There are only a few committee hearing dates and a few sessions left before the end of the year, and to pass the law needs approval from all levels of the Government before the deadline.

If it is heard and voted on, the law would change how first time OVI offenders are dealt with in Ohio. An ignition interlock would be there as an incentive for the drunk driver, and the judge presiding over the case has discretion over how to sentence the offender. That means that anyone who comes into court on a first time OVI case could be granted the ability to drive if they have an ignition interlock, and if they use one the court could reduce how long that offender has a driver’s license suspension.

For the people of Ohio, Annie’s Law would be one solid way to protect drivers from drunk drivers. Will it pass? The clock is ticking, but hopefully this is the year that Annie’s family finally sees their hard work pay off.

Ohio Offender Absolute Danger Because Of 7th Drunk Driving Charge

ohio repeat drunk driving offendersAnyone who gets behind the wheel while drunk is dangerous. You can do a lot of damage when you’re drunk driving a car or truck that weighs several tons, and it looks like at least one judge in Ohio knows just how lethal someone is when he or she continues to make that choice.

One man in Miami County, Ohio, after being convicted of his seventh operating vehicle impaired (OVI) charge, was deemed by the judge an ‘absolute danger’ to Ohio roads. Although both the defense attorney and the prosecutor recommended community control with a short stay at the local jail, the judge thought otherwise.

Ohio OVI laws only require a repeat drunk driving offender with four or more convictions to go to local jail for at least 60 days, but the judge in this case sentenced the man to 60 days in a prison. He felt a previous stint in local jail didn’t stop this offender from drinking and driving again.

Hopefully this is a trend all judges in the state will continue to follow, because this man isn’t the only offender racking up the convictions in Ohio. A five time OVI offender made the news after he was stopped for a traffic infraction and was charged with OVI, and a recent arrest involved an Ohio assistant prosecutor may involve a felony drunk driving charge after he caused a crash that injured another person.

In the case of the seven time offender, it appears that the judge is doling out as harsh of a punishment as the drunk driving law allows in Ohio. But with so many drunk drivers on the roads, it’s definitely time to strengthen laws with better ignition interlocks laws. The devices are only used for first and second time offenders if the court recommends it, and they aren’t mandatory until the 3rd or subsequent conviction. As you can see by the sentence this judge handed out, drivers in Ohio are continuing to make the choice to drink and drive 3, 5, or 7 times, and they are a danger to everyone on the roads with them.

Unfortunately for everyone in Ohio, last year lawmakers passed on Annie’s Law. A proposed all offender ignition interlock law in honor of lawyer Annie Rooney, Annie’s Law would have cracked down on drunk drivers. Maybe this recent rash of DUI cases will be the motivation lawmakers need to bring it back to the table.


Strangest Mugshots Include A Drunk Driver Who Sent In A Selfie

strangest mugshotsMug shots aren’t supposed to be flattering, and some of the strangest mugshots ever taken have been of offenders arrested for drinking and driving or public intoxication.

Mugshots are taken shortly after an offender is brought in for booking, and they have multiple uses including establishing the physical condition of the offender at the time of arrest and identifying a suspect’s clothing when they came into the local police detachment. No one is exempt from getting a mugshot, and when a celebrity is arrested, the media will get mileage out of the single photo for years.

There are a lot of contenders for the strangest mugshot ever taken of a drunk driver including a smiling Justin Bieber and a woman dressed up as a Halloween zombie who was arrested not once, but twice for drunk driving in a single evening. But if you look at a few of these pics, you’ll realize that the recent mugshot taken of an Ohio man wanted for skipping his drunk driving hearing doesn’t even come close to ranking in the top 100.

That didn’t matter to him though, and after Lima, Ohio police posted his mug shot when they issued an arrest warrant for him, he decided to take action. Apparently his first mistake was failing to appear in court on misdemeanor drunk driving charge in Ohio, and he was also a person of interest in other crimes including arson and vandalism.

Florida police shared his mug shot, and when Donald Pugh saw it, he decided to send in another photo. The selfie sent to Florida police was captioned with “Here is a better photo that one is terrible.” Understandably Florida police were amused, and they published the new mug shot on their Facebook page.

Thanks to a tip on social media, not long after Pugh was arrested in Century, Florida. Now he’s cooling his heels before facing charges. Odds are he won’t be allowed to take any selfies while he waits, but police probably think his photo ranks right up there with the strangest mugshots they have ever seen.



New York Post Proclaims This Man An Idiot For His Drunk Driving Video


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Drinking, driving, texting, and capturing it all on video? It sounds like a recipe for disaster, and after one man from Ohio did all four at one time, the New York Post put him front and center with the headline, “Idiot arrested after posting drunk driving video on Facebook.”

It’s a bad idea to drive after drinking, and an even worse idea to drink while you’re driving, but that’s exactly what this Ohio man did when he got into his car and drove away complete with a flask in a bag. At some point during his drive he began recording video he published to his Facebook account, and he replied to comments, while he was still driving, from other people who were questioning why he was drinking and driving and why he’d post a drunk driving video on social media. Take a look at the video below.

He might have thought it was funny, but one person on his friend network didn’t: they tipped off the police and his vehicle was pulled over later that afternoon. The police camera’s pick up where his video left off, and you can see him getting handcuffed and taken into custody.

Although he was charged with operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs (OVI) and having an open container in the vehicle, the man has pleaded not guilty. According to new reports, this isn’t his first OVI, and he’s had previous charges in 2007 and 2014. That means he faces stiff penalties including up to one year in prison, up to $1,500 in fines, and a possible 10 year drivers license suspension. He’ll also be required to use an ignition interlock when he’s able to drive again.

For police arresting and convicting drunk drivers, there are pros and cons to social media. Yes, people use it to publicize checkpoints so drunk drivers can avoid detection, but on the flip side, social media can also be a drunk drivers downfall. In this case, the proof is in the video uploaded by the offender himself.

Will Ignition Interlock Law In Honor Of Annie Rooney Finally Pass?

OVI And Ignition Interlock Laws In Ohio

ignition interlockOhio uses the term operating vehicle impaired (OVI) to classify drunk drivers, and the state’s OVI laws have been under scrutiny recently as some lawmakers push for ignition interlock program for all offenders in an attempt to decrease OVI-related deaths and injuries.

A first OVI offense in the state of Ohio will result in the following penalties:

•    Jail time for 3 days up to 6 months
•    Fines ranging from $375 to $1,075
•    Court imposed driver’s license suspension ranging from six months to 3 years
•    Possible alcohol and drug assessment and treatment program
•    Ignition interlock program is possible after six months of driver’s license suspension

Ohio also has administrative penalties that are separate from court-ordered penalties and are effective as soon as you blow into a breathalyzer and register a blood alcohol content (BAC) over .08 or if you refuse a breathalyzer test. First time offenders will have their driver’s license immediately seized and it will remain suspended for a period of 3 months.

A second OVI offender in Ohio will be subject to the following penalties:

•    Jail time from 10 days up to 6 months
•    Fines payable from $525 up to $1,625
•    Administrative license suspension for 1 year
•    Court ordered license suspension for 1 to 5 years
•    Possible house arrest with alcohol monitoring
•    Possible vehicle seizure for 90 days
•    Possible ignition interlock if driver is eligible for a restricted driver’s license after one year suspension

Ohio currently does not have an ignition interlock law requiring first offenders to install the device in all vehicles they drive, but that’s set to change if Annie’s Law is passed. The law was named for Annie Rooney, an attorney in Ohio who was killed by a drunk driver. As of late 2014, Annie’s Law was still being debated.

For more information on Ohio’s OVI laws, visit Guardian Interlock’s Ohio page.

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