Top 5 Ways to Get Pulled Over for OVI
We hear it all the time. Clients kicking themselves for getting pulled over after drinking. We know the obvious answer on how not to get pulled over and charged with OVI: Don’t drink and drive. Call Uber, call a friend, call your parents. You get the picture. But that sort of begs the question: If everyone did that, why are having this discussion?
Another complaint we hear is the cops were waiting outside the bar. Well, guess what? They are going fishing for OVIs, and it only makes sense they’re going where the fish are swimming. You won’t find them waiting outside an AA meeting (though we have had some clients stopped there, too). And you probably won’t find them waiting outside church on Sunday morning (even though there might be some takers there still suffering from last night’s debacle).
But for those who ignore all the right advice and get behind the wheel because they “had to get home with their car,” consider the following five dumb ways to get stopped, checked, and charged with DUI/OVI.
It seems so obvious, doesn’t it? If you’ve been drinking and now you’re driving, don’t speed. Yet as a criminal/OVI/DUI attorney for almost 20 years, I’ve seen it over and over and over again. Cops stop people for speeding all the time. They smell the booze, do field sobriety tests, and the driver ends up in front of a breathalyzer.
We might think it would be easy to just set the cruise control, sit back, and enjoy some music. But drunk people make drunk decisions. They want to get home sooner. Or they think they’re not drunk. Or maybe they had enough and they think they are bulletproof.
That’s probably why they are driving in the first place. But it seems simple enough to just obey the speed limit.
2.) No headlights or failure to dim the brights.
Another drunken move is to forget the headlights or forget to hit the dim button when another car approaches. Seems simple enough. It’s 2 a.m., it’s dark, there’s low visibility. Just turn on the lights. Or, better yet, keep the headlight setting on auto (if the car is equipped). And forget the bright lights — you’re looking through tunnel vision anyway.
But the drunken soul forgets. Again, the booze has everything to do with it. Couldn’t make it any easier for a State Trooper or other law enforcement to pull you over — served up on a drunken platter.
3.) Turn signal.
Failure to use a turn signal. Imagine that. Cop approaching (or following), and the driver forgets to hit the signal. Another dumb mistake. And another good way to end up in the back of a cruiser.
4.) No front license plate.
Sure. The new truck looks better without the license plate. And I’m sure the front bracket will forever ruin the bumper of that fancy Porsche. But, guess what. It’s still the law in Ohio. Revised Code Section 4503.21(A) makes it plain as the front plate on your neighbor’s Honda: You have to have a front plate. And Ohio cops don’t care — especially at 2 a.m. — that you didn’t have to have one in Pennsylvania. Try telling them that on the side of the road after a good day of tailgating at the ’Shoe, followed by a night of fun at the bars. I’m sure the police will be very sympathetic as they drive to the closest cop house for processing.
This may be the dumbest of all: You chose to drive without a front plate before you started drinking. Screwing up after drinking is expected — after all, you’re drunk. But this one takes the cake. What’s the point? Go buy the front plate bracket and install it ASAP.
5.) Sobriety checkpoint.
OK, so here’s how it works: Police can set up “Checkpoint Chickie” (credit Barney Fife for that one). That means they can set up a sobriety checkpoint and stop cars for no reason. The rules are pretty simple (for the most part). They have to announce in advance where and when it will happen. They can’t just stop cars at random — there has to be some pattern (like every other car or every third car, etc.). Once they stop you, they smell the booze, and it’s game on. They will look for everything else, too — Driving Under Suspension, Drugs, Insurance, etc.
This one can also be avoided. Just check Facebook any given Thursday, Friday, or Saturday. Someone will have it posted. Or watch the news. Or Google it. Do something to figure out if there is a checkpoint on your way home. Not sure? If it’s a holiday weekend, bet on a checkpoint somewhere. Then take a cab.
Here’s the thing. It’s easy to avoid an OVI/DUI. Just don’t do it. Police are trained under federal NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) standards to look for this stuff, and lots more. The worst time to worry about bad driving, car problems, or the like is after drinking. That’s the problem with dumb decisions and drinking — it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy.
But, we get it. It happens. And if the mistake is already made, it has to be handled. For that, call a quality, experienced Criminal and OVI/DUI defense attorney. Even with the dumb mistakes, it can make all the difference.
Party on, leave your future to a criminal defense attorney in Columbus
Alcohol-related offenses can have damaging effects on your career and future plans. If you’re cited for OVI, it is important to immediately contact a Columbus OVI attorney.
An experienced, professional Columbus criminal defense attorney from Yavitch & Palmer will review your case and assign the best course of action to reduce your charges or have them dismissed. Contact Yavitch & Palmer using our online form to schedule an appointment at our downtown Columbus office, or call us at 614-224-6142.