Out of State Drivers and Drunk-Driving Charges in Ohio

Interviewer: Here’s a scenario: I’m from out of state and I received an OVI in Ohio; would I still have my license suspended? How would that work in terms of BMV’s?

Dale Naticchia: If you read the form you receive following an OVI charge very carefully it says your Ohio driving privileges are suspended, so you can’t drive in Ohio. Arguably you could drive in any other state but Ohio.

Interstate Compact: Ohio Will Honor Other States Driving Laws and Will Report Infractions Committed by Out of State Drivers to their State of Residence

Law enforcement agencies should not take your license if you are from out-of-state, but oftentimes they do. There’s what they call compact states and there is approximately forty-eight states that belong to a compact. We’re supposed to honor each other’s driving laws.

This is what could happen and what I’ve seen happen in Texas. For example, somebody from Texas got an OVI in Ohio. They were convicted in Ohio. They had to pay Ohio $475, because Ohio sent to Texas a block on their license.

So $475 is a reinstatement fee, which you really shouldn’t have to pay because you’re not getting your Ohio license reinstated. They charge it to you anyway and if you don’t pay it they’ll send a block on your license to Texas.

Texas gets wind that you’ve got an OVI in Ohio. All of the sudden they suspend your license all over again when the case is over and it’s a $900 reinstatement fee to Texas. You have to be very careful when you’re dealing with an out-of-state defendant.

Should You Retain an Attorney When You Are Having Difficulties Getting a License in a New State of Residence?

Interviewer: Let’s say I moved to Ohio and I have previous citations from maybe ten years ago and the BMV will not issue me a license. Could a lawyer help me get those removed or taken care of?

Dale Naticchia: Absolutely. First we look at your driving record to find out where the blocks are coming from. Then they will give you the names of the courts and what the charges are; you have to get in touch with all those courts where you have citations outstanding. We have to find some way to satisfy it; a lot of times it’s posting a bond and getting a hearing set on it.

As soon as that’s done that court will give you a block release for that case. Once you get all your block releases taken care of and take them down to the BMV they will, in fact, let you get your license. So you can clear it off.

Some Drivers Have More Than One Outstanding Citation

Sometimes it’s not as easy as it sounds. Sometimes I’ll have to handle four or five different cases for a client.

Interviewer: Can you give me some examples?

Dale Naticchia: Sometimes the charges are fairly serious; driving under suspension. Another will be just as failure to obey stop sign. There are a number of different scenarios but those cases have to be taken care of eventually and you’ve got to get the case reinstated. This usually requires somebody posting bond before you get the warrant release blocks. You take them to the BMV to have the license reinstated.

Interviewer: From my understanding, between the BMV and the court cases things are handled a little bit differently. Do you think in a situation where someone blew like maybe a .09 instead of a .08 will the BMV hearings be a little more difficult to win in that situation?

The Ohio BMV Bases the License Suspension Solely on the Paperwork That Is Filed

Dale Naticchia: No. It’s strictly based upon the form that’s filed. By the way if you take the test and you’re under .08 there is no license suspension.

Depending on the Breathalyzer Test Results, Drunk-Driving Charges in Ohio Entail Two Charges: A Prohibitive Blood Alcohol Concentration and Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated (OVI)

ou could still be charged with an OVI, but every time someone gets charged with drunk driving there’s usually two charges. One is driving with a prohibitive blood alcohol concentration. The other one is OVI, which is just straight out operating a vehicle while intoxicated.

The difference between the two; there’s no real correlation in being impaired and .08. The legal limit used to be .15 and there was a scientific basis for that. The AMA did a clinical study and decided someone was only substantially impaired at .15.

They keep moving the number down but it’s got nothing to do with reality. It’s just a number; but if you blow over that number, you’re guilty and you will lose your license.

You Will Typically Still Be Charged with an OVI, Even If the Result of the Breathalyzer Test Is Under the Legal Limit

Let’s say you were prescribed Soma for back pain and you had a long day and you had a beer and you had your Soma. You were driving rather carelessly and you were stopped. You failed the field sobriety test; but you passed the Breathalyzer test. They could still charge you with operating a vehicle impaired.