Many substances that are legally prescribed by a physician can impact your ability to drive a vehicle safely. This includes drugs such as sleep aids, pain medication, psychiatric drugs and even cold medicine. All of these substances can cause issues with your ability to safely operate a vehicle.
Some drug warnings will tell you to not operate heavy machinery or motor vehicle until you know how the drug will affect you. You may have become accustomed to how your medication affects you and believe that it does not impact your ability to drive. Moreover, there is a common misconception that if a person is legally prescribed medication, that person is not subject to DUI / OVI enforcement in Ohio. This misconception can result in you facing serious criminal charges, including DUI / OVI.
R.C. 4511.19 provides that no person shall operate any vehicle if, at the time of the operation, the person is under the influence of alcohol, drug of abuse, or a combination of them. A “drug of abuse” includes legally prescribed medication. It is irrelevant that you were legally prescribed the medication. The question is whether you were impaired by the medication in operating your vehicle.
Many who are charged with DUI / OVI have never been charged with a criminal offense before. However, a DUI / OVI conviction will have a profound impact on your life. A first time DUI / OVI conviction in Ohio carries a mandatory minimum 3 day jail sentence (and up to 6 months in jail), a fine of $375 – $1075, a driver’s license suspension of 1 – 3 years and a permanent criminal record. DUI / OVI convictions cannot be sealed in Ohio.
In addition to these penalties, you will be required to pay court costs (which can be hundreds of dollars) and pay a reinstatement fee of at least $475 to the Ohio BMV. The court may also required that you have an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle at your expense.
Moreover, employers do not look fondly on those who are required to serve a jail sentence and cannot reliably drive to work for a significant period of time. If driving is required as part of your employment (ex. CDL drivers), a DUI / OVI conviction in Ohio may cost you your employment and make it very difficult to secure future employment.
Finally, a future DUI / OVI conviction will result in significantly harsher penalties, particularly those that occur within 10 years of the original DUI / OVI conviction. Annie’s Law, which was recently enacted in Ohio, extends the “look back” period in Ohio from 6 years to 10 years and increased the penalties for DUI / OVI convictions.
Columbus and Delaware, Ohio DUI / OVI Attorney
If you have been charged with DUI / OVI in Columbus or Delaware, Ohio, contact Johnson Legal, LLC and speak with an experienced Columbus and Delaware, Ohio DUI / OVI attorney. Attorney David Johnson of Johnson Legal, LLC will discuss your case and assist you in fighting the charges. Call (614) 987-0192 or send an email to schedule a consultation regarding your DUI / OVI case.
Johnson Legal, LLC serves the following cities in the central Ohio area for DUI / OVI Defense:
Westerville, Worthington, Columbus, Polaris, Reynoldsburg, Grandview Heights, Shawnee Hills, Bexley, Pickerington, Gahanna, Sunbury, Powell, Upper Arlington, New Albany, Dublin, Hilliard, Lewis Center, Galena, Clintonville, Huber Ridge, Blacklick, Grove City, Delaware, Marysville, Groveport, Newark, Canal Winchester, Obetz, Marion, Mt. Gilead, Pataskala, Granville, Whitehall, Franklin County, Morrow County, Licking County, Union County, Madison County and Delaware County