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OVI checkpoints in Ohio: What should I know?

On Behalf of | Jul 13, 2023 | Criminal Defense |

Ohio officials are cracking down on drunk driving throughout the state. Like very other state in the country, drunk driving is illegal in Ohio. One thing that is a bit unique, is that we in the Buckeye state often refer to this as operating a vehicle while impaired (OVI) instead of driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving under the influence (DUI).

Ohio officials also regularly conduct OVI checkpoints, also known as sobriety checks. OVI checkpoints involve officials setting up roadblocks and screening motorists, looking for signs of intoxication. This could include a visual check for blood shot eyes or erratic movements, short conversations to check for slurred or disjointed speech, or more invasive measures potentially including use of a breathalyzer test.

How likely is it that I will stop at a checkpoint?

OVI checkpoints are not uncommon. The Ohio State Highway Patrol reports that they conducted over 300 checkpoints from 2018 through 2023. Of these hundreds of checkpoints, officials checked over 130,000 vehicles.

Locally, Franklin County officials recently ran two OVI checkpoints in one night. Although not something you will run across every night, there is always the possibility that after a night out you could find yourself waiting in line at an OVI checkpoint.

What should I do if I get a ticket?

If the officer conducting the stop suspects drunk driving, it is possible they will move forward with OVI charges. Those who are charged with drunk driving are wise to take the matter seriously. A conviction can result in monetary penalties, potential imprisonment, and can create a social stigma that impacts professional development.

Know that you can fight back. An attorney experienced in OVI charges can review the situation, discuss defense strategies, and better ensure your rights are protected throughout the process.

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