With the winter holidays right around the corner, it’s important to remember that law enforcement will be out on the streets, keeping an eye out for those driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Checkpoints will be set up across the state to catch both local drivers and those visiting from out-of-state. Police will be eager to stop those suspected of driving drunk, and they will not go easy on you just because of the holidays. The consequences for being arrested for a DUI offense can put a serious damper on your holiday plans, so it is important to remain vigilant about information regarding local DUI checkpoints.
A checkpoint may require you to take a test to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC) through a breath, urine, or blood test. If you are found to have a BAC over .08, you can be arrested for DUI. However, if it is above .17 you face even steeper consequences. Implied consent in Ohio means that any driver with an Ohio license has consented to a BAC test while on the road. You can legally refuse this test, which will result in an automatic suspension of your license for a year, but it will also deny prosecutors physical evidence against you in a DUI charge.
For those facing their first offense of DUI, they could spend up to 180 days in jail and pay up to $1,075 in fines. In addition, they face an immediate license suspension after being arrested. This suspension may be lifted as a result of your case, but in the meantime it can cause serious problems for traveling to gatherings or to finish your Christmas shopping.
Remember that if you’re a professional such as a teacher, doctor, lawyer, or member of the military, your career could suffer as a result of a DUI charge. Your license to practice may be suspended, or your may simply lose a future opportunity for promotion. If you are arrested for DUI during the holiday season, a lawyer can seek to have your case dismissed or defend you in the upcoming case. In some situations, you may be able to have your offense expunged, preventing it from interfering with your future opportunities.
For students in particular, a DUI charge can interfere with your education. An arrest for DUI will require you to face a disciplinary hearing at your school, which could lead to suspension, expulsion, or the loss of a scholarship. An attorney may not be able to speak on your behalf at this hearing, but you can still enlist one to advice you on how to defend yourself during this situation.
While enjoying time with friends and loved ones, it’s important to remember that drinking and driving is never safe and can lead to dire consequences. If you do find yourself facing a DUI charge, consult an attorney for legal advice and the best chance at defending yourself.