Sports fans across the country are gearing up for the anticipated Super Bowl game this weekend. This means that tens of thousands will be partying with their friends while cheering for their favorite team. Alcohol often comes into the mix while watching the game and it is important for drivers to remember the dire consequences of driving while under the influence. Whether you’re enjoying a good time at the World of Beer, checking out the Super Bowl Party at Ohio University with friends, or visiting a friend’s house, be sure to plan ahead and never drive home if you are impaired.
State patrol troopers in Ohio made 63 arrests for drunk driving, officially known as OVI, last year during Super Bowl weekend. More than 99 local law enforcement groups will be setting up checkpoints and keeping a sharp eye out for anyone under the influence, and they will not hesitate to arrest offenders.
Even a first DUI charge carries the potential for severe consequences, including up to 6 months in jail and a fine of over $1000. You may also face a suspension of your driving privileges for up to 6 months and some careers can be threatened by even a first conviction. Subsequent DUI charges carry even harsher sentencing.
If you are pulled over for a suspected DUI offense, an officer may request that you provide a breath, blood, or urine sample to test the alcohol content of your blood. You have the right to refuse to submit to these tests, but a refusal carries a price. “Implied Consent” laws in Ohio mean that by driving on the roads in Ohio you have consented to DUI testing. When you refuse to uphold this consent, you face a minimum jail sentence of 3 days that may be extended to 6 months, a fine between $375 and $1,075, suspension of your driving privileges from 6 months to 3 years and the possibility of an interlock ignition device being required for your car. Refusing to submit a sample for a BAC test may lead to these penalties, but it can deny prosecutors physical evidence against you for a DUI charge, so it is important to carefully consider your options.
If an officer suspects that you are impaired, the odds are good that you will be arrested for the offense. If you are detained, contacting a lawyer as soon as possible may help you avoid serious consequences or minimize the damage to your future. An experienced DUI attorney can intervene on your behalf and may be able to seek out alternate sentencing such as rehabilitation programs in lieu of jail time.
When enjoying one of America’s favorite events, have fun with your loved ones and friends, but remember to designate a sober driver or make arrangements to keep you and your friends off of the streets if alcohol is served at your Super Bowl party.