DUI OVI Checkpoints
07 Aug
Author: Colin Maher
Date: 2014-08-07
Categories: Traffic

DUI, DWI, OVI, and OMVI: What Do These Acronyms Mean?

The acronyms DUI, DWI, OMVI and OVI all refer to the same thing: operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs.  The most commonly used terms are DUI, an acronym for Driving Under the Influence, and  DWI, an acronym for Driving While Impaired. However, Ohio law no longer uses the DUI and DWI acronyms because, in 1982, Ohio enacted a law that refers to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs as “OMVI,”  an acronym for Operating a Motor Vehicle Impaired. 

Because a more recent change in Ohio law removed the requirement that a vehicle must be “motorized,” the current acronym that refers to driving under the influence is “OVI” (Operating a Vehicle Impaired). It is now a crime in Ohio to operate almost any vehicle while impaired. 

 If you are over 21 years of age and your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) and breath alcohol content (BrAC) is .08 or greater, you are considered to be “operating a vehicle impaired.”  The .08 figure refers to the concentration of alcohol in your breath or in your blood.  The breath machine equates the amount of alcohol in your breath to the probable amount of alcohol in your blood.  Although state legislatures have generally accepted this principle, many toxicologists and other scientists do not necessarily accept it as scientifically sound. 

There are also legal limits for the concentration of alcohol in a person’s blood serum or plasma and urine.  Ohio still considers this a valid way to determine alcohol content, many states have done away with urine testing because handling and testing procedures have produced errors.  A test of blood, whether whole blood, serum or plasma, is the most accurate, but such tests must be completed according to Department of Health rules to be admissible in a court proceeding.  And, improper blood testing procedures still may yield inaccurate results. 

Licking County, Ohio is notoriously tough on those charged with OVI/DUI offenses, including first time offenders.  If you are convicted of an OVI/DUI, it will be on your criminal background for the rest of your life.  Aside from the potential jail time and exorbitant fines, a conviction may prevent you from maintaining your current employment or securing future employment.  It may make very difficult or possibly prevent immigration and naturalization.  An experienced Licking County OVI attorney can help. 

The Maher Law Firm’s OVI lawyer can effectively utilize the numerous defenses available as a result of his expertise in the testing techniques discussed above and the scientific principles underlying these tests.  The Licking County prosecutors are experienced in investigating and prosecuting OVI cases.  Alone you don’t stand much of a fighting chance.  A seasoned OVI attorney can help you walk successfully through the mine field.  There is a wide range of reported case law on Licking County OVI cases.  Our Firm has experienced Licking County OVI attorneys who not only have knowledge of the available defenses, but also a familiarity with the Licking County court procedures and the judicial and prosecutorial policies and procedures. 

If you have been charged with OVI/DUI in Licking County, Ohio, don’t hesitate to get in touch with The Maher Law Firm today for a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your case.  Although every case is different, it is important to find out your legal rights as soon as possible.  We will fight vigorously for your rights and represent you best interests.  We also represent clients facing OVI/DUI charges throughout Central Ohio.  

Contact The Maher Law Firm today for a free consultation.  Call 614-205-2208 to speak to a lawyer now.

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