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What is the Difference between a DUI, DWI, OMVI and OVI?

Did you know there’s no real difference between the terms DUI, DWI, OMVI, and OVI? Ohio’s used all of these acronyms at one point or another in our history. Check out the timeline and what they stand for here!

Infographic illustrating the difference between DUI, DWI, OMVI, and OVI.

Click this picture to see our infographic.

What Happens to you at 0.08 Blood Alcohol?

Click the picture below to see an infographic describing what could happen to you at 0.08 BLC!

Screen Shot 2016-08-30 at 1.01.29 PM

Click here to calculate your Blood Alcohol Content using our BAC Calculator!

Should the BAC Limit Be Lowered?

blood alcohol levelThe National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has recently suggested that the blood alcohol content (BAC) limit for determining DUI (driving under the influence) should be lowered from .08% to .05%. In other words, the NTSB suggests that drivers don’t need to hit that .08% BAC limit in order to be considered risks to themselves and other drivers on the road.

Cincinnati news station WLWT News 5 recently covered the issue, and we at The Farrish Law Firm. L.P.A. think that this topic deserves even more attention.

Lowering the Limit: Pros
The obvious benefit of lowering the limit is that more drivers could be arrested for driving under the influence, ideally lowering the number of alcohol-related car accidents and fatalities. In big cities and metropolitan areas such as in Cincinnati, the issue of finding a ride home after drinking isn’t too much of a concern. Between taxis, Uber cars, and friends who live near by, it can be fairly easy for individuals to catch a ride with a sober driver after a night out.

Even if lowering the limit doesn’t substantially reduce car accident fatalities, it could still reduce the number of alcohol-related crashes that result in minor injuries or in no injuries at all. Any car accident, even one that only results in minor property damage, can be expensive. Mother Against Drunk Driving, or MADD, statistics show that around 300,000 people drive under the influence every day and this ends up costing the U.S. around $199 billion every single year.

By lowering the BAC limit to .05%, it seems very likely that drivers would be more careful about getting behind the wheel after drinking.

Lowering the Limit: Cons
This topic poses the question: Would lowering the BAC limit really make that much of a difference? For individuals who are already very aware of their alcohol intake before driving, they aren’t likely to get behind the wheel if they are concerned about their ability to drive.

For individuals who don’t care about driving under the influence, a lower legal limit isn’t likely to deter them from getting behind the wheel after drinking. According to MADD statistics, the average drunk driver gets behind the wheel 80 times before being caught and arrested. If an individual isn’t using one of these options already, will a stricter DUI law make a drastic difference?

Right now, there is no way to know if lowering the legal BAC level from .08% to .05% will make a very big difference. What do you think? Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments and help us keep the discussion going!

Know your Limits: How much Alcohol is in Your Favorite Craft Beers?

The craft beer revolution has taken Cincinnati, Ohio by storm. From MadTree to Rhinegeist, Braxton Brewery to Listerman’s, these breweries have made the Queen City a destination for quality craft beer.

Options are endless; individuals flock to these breweries and request them at local bars because of the unique taste and/or seasonal flavor, but they sometimes forget: these local craft beers are high in alcohol content. And you have to remember; one beer isn’t equivalent to one drink. In the case of some local craft beers, one beer is equivalent to two (or more).


So what does one drink equal?

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, one standard drink has 14 grams of alcohol.

Translation: 12 ounces of “regular” beer. Beer typically has about 5% of alcohol.

But when was the last time you looked at how many grams of alcohol your glass of beer contained? Most likely—never.

However, this information is very, very important, especially if you drove yourself and/or your family to the bar or brewery. Drinking and driving is a serious offense here in Cincinnati, Ohio. At The Farrish Law Firm, L.P.A., we dedicate our lives as DUI attorneys to fighting for people when they’ve been charged with a DUI, but we also care about educating people in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky about how to avoid getting a DUI.

One way to avoid getting a DUI is to know your limits; and it is especially important to know your limits when it comes to craft beer consumption.

If your friend asked you if you were able to drive, how would you judge? Many people base it off of three things:

  1. How many drinks they’ve had
  2. How long it has been since their last drink
  3. And whether or not they’ve consumed any food.

While all of these factors do affect your BAC, along with your BMI and metabolic rate, the first one—how many drinks they’ve had—isn’t as easy to determine as it seems, especially if there was craft beer involved.

Know your limits.

Use our craft beer BAC calculator to understand how these local brews affect you differently than a light beer with a lower alcohol percentage.

Know that the purpose of this BAC calculator is to show you just how much alcohol is in your favorite local craft beers so that you can drink responsibly and better know your limits.

Click here to use our Cincinnati Craft Beer Calculator.

Has Uber decreased drunk driving incidents?

The numbers don’t lie: The rise of Uber and other ride-sharing services is saving lives. Report after report is showing that this is true. We have compiled some of the research results right here for you:

According to a recent Entrepreneur article, Temple University researchers found that Uber’s entry into California markets reduced DUI deaths between 2009 and 2014. On average, the number of alcohol-related driving deaths decreased by between 3.6 and 5.6 percent in California areas that utilized the Uber X service. This means that we could save 500 lives and $1.3 billion each year by implementing Uber X nationwide.

Girl waiting for Taxi

Uber itself has estimated that the number of DUI arrests in Seattle, Washington, decreased by more than 10 percent with the introduction of its services to the city. In their own words, “The availability and affordability of rides on the Uber network provide the residents of Uber-enabled cities with an important alternative to drunk driving.”

[Read more…]

SCOTUS to Rule on Drunk Driving Tests

Supreme CourtOn December 11, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) agreed to hear several cases that could change drunk driving investigations nationwide. These cases relate to whether or not a search warrant is necessary before forcing someone to take a breath or blood test to measure his breath or blood alcohol content (BAC). If SCOTUS rules that forced BAC testing without a search warrant is unconstitutional, the decision would force changes in Ohio law.

What can we expect from the Supreme Court ruling?

The SCOTUS ruled on a similar case, Missouri v. McNeely, in 2013. In its decision, the Court ruled that police should obtain a search warrant before BAC testing if there is enough time. However, it does allow police to conduct testing without a warrant under “exigent circumstances.” The expected decision would not amend that ruling but instead supplement it to outline what exactly constitutes “exigent circumstances,” when a search warrant should be required, and whether drivers can face criminal charges for refusing.

All Americans have the right to avoid unwarranted searches and seizures under the Fourth Amendment except under specific conditions, known as exigent circumstances.

Missouri v. McNeely left the exigent circumstances in a drunk driving case open to interpretation. The ruling says that the natural metabolism of alcohol over time does not always amount to exigent circumstances, but officers should consider the necessity of a search warrant on a case-by-case basis.

What are the current Ohio laws for BAC testing?

Currently, police officers can force Ohio drivers arrested for drunk driving to provide a blood sample even if they refuse to submit to a breath test. This can occur if:

  • The police officer obtains a search warrant from a judge, or
  • If there are exigent circumstances and no time to get a warrant

Under Ohio law, exigent circumstances can include destruction of evidence, so in some cases a forced blood draw without a warrant may be legal if the officers cannot obtain the search warrant before the BAC level decreases.

Law enforcement officers are empowered to use any “reasonable means” to obtain the sample for testing and are protected from assault charges or other consequences of these actions.

Currently, Ohio drivers who refuse testing typically face criminal charges for doing so. If the Court rules that a warrant is needed in order to force testing, police would not be able to charge drivers with a crime for refusing testing unless they have a warrant.

In what ways would this ruling change how lawyers defend drunk driving cases?

Attorneys know that in order to have the charges dropped against a client, the key often lies in proving whether or not officers followed proper procedures during the traffic stop and arrest.

The arresting officer and others involved in the arrest and detainment of a driver must follow strict protocol, including:

  • Having probable cause for the stop
  • Following required procedures for determining possible intoxication
  • Properly calibrating breathalyzers and other testing tools
  • Conducting testing as required by the law
  • Informing the driver of all applicable rights under the law

When officers do not follow these procedures, the defense lawyer can advocate for the client by appealing the administrative license suspension (ALS) and by requesting the charges be lessened or dropped.

If the SCOTUS rules that a search warrant is required before forced BAC testing, this will give lawyers another issue to consider when building a defense for their clients. If officers did not obtain a search warrant properly or obtained it without probable cause, the chemical evidence officers collected may not be admissible. Without these BAC readings, it will be much harder to successfully prosecute the driver.

How could this ruling affect drivers?

The upcoming SCOTUS decision could prevent Ohio police from forcing drivers to undergo BAC testing without a warrant. The ruling could also alter Ohio’s implied consent laws, making it more advantageous to refuse testing until there is a search warrant issued.

Currently, Ohio’s implied consent law allows officers to immediately suspend a driver’s license and charge him with a misdemeanor if he refuses testing. If the Supreme Court rules that a search warrant is necessary to force BAC testing, it may also change or strike down the law that allows this type of penalty for refusal of testing.

At The Farrish Law Firm, L.P.A., we pride ourselves on protecting our clients’ rights to the full extent of the law. If you are facing charges for a drunk driving offense in Ohio, our Cincinnati DUI defense lawyers can help. Contact us today at 513-621-8700 to schedule an appointment.

Click here to read more about what happens if you refuse a blood alcohol test in Cincinnati, Ohio.

6 Things to Remember if You’re Pulled Over for DUI

Cincinnati Police carGetting pulled over is scary in any circumstance, and as DUI attorneys, we understand your fears. When you’re accused of driving under the influence, you’re likely concerned about paying lofty fines, spending time in jail, or even losing your license.

Here at The Farrish Law Firm, L.P.A., we hope you don’t find yourself in this situation in the first place. Drinking and driving has many negative consequences and could cost you your—or someone else’s—life. But if you are pulled over for DUI, there are a few things you should remember.

1. Always Have your Documentation Available

You already know that the cops are going to ask for your license, registration, and insurance card, so keep them somewhere you can access without fumbling. Fumbling is one observation the police can use as probable cause to arrest you for DUI.

2. Always be Polite and Respectful, but Don’t Answer Questions

Give only your name, address, phone number, date of birth, and social security number. By not answering questions, you can avoid making any statements that could admit guilt. You should not be rude to the office either. When they ask you what or when you last ate, how much you’ve had to drink, or where you’re coming from, simply say that you’ve been advised by a lawyer at The Farrish Law Firm, L.P.A. not to answer these types of questions. One exception to this is if you are on medication or have a medical condition that may make defending against a DUI easier.

3. Don’t Take Field Sobriety Tests

There are no laws saying you are forced to take the field sobriety tests, which are entirely subject the officer administering them. In Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana, you may go to jail for refusing the tests, but there will be much less concrete evidence against you.

4. Don’t Blow into a Breathalyzer

Breathalyzers can be unreliable, and will only be used as further proof against you. If you are over 21, you are not required to take this test. However, anyone under the age of 21 must take the test is asked by an officer.

See the Know Your Limit chart.

5. Use your Passengers as Witnesses

If there are passengers in your vehicle at the time you are pulled over, have them turn around to observe you. They may be able to refute the officer’s statements about your behavior at the scene. They can use their cell phones to video the entire encounter.

6. Phone a Friend

When you’re given the opportunity to make a phone call at the police station, call a friend and allow them to hear that you are not slurring your words. If you’re given multiple phone calls, leave a message to your own phone that can be played back at trial as evidence that you weren’t incoherent.

If you’ve been charged with a DUI in the tri-state area, you have options—let’s use them. The experienced DUI defense attorneys at The Farrish Law Firm, L.P.A. are committed to securing the best resolution for your case. Contact us ASAP to schedule your free consultation.

7 Tips for Talking to Your Teen about Drinking and Driving

GuinnessLet’s face it—drinking and driving poses a significant danger to people at any age. But the risks are even more magnified with young, inexperienced drivers. As DUI lawyers, we’ve seen the devastating effects that drinking and driving can cause for teens and their families. They could lose their driving privileges, their ability to get a job, or worst of all, their life.

This is why it is incredibly important to talk to your teen about drinking and driving, even if they don’t have their license yet. We’ve assembled a list of tips to educate your son or daughter about the dangers of drinking and driving.

1. Set a good example.

If you’re not setting an example of responsible drinking behavior, you can’t expect your teen to act responsibly in similar situations. That means never getting behind the wheel after you’ve had a few drinks, even if you think you’re not drunk. Never communicate to your child that alcohol is a good way to handle problems. You could set a lifelong positive impression by calling a cab or an Uber and leaving your car in a parking lot after consuming alcohol.

[Read more…]