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Drug OVI charges likely to occur any time of the day

Alcohol use and overuse, which can lead to an OVI charge for drunk driving in Ohio, typically occur in a social setting. Looking at a chart of alcohol-related vehicle crashes that occur during the week, they spike late Friday and Saturday nights. This is not surprising and many law enforcement agencies in Ohio will target these times for the most intense OVI enforcement.

Drugged driving, however, shows a very different profile. Those crashes tend to be fairly evenly spread out across all hours of the day and night. According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, this is because these individuals are often looking for more drugs when they are driving in order to avoid the consequences of withdrawal, which occurs sporadically during all hours of the week.

Nonetheless, the OSHP and other law enforcement throughout the state are becoming more aggressive in looking for drugged drivers. They use Drug Recognition Experts (DRE) who are supposed to be able to identify a drugged driver.

The problem with drugged driving is that there are few definitive tests that can be used to determine if someone allegedly under the influence of a drug is actually impaired by a drug, and not by other health issues, like fatigue.

One major issue for law enforcement in states where recreational marijuana has been legalized is identifying drivers who are impaired by the drug while driving. There is no "breathalyzer" for marijuana, meaning even the assessment of a DRE is essentially subjective and fallible.  If you have been charged in such circumstances, your defense should actively challenge the experience and training of DRE and work to question the competence and credibility of those assessments. 

All drivers should also remember that legal prescription drugs, such as cold medicine which could make you drowsy, could also lead to charges of OVI if an officer decides you are impaired.

 

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