All states have taken steps to combat impaired driving, but Ohio takes potential penalties to a higher level. While all states impose significant fines and mandatory jail time for multiple offenders, Ohio actually enables local law enforcement to confiscate the vehicles of intoxicated drivers under certain conditions. What this means for drivers is that it is imperative to fight any charge for driving under the influence, especially when they have not been using alcohol. DUI laws have been enhanced to include other chemicals including prescribed medications, so an individual can easily find themselves defending against a DUI charge even with a BAC of zero.
Conditions of impounding a personal vehicle
Impounding a vehicle in Ohio in response to a DUI conviction usually only happens on the third offense. This potential means that even a first DUI conviction on borderline evidence can have a repercussion impact for any subsequent convictions. It also further enhances the importance of a solid DUI defense for those accused of driving while under the influence of prescription drugs that can be latent in the system at the time of arrest.
Potential civil court diversion
One aspect of DUI impounding in Ohio is that the order is not issued until after a civil court hearing where the defendant can contest the action. As part of a comprehensive DUI defense, the defendant legal counsel may request an alternate penalty such as installing an IID in the vehicle to help ensure that the defendant does not drive impaired again. According to the Ohio impound law, this is the actual purpose of confiscating the vehicle or the license plate.
Impounding a vehicle is supposed to be a deterrent of drunk driving, but it can have negative consequences on individuals who lose their main mode of transportation. Ohio residents who have been cited for driving under the influence of any substance should retain an attorney as soon as possible to avoid this happening to them.