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Administrative License Suspensions in OVI Cases: What You Need to Know

Administrative License Suspensions in OVI Cases: What You Need to Know
February 5, 2020 Shannon Dawes

A conviction for operating a vehicle impaired (OVI) will result in several harsh consequences for the defendant – even if this was his or her first conviction. Aside from mandatory jail sentences and fines, perhaps the most insidious consequence is the suspension or restriction of one’s driving privileges. To make matters worse, a person’s license can be suspended even before he or she is convicted of OVI. The Administrative License Suspension (ALS) procedure is the mechanism whereby this is accomplished: knowing how it is triggered and what to do if your license is administratively suspended are key to preserving your driving privileges.

How Your License is Suspended Under ALS

Two events can start the process of administrative suspension in Ohio. First, if you are arrested for OVI and the officer requests that you submit to a chemical test, but you refuse to do so, your license can be administratively suspended. The other way in which your license can be administratively suspended comes about if you do take a test and test over the presumptive limit. In either situation, the arresting officer will likely take your license and is to provide you notice that your driving privileges are administratively suspended.

The officer is supposed to prepare and submit paperwork to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, to inform that agency to suspend your driving privileges. How long such a suspension will last will depend on whether you refused to take a chemical test and how many times you have either failed a chemical test or refused such a test in the past. Generally speaking, the longest period that one’s driving privileges can be suspended at one time is five years.

Defeating the Administrative License Suspension

While the ALS may seem as if there is nothing a driver can do to protect his or her driving privileges, there may, in fact, be several viable grounds available to attack the suspension. These can include:

  • The officer failed to provide you with the appropriate notice that your driving privileges were being suspended and/or failed to submit the requisite forms to the state BMV
  • The officer did not have reasonable suspicion to stop your vehicle
  • The officer lacked probable cause to place you under arrest and/or did not have reasonable grounds to request that you submit to testing
  • The officer did not follow regulations and protocols governing how the chemical test is to be administered
  • There is reason to believe the chemical test was inaccurate or should not be relied upon

The right to appeal an administrative suspension and regain your driving privileges is not a constitutional right. This means that not only is it easier for the State of Ohio to have its administrative suspension of your license upheld, but your appeal can be dismissed and the suspension remain in force for technical or procedural errors in filing or presenting your appeal.

Dawes Legal, LLC Provides Experienced Counsel for OVI Defendants

Facing OVI charges and the loss of your license in Ohio can be paralyzing, but Dawes Legal, LLC is here to assist you with your OVI arrest, charges, and driving privileges. You do not have much time to act: if you have been arrested for OVI and had your license administratively suspended, you need knowledgeable and proactive legal help right away. Dawes Legal, LLC can help you resolve your OVI charges successfully. Our firm can also help you overturn an administrative license suspension due to irregularities or deficiencies in the process or evidence. Learn more about how we can assist you by scheduling your consultation today. Call (614) 733-9999 to reach our office.