Scott M. Kuboff, Esq.
Northeast Ohio Trial Attorney

Understanding Your Rights


Posts tagged Driving
Drive Safe This Holiday Season

“It’s not you that I worry about,” said my mom when I received my driver’s license, “it’s the other drivers that concern me.”   She is right.  To a great extent, every time we get behind the wheel of a car we are putting our safety (and lives) in the hands of thousands of other people we encounter driving on Ohio’s roadways.  Even the most cautious and careful driver can fall victim to someone else’s carelessness.  

As the holiday season is upon us, many of us will be traveling to spend time with friends and family throughout the country.  According to the Ohio Department of Public Safety, there were 36,392 motor vehicle accidents in the months of November and December last year; the majority of which – 29,678 – was in December.   And for 11,578 people, an accident resulted in some type of injury. 

So, what can we do to protect ourselves this holiday season? Simple, control what you can and, hopefully, others will too:

  1. Don’t drink and drive
  2. Don’t text and drive
  3. Don’t drive if you’re tired
  4. Maintain appropriate speeds and distances in inclement weather
  5. Report unsafe driving
  6. Wear your seat belt

Enjoy your holidays and I wish you safe travel!  

If you have been injured by the negligence of another, contact me for a no cost, no obligation consultation and case evaluation; I will fight for you. 

New OVI/DUI Law In Effect

Ohio H.B. 388, known as "Annie's Law," modifies Ohio's OVI/DUI sentencing in significant ways and is effective April 6, 2017.  Most notably, Annie's Law provides the following changes:

Unlimited Privileges with Ignition Interlock 
Under former OVI/DUI law, courts granted "limited" driving privileges for work, school, medical appointments and court.   These privileges restricted people's ability to drive except for the limited times on specified days.  

Under Annie's Law, first-time OVI/DUI offenders can now obtain "unlimited" driving privileges provided, of course, that an ignition interlock device is installed in their car.   An ignition interlock is, for lack of a better description, a portable breathalyzer that is connected to your car.   In order to start the car, you must pass a breath test.

Jail Suspended for First Offenders with Ignition Interlock
Under former OVI/DUI law, a first offender had to serve a minimum of 3 days in jail.   Most had the privilege to do so at a 3-day Driver Intervention Program (DIP) which are hosted in local hotels. 

Under Annie's Law, if the first offender has "unlimited" privileges with the interlock device, the court must suspend all jail during the period of the license suspension.  

Longer License Suspensions
Annie's Law increased the license suspensions for all offenders:

1st OVI/DUI:  1 to 3 years (was 6 months to 3 years)
2nd OVI/DUI: 1 to 7 years (was 1 to 5 years)
3rd OVI/DUI: 2 to 12 years (was 2 to 10 years)

1/2 License Suspensions for First Offenders with Ignition Interlock
For first offenders with "unlimited" privileges and an interlock device, the court can reduce the license suspension by half.  In other words, a 1 year suspension would be 6 months with an interlock device.  

10-Year "Look-Back" Period
OVI/DUI are "enhanceable" offenses; meaning each subsequent offense comes with increased penalties.   The "look-back" period is the time between (1) date of old conviction and (2) date of new charge.  Under former OVI/DUI law, the "look-back" period was 6 years.  Under Annie's Law, the "look-back" period is 10 years. 

For More Detailed Information
Garfield Heights Municipal Court Judge Jennifer Weiler publishes the gold-standard for OVI/DUI sentencing and penalties.   I do not know any OVI/DUI lawyer who doesn't have a copy of this guide in his or her briefcase.   Check it out here.  

If you have been charged with an OVI/DUI, want a comprehensive defense, and need immediate driving privileges, contact Scott, for a no cost, no obligation consultation and case evaluation.