Ohio's ALS Law

Ohio Administrative License Suspension Law

Cleveland ALS Lawyer

"Innocent until proven guilty."

The Legislature and Courts have thumbed their noses at that constitutional mandate. How? By declaring that a 1, 2, 3 or even 5 year driver's license suspension imposed by a police officer at the time of your arrest is not "punishment." And as long they do not consider that pre-trial punishment, they don't run afoul of The Double Jeopardy Clause of the U.S. and Ohio Constitutions. I guess they jail people forever as long as they declare that being confined in a jail cell is not being a form of "punishment." The term they use to describe the police officer-imposed license suspension is "remedial" (defined as tending or intended to rectify or improve). So as long as they describe pain and punishment as "remedial," it's not punishment. And that's how (dis)-honest our government and courts are. How sad and pathetic!

The police officer-drivers license suspension that gets imposed when you either decline to submit to the requested alcohol/drug test(s) is called the Administrative License Suspension (or A.L.S.).

How long the suspension lasts is determined by your DUI-related history, and your decision when asked by the police officer to submit to his requested test. Below is a chart.

ADMINISTRATIVE LICENSE SUSPENSIONS

REFUSAL OF CHEMICAL TEST [R.C. 4511.191(B)]

No. of Refusal in 6 Years

Type and Length of Suspension (1)

Driving Privileges (2&3)

Interlock as Condition for Privileges

Restricted Plates as Condition for Driving Privileges

1st

Class C (1 year)

After 30 days

Optional

Optional

2nd

Class B (2 years)

After 90 days

Optional

Optional

3rd

Class A (3 years)

After 1 year

Optional

Optional

4th or more

5 years

After 3 years

Optional

Optional

FAILED (4) CHEMICAL TEST [R.C. 4511.191(C)]

No. of Offense in 6 Years

Type and Length of Suspension (5)

Driving Privileges (6)

Interlock as Condition for Privileges

Restricted Plates as Condition for Privileges

1st

Class E (90 days)

After 15 days

Optional

Optional

2nd

Class C (1 year)

After 45 days

Optional

Optional

3rd

Class B (2 years)

After 180 days

Required if alcohol-related, optional if drug

Optional

4th or more

Class A (3 years)

After 3 years

Required if alcohol-related, optional if drug

Optional

1) Refusal suspension terminates upon guilty or no contest plea resulting in conviction, and time served is credited against judicial suspension. RC 4511.191(B)(2). However, a subsequent finding of not guilty does not affect the suspension. RC 4511.191(D)(1).

2) No privileges may be granted to offender with refusal who, within the preceding six years, has had three or more test refusals. RC 4510.13(A)(3).

3) Refusal of test in a offense in commercial vehicle results in a one-year commercial driver's (CDL) license disqualification while a second anytime results in lifetime CDL disqualification. RC 4506.17(D), (E). No privileges may be granted. RC 4510.13(A)(4). Also, CDL operators are subject to lower alcohol and controlled substance levels plus separate offenses under RC Chap. 4506.

4) Failed chemical test result is a concentration of alcohol or controlled substance equal to or greater than RC 4511.19(A)(1)(b)-(e) or (j) amounts. RC 4511.191(C)(1).

5) Suspension for failing test terminates upon guilty or no contest plea resulting in conviction, and time served is to be credited against any judicial suspension. RC 4511.191(C)(2). Under RC 4511.191(D)(1), any subsequent finding of not guilty does not affect the suspension. But, note RC 4511.197(D), stating that if the suspension is continued upon appeal, a subsequent finding of not guilty terminates the suspension.

6) No privileges may be granted to offender with failed test who, within the preceding six years, has had three or more convictions or guilty pleas. R.C. 4510.13(A)(3).

Appeal of Administrative License Suspension [R.C. 4511.197]

An administrative license suspension may be appealed at the initial appearance (5 day hearing), or within 30 days of the same.

The scope of appeal is limited to determining whether one or more of the following conditions have not been met:

1. Whether the officer had reasonable ground to believe the person was OVI, OVUAC, or in physical control in violation of statute or municipal ordinance, and whether the person was in fact placed under arrest. RC 4511.197(C)(1).

2. Whether the officer requested the person to submit to chemical test or tests. RC 4511.197(C)(2).

3. Whether the officer informed the person of consequences of taking or refusing test or tests; or for repeat OVI offender that would be required to be sentenced under RC 4511.19(G)(1)(c), (d), or (e), tha tin event of test refusal officer could use whatever reasonable means were necessary to ensure the person submitted to a blood test. RC 4511.197(C)(3).

4. Whichever of the following applies:

a. if a test refusal suspension was imposed, whether the person refused to submit to test or tests requested by the officer, or

b. if a failed test suspension was imposed, whether at the time of the offense, the bodily substance tested contained a prohibited concentration of alcohol or a listed controlled substance or metabolite. RC 4511.197(C)(4).