As the Ohio State Bar Association said, “The acronyms DUI, DWI, OMVI and OVI all refer to the same thing: operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs.” If you were injured or a family member was killed because someone recklessly got behind the wheel after drinking, you have a right to be compensated. For a free consultation, contact the Cleveland drunk driving accident lawyers at The Robenalt Law Firm today.
What Is the Legal Limit in Ohio?
“If you are over 21 years of age and your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) and breath alcohol content (BrAC) is .08 or greater, you are considered to be ‘operating a vehicle impaired,’” according to the Ohio State Bar Association. The limit for those under age 21 is .02.
The .08 BAC became standard across the country thanks to a presidential initiative under former President Bill Clinton, but in February 2016, CNN reported that the National Transportation Safety Board would like the limit to be lowered to .05. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) has stated that drivers begin to have trouble with visual perception and reaction time at that level.
The number of drinks that it takes to affect a driver depends on a number of factors, such as:
How Do You Know If the Person Who Caused Your Accident Was Drunk?
As news station WDTN reported after a drunk driving accident in 2015, “Ohio has no law that requires someone in an accident to take an alcohol or drug test. Instead investigators rely on two words. ‘Probable cause.’”
At the scene of the accident, the officer may ask the drivers if they’ve been drinking, check their eyes for impairment, and look for obvious evidence, such as a beer can in a cup holder. He or she may also conduct field sobriety tests, such as the walk and turn, the one-leg stand, or the horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN) test. If the officer believes that a driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, he or she can arrest that person.
When filing a wrongful death lawsuit or a personal injury lawsuit against a drunk driver, your attorney will obtain a copy of the police report, which will have results from the field sobriety test(s), the preliminary alcohol-screening (PAS) test, and urine or blood tests. It will also have a breathalyzer machine printout and notes from the arresting officer.
Can Third Parties Be Held Liable for a Drunk Driving Accident?
According to Ohio law, a bar or any business that has a liquor license may be sued for damages if:
- an injury or death occurred on the bar’s premises or in the bar’s parking lot, and the injury or death occurred as a result of the bar’s negligence; or
- the injury or death occurred elsewhere, but the bar knowingly sold alcohol to a noticeably intoxicated person or to a patron who was under the legal drinking age.
You May Be Entitled to Compensation – Let Us Fight for You
If you were injured or a loved one died as a result of a drunk driving accident in Cleveland, contact a lawyer today. You may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, rehabilitation expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and other damages, but Ohio law requires you to file a lawsuit within two years of the accident or death. Contacting an attorney sooner rather than later will enable him or her to review all of the evidence and build a strong case on your behalf.
Early in his career, attorney Tom Robenalt worked for an insurance defense firm. That experience can help you during settlement negotiations or trial. For a free consultation, call (216) 223-7535, email email@example.com, or use our online form. In most cases, we don’t charge a fee unless we win.