In Ohio, Can You Get a DUI For Sleeping it Off in Your Car?

In criminal law, each crime has “elements” that must be satisfied. Every element must be satisfied. Therefore, if one element is lacking, then the prosecution cannot prove the case. Simple as that! A DUI, actually called an OVI in Ohio, requires the following if it involves alcohol:

1. Operation;

2. .08% alcohol in system as determined by blood, urine or breath.

Pretty simple, really. Operation is one element that can be attacked by defense attorneys and produce fruitful results. A couple of years ago when I first started working for a defense attorney, I spent an entire day reading case law on what exactly constitutes “operation.” The issues was: can you operate a vehicle that is malfunctioning? As you can imagine, there aren’t many cases where a drunk dude tries to start a vehicle without an engine. [That would be a pretty fun argument though!] Most cases involve a drunk person who was driving, and then his car broke down. Those cases are pretty rare…but a state can win on a theory that operation doesn’t have to be present ambulation, especially if there is evidence that the person had driven.

Police officers and prosecutors had a lot of trouble “diagnosing” the cases where a drunk motorist was found asleep at the wheel, often with the heat or AC running. The General Assembly passed a gap-filling law called “Physical Control.” Basically, this requires

1. Driver is in front seat, with control of keys.

2. .08+

Ok, so now that I’ve given some background on DUI elements, lets apply them to different scenarios.

1. A drunk dude is found sleeping in his running car on the side of a highway. Chances are, he’ll be hit with a DUI because there is good evidence he drove there.

2. A drunk guy is found at a bar parking lot with his car running. The state might charge a DUI, but I seriously doubt it would win at trial, especially not in Cuyahoga County. The 8th Appellate District is very strict: unless there is evidence of movement, then it is physical control, not DUI.

3. A drunk dude is found passed out in the front seat of his car at a bar parking lot, keys in his hand. Under a strict statutory interpretation, he could be charged with physical control – all that is required is control of keys.

4. Id on the facts, but this time, keys are back seat, driver in front. Although he might be charged with physical control, his car will be impounded and he’ll have to hire an attorney, I highly doubt any court would take such a broad interpretation of “control” to include this fact pattern.

5. Drunk dude is in back seat, car is off. Keys are nearby. No physical control, because he isn’t in front seat. Again, I’m not completely confident that cops would know the subtle nuances of the law, so I would advise people who sleep in their backseat to print off a copy of ORC 4511.94 and keep it in the glove box. Even though there is no way you’d get convicted of a physical control violation, it would still be a pain to have your car impounded.

6. This one is a toughy: person has vehicle on in bar lot, no evidence of moving, and is sleeping in back seat. I think he could be charged with physical control, because there is evidence that he was in the front seat at one point, even leaning in.

So, in summary: sleeping it off is GOOD. You won’t break the law if you are in the back or passenger seat and your vehicle is off.

Galloway Ohio Homes – A Wonderful Place to Live in Central Ohio

If you are looking for a great place to live in the Central Ohio area, then a Galloway Ohio home might be a great choice for you. Galloway is an unincorporated residential area located about 20 minutes southwest of downtown Columbus. Officially part of Prairie Township, Galloway is home to a number of facilities and attractions including Oakhurst Country Club, Bolton Field Golf Course and Darby Creek Metropolitan Park. Galloway itself has no true “downtown” district, but instead represents a collection of neighborhoods and housing divisions that feed into the greater Columbus region. Galloway is growing rapidly, drawing many to push for it to be incorporated as an official town of its own.

The city is named for Samuel Galloway, a political leader in the 19th century who worked hard to help create Ohio’s public school system. He also served as an overseer of a military prison camp in Columbus during the Civil War. One of Galloway’s most important achievements was the “Akron Law,” which mandated that new communities set aside enough funding to create an elementary and high school if enough children of school age existed to warrant such a creation.

Galloway’s residents are served by the Southwestern City School District, though residents on the far eastern edges of Galloway are often part of the Columbus City Schools District. Schools in the Southwestern City Schools District include sixteen elementary schools, five intermediate schools serving fifth and sixth grades, five middle schools serving seventh and eighth grades and four high schools, as well as the South-Western Career Academy, educating 11th and 12th graders in vocational and professional skills and aptitudes.

The neighborhood itself has a reputation for being a quiet, pleasant community with convenient access to Columbus and shopping opportunities. Many residents seek out Galloway if they are looking for an area that is outside Columbus proper but still very close to its major highways and facilities. Galloway does not offer many of the amenities of the small towns nearby, but because of its location, residents can take advantage of the shops, restaurants and entertainment venues in Columbus, or direct their trips to one of the many small towns further outside of Columbus, such as Grove City or Lincoln Township.

One of the amenities Galloway does offer is close proximity to two golf courses. The Oakhurst Country Club is one of the most prestigious clubs in the Columbus area and offers a newly designed 18-hole course. Bolton Field Golf Course is a 72-par municipal course featuring all the amenities of a private club including a 20,000 square foot clubhouse. The course also offers a 300 person banquet room and a 150 person capacity grill room for events and dining.

One of Galloway’s most attractive aspects is its close proximity to I-270, as well as several state highways that shuttle commuters directly into the heart of Columbus. Average home prices in Galloway are near the $150,000 mark, making it an attractively affordable option in the Franklin County area. Galloway is an affordable Columbus suburb that nevertheless maintains low crime, poverty and unemployment rates and is an attractive option for families starting out in the Columbus area, or residents wishing to avoid a higher cost of living. This is why if you are moving to the Central Ohio area, a Galloway Ohio home might be the right choice for you.