OVI on Private Property
Recently, we received a very interesting question about DUI/OVI in Ohio. The person has a very large piece of land and was inquiring whether or not they can receive a drunk driving charge if they were on private property. You may think this is a weird question, but there are many people, especially in Ohio, Western Pennsylvania, and West Virginia who invest in recreational real estate. These large pieces of undeveloped land are utilized as recreational retreats for the purpose of hunting, fishing, and hiking. But, they are also used for other activities like ATV riding, dirt biking, and off-roading. So, the potential for driving drunk on private property is a far more common occurrence than you may think.
Not Just Ohio
Before speaking about Ohio specifically, it is important to understand drink driving laws more broadly. Each state has their own drunk driving laws. However, for the most part, police everywhere have the ability to question and test your driving ability, and they can arrest you for a DUI/OVI violation. Many people seem to think that they are “safe” in places like a golf course, parking lot, dirt road, or driveway. However, generally speaking, the police do have the ability to stop and arrest you almost anywhere, if they have a reasonable suspicion that you are driving under the influence or while intoxicated.
Ohio’s Broad Law
Regarding drunk driving or OVI in Ohio, the answer is yes, you can be arrested on private property. Ohio law is written broadly to state, “the person is under the influence of alcohol, a drug of abuse, or a combination of them” O.R.C. 4511.19. The way it is written, there is no distinction made between public and private lands. So, the police can arrest you if you are found to be operating a vehicle drunk on private property. Regardless, if you have been charged with a DUI/OVI violation, it is vital that you contact a qualified attorney in order to get the best advice.
Do you have questions? What haven’t we covered yet that is important to you? If you would like to talk about drunk driving on private property in Ohio, or a related topic, please contact us.