Ohio DUI / OVI Testing Get The Facts


The first thing you need to realize is that there are two accepted types of breath testing devices in Ohio. One is known as a breathalyzer, the other is known as an intoxilyzer.

The breathalyzer used in Ohio is called the BAC Datamaster. The intoxilyzer used in Ohio is the Intoxilyzer 5000. Currently, a new version, called the Intoxilyzer 8000 is being prepared for service.

I have provided links below which will shed some light on the science involved in taking your breath and correlating it to a blood alcohol level. The breathalyzer and intoxilyzer employ very different science to reach this result. Take a look at the articles. Too much knowledge never hurts.

BAC Datamaster (Breathalyzer)

Intoxilyzer 5000 (Intoxilyzer)


You are not obligated to take a chemical test, but refusal to do so will result in a one year license suspension called an (ALS) or administrative license suspension (see the ALS section below). By refusing, you have deprived the State of one of the strongest pieces of evidence against you, a test over the legal limit.A person charged with OVI after a refusal falls under O.R.C. §4511.19(A)(1)(a). The evidence that the State will attempt to use against you in trial without a chemical test will consists of the officer’s observations, or testimony of other witnesses. The observations one can expect are:

1. Odor of alcohol
2. Bloodshot/Watery Eyes
3. Slurred speech
4. Impairment of coordination (fumbling for you license, stumbling out of your vehicle, etc.)
5. Field sobriety test results (if taken)
6. Admissions (only admissible if a person was properly mirandized)
7. Other witness statements (if available)
8. Poor driving

*This list is not all inclusive nor is it intended to be. These are examples of common evidence in all OVI cases, not just refusal cases.


Most people are aware that they have the ability to refuse to provide an officer with a chemical test of their breath, blood or urine. Many, however, are not aware that this refusal will result in a one year license suspension.
The authority to suspend a person’s license for one year for refusing to take a chemical test is stated in Ohio Revised Code section 4511.191(A)(2). It states:
Any person who operates a vehicle, streetcar, or trackless trolley upon a highway or any public or private property used by the public for vehicular travel or parking within this state or who is in physical control of a vehicle, streetcar, or trackless trolley shall be deemed to have given consent to a chemical test or tests of the person’s whole blood, blood serum or plasma, breath, or urine to determine the alcohol, drug of abuse, controlled substance, metabolite of a controlled substance, or combination content of the person’s whole blood, blood serum or plasma, breath, or urine if arrested for a violation of division (A) or (B) of section 4511.19 of the Revised Code, section 4511.194 of the Revised Code or a substantially equivalent municipal ordinance, or a municipal OVI ordinance.